by George E. Wilson
George "Top" Wilson assembled his gang of cousins and family members, previously invited by the North American Museum of Ancient Life, and marched down to the main entrance at Thanksgiving Point July 6, 2001. His entourage joined an excited throng of invitees waiting to get a first look at the world’s largest and newest dinosaur Museum.
After a brief period of pushing, shoving and maneuvering the doors opened and we charged in to be greeted by Charlie McClellan, that intrepid fossil hunter who is responsible for some of the Museum’s premier fossil displays.
Charlie led the advanced cousin party through a fearsome maze of dinosaur bones to a choice location where not one but two Tanycolagreus cast specimens were perched menacingly over the walkway.
Clifford Miles, Chief Executive Officer of Western Paleontology Laboratories, assured us that the naming ceremony would soon take place. Cliff had other more important things on his mind since his presence was needed several places at once. Local politicians, the media, supporters of the Museum and an excited group of dinosaur aficionados were milling around, gaping at the monstrous monsters and oohing and ahhing at the world-class exhibits.
Cliff and Charlie were finally able to escape from the crowd demanding their attention and in a simple but poignant ceremony presented the plaque that named Tanycolagreus topwilsoni to the Opening Day entourage.
Cameras recorded the event for posterity as the family posed in front of Tanycolagreus for the photographers.
The ceremony was short and sweet but memorable. More important, the new Museum gained some attention, notoriety and a legion of new fans. Tanycolagreus had a new name and a permanent niche in scientific journals.
Next day a second family get together of the first cousins again celebrated the naming ceremony in Orem. Saturated with good food and family support, Wilson flew back to his home in Greenbrae, California to bask in his newfound status as a model for a 145 million year old flesh-eating dinosaur.
See more photos of the event at the Naming Ceremony Photo Gallery.
Copyright © 2003 Gary Bobzien. All rights reserved.