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Sam Noble Hosts 'Dinosaur Accouterments: What Good Were They?'

Sam Noble Hosts 'Dinosaur Accouterments: What Good Were They?'

Were dino horns and spikes just for defense? Jack Horner, "Jurassic Park" technical adviser, says they might have been used for much more.

NORMAN – Many different species of dinosaurs sport horns, shields, bony plates, spikes, domes and other accessory structures or accouterments, but why? What use or purpose were these for dinosaurs?

The Sam Noble Museum invites the public to enjoy a complimentary reception and presentation from John R. “Jack” Horner, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, and Regent’s Professor of Paleontology at Montana State University. 

Horner’s presentation, “Dinosaur Accouterments, What Good Were They?” will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 4 in the Robert S. Kerr Auditorium beginning with a light reception at 4:30 p.m.

Horner examines why dinosaur accessory structures were not useful for defense, fighting or other aggressive contact. Horner suggests that these structures were instead used for visual display, some showing off the individual’s health, while others were likely used in some very surprising activities.  

His acute knowledge of dinosaurs provided Horner the opportunity to work as the technical adviser for award-winning director Steven Spielberg’s first three Jurassic Park movies.

Horner also directs the largest dinosaur field research program in the world. He was the first to discover evidence of parental care in dinosaurs and is responsible for naming several new species of dinosaurs, including Maiasaura, the “good mother reptile.” 

Horner has been an adviser on the FOX television show Terra Nova.  He also has been featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.  

The talk and reception are complimentary and open to the public. For more information, visit

The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is located on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus at Timberdell Road and Chautauqua Avenue. For accommodations on the basis of disability, call (405) 325-4712 or visit