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Man returns missing dinosaur bone replicas to Vernal museum

Published April 10, 2013 7:13 pm

Museum curator says disappearance wasa misunderstanding.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A man has returned two missing Diplodocus femur replicas to the Vernal museum where they belonged.

The femurs belonged to a Diplodocus skeleton and were buried under sand at the Utah Field House of Natural History, at 496 E. Main St., so children could play with them. The rest of the skeleton was in storage. When museum employees went to collect all the concrete bones on Friday to ship the whole skeleton to a museum in Price, they were gone, said Steve Sroka, the museum manager.

It turns out the "theft" was a misunderstanding. Someone had told the man, who works for a contractor that does landscaping for the museum, that he could take the femurs home with him, said Mary Beth Bottomley, curator of education at the museum. When the man heard a radio story on Monday about the museum's plea for the femurs to be returned — no questions asked — he immediately did so, Bottomley said.

Now the complete skeleton is on its way to its new home at the Prehistoric Museum in Price. Ken Carpenter, director of the museum, said he plans to debut the Diplodocus at Utah State University Eastern before moving it into the downtown building.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

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