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Monday, May 2, 2016
Wyoming is well known for its fossil treasures, including dinosaurs.
Some of the earliest most well-publicized dinosaur finds were made in Wyoming.
The first T-Rex was found in Niobrara County, in 1900. It ended up in London.
Several other specimens have been found in Wyoming since then, and have left the state.
Lee Rex was found in 2005 and collected in 2010 - 2011 by a crew from the Tate Museum in Casper.
Lee is the 7th T-Rex specimen found in Wyoming, but the 1st to stay in the state.
Lee's remains will be going on display at the Tate Museum in 2016, maybe.
The Story of Lee Rex, Wyoming's Own T-Rex
J. P. Cavigelli was born back east in the summertime, of Swiss immigrant parents (from the type Jurassic area).
He is Prep Lab Manager, Collection's Manager, and Field Trip Organizer at the Tate Geological Museum in Casper, Wyoming.
As a biology major at the University of Chicago, J. P. became interested in paleontology,
although way too late to get a degree in it. This led him to a summer spent in Wyoming (mostly in the Big Horn Basin)
in 1983 doing field work in search of small Cretaceous mammal teeth with a University of Wyoming team.
J. P. fell in love with Wyoming but left for a five year adventure in fun and poverty as a ski bum and
whitewater rafting guide in Colorado and Australia.
J. P. came back to Wyoming in 1990 to be part of a paleontology field crew at the University of Wyoming again.
He stayed in Laramie working off and on in paleontology for 14 years doing field work as well
as a 2-year post as Collection's Manager for the University of Wyoming's Department of Geology and Geophysics.
He also was a fossil outfitter, running western Paleo Safaris for six years.
For the past 18 years, J. P. has been doing freelance fossil prep in his basement.
He has had the good fortune of having been invited to join international expeditions to Mongolia,
Niger, Tanzania and North Dakota.
He has lived in Casper for 11 years since he started working at the Tate Museum.
In addition to his fossil addiction, he enjoys travelling, bird watching, playing hockey and his soon-to-be wife Becky.