After spending the last year fossil-digging in Denton, Dino Bo finally revealed his dinosaur collections thus far at a children’s learning event.

Local paleontology educator Beau McDaniel, also known as “Dino Bo,” led the sold-out “Family Fun Dino Reveal” event Saturday afternoon at Explorium Denton Children’s Museum. Children were able to learn about the Cretaceous Period and how to hunt for fossils through hands-on activities.

Shark and dinosaur teeth, crystals and metamorphic and sedimentary rocks were scattered inside a sandbox for children to dip up using strainers. Whatever they could find they were allowed to take home. At another station, children used hammers to crush rocks to find tiny plastic dinosaurs inside, or used water in basters to melt ice balls holding similar dinosaur toys.

“You’ve seen Jurassic Park, you know they take a little paintbrush and they gently brush the dirt off the dinosaur and it’s like laying there perfectly for them,” McDaniel said. “That is not how it works at all. Dinosaur bones are usually jumbled up and they’re almost always broken.”

McDaniel, a middle school teacher in Asbury United Methodist Church’s home-school enrichment program, has hosted several Dino Bo classes at libraries across Dallas-Fort Worth. This event was particularly special because it showcases all the dinosaur bones he has personally discovered in Denton.

The program highlighted bones that once belonged to the duck-billed Protohadros dinosaur, the first such fossils McDaniel discovered in Denton while on his way to the park with his children in November. While McDaniel considers himself an amateur paleontologist, he has years of experience when it comes to dinosaurs and fossil hunting. When he came across a red patch of dirt that is normally found in the Woodbine Formation area of North Texas during his drive, he said he knew it “looked like dinosaur stuff.”

After digging for about 10 minutes, he came across a piece of a Protohadros pelvis, which he confirmed through other local paleontologists and research. It turns out the Protohadros is the first dinosaur that has ever been found in Denton, he said.

“I was always told, ‘Don’t even bother looking for dinosaurs — they didn’t go that far north, you’re not going to find anything,’” McDaniel said, laughing. “I proved them wrong.”

Since then, he has found about 20 bones in that area of Denton that belong to the native dinosaurs, including pieces of vertebrae, ribs, phalanx and more. He also showcased the Protohadros fossils beside a newly found, unnamed Tyrannosaurid tooth.

Unlike science and nature museums, Dino Bo lets participants touch the fossils.

“Kids learn by being able to be up close and personal,” McDaniel said. “They don’t learn anything from 30 feet away or behind glass.”

Explorium has partnered with McDaniel for his Dino Bo classes for several years, including parties and educational programs.

“Our goal is to provide opportunities for children and families to play and learn together in a safe environment,” Dinora Padilla, Explorium’s executive director, said. “So partnering with [McDaniel] allows us to provide something new. … Parents are engaged and they’re also playing, which is something that’s very important for child development.”

McDaniel also showed a sneak peek of a new program he is working on called “Dinosaurs of the World,” which will allow children to look at fossils that are not available in any museum.

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