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N. DAKOTA MUSEUM HIGHLIGHTS PREHISTORIC PAST

Millions of years before Theodore Roosevelt rode into western North Dakota, the region was roamed by Tyrannosaurus rex.

The new Dakota Dinosaur Museum honors the region's prehistoric past and showcases a collection of 105 paleontology exhibits. It's being touted as the state's biggest and most complete display of real dinosaur bones, skeletal casts and sculptures.The 13,400-square-foot museum also has two full-color murals, as well as more than 11,000 rocks, minerals, plant fossils, seashells, mammals, fluorescent rocks and other dinosaur artifacts.

It's really a showcase of Larry League's paleontology collection. League is a Dickinson State University professor who has spent decades digging through the soil of southwestern North Dakota and southeastern Montana in search of dinosaur bones and skeletons.

His vast collection represents a lifelong interest in paleontology, with specimens coming from 42 states and 22 countries. The collection is on permanent loan to the museum.

The dinosaurs that League and his paleontology students have discovered in the region date to the late Cretaceous Period, which ranges from 125 million to 65 million years ago. Most of the recent finds are believed to be about 70 million years old.