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Bozeman teen gets rare opportunity to visit Wankel T-Rex packing

By Colin Cashin, KTVM Reporter, ccashin@ktvm.com
Published On: Apr 09 2014 06:24:09 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 09 2014 06:43:13 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

A team of experts has been in Bozeman the past two days, carefully inspecting and repacking the skeleton for its trip across country. One person on the team, however, is a newcomer. And she's getting her first look at what takes to handle a 65 million-year-old piece of Montana history.

Annalea Kamplain is a senior at Bozeman High School, and the newest member of the team packing the Wankel T-Rex.

Kamplain told us, "I've just been so interested in dinosaurs and archaeology and paleontology since I was a little girl. So this is really cool for me."

She shadowed scientists at the Museum of the Rockies to the learn more about what it means to work with fossils.

She said, "I'm just kind of getting a feel of paleontology. What's it's like to work in the field."

Kamplain worked with Jamie Jette, an experienced fossil preparator, going over just what it takes to clean and sort fossils.

Jette revealed, "Being able to do puzzles is a very good skill to have because many of our bones are broken."

Jette told NBC Montana that Kamplain's visit on the day the Wankel T-Rex would be prepared for shipping was no accident.

She said, "This is a very historic moment and Annalea is going to get a chance today to be part of that."

It took a team of seven experts three days to carefully pack the hundreds of bones for shipment.

Kamplain said, "It's definitely really important to them, so it's really cool to be right there next to the fossils and touching them."

She got up close and personal with the fossils, learning more about them and the process of shipping them cross-country. She told us today's experience has renewed her passion for paleontology.

Kamplain explained, "I'm getting really excited to go to college and study what I really love. So I'm excited. It's been awesome."