Montana State University

Museum of the Rockies hosts second international symposium of paleohistology

July 17, 2013 -- MSU News Service

Paleohistology is a highly specialized science that focuses on microscopic structures preserved in fossilized remains to reveal information about the growth, life and death of dinosaurs and other extinct vertebrates. This photo shows a thin section of a baby Maiasaura dinosaur bone. (Image by John R. Horner).   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN -- More than 60 paleohistology research scientists from around the world will gather at Montana State University’s Museum of the Rockies as it hosts the second International Symposium on Paleohistology (ISPH) from July 18-20.

Paleohistology is the study of microscopic structures preserved in the fossilized remains of dinosaurs as well as other extinct vertebrates, including ancient mammals, birds and reptiles.   

This highly specialized field within paleontology yields insights into the lives of extinct animals, including growth history and age at death. The symposium will allow researchers to exchange ideas, approaches, and methodologies for uncovering the information contained not only within bones, but also in fossilized eggshell, teeth and even soft tissue.

The first ISPH was held in Barcelona, Spain in 2011, and is now a biennial conference. The setting for this year's symposium is fitting, as the Museum of the Rockies houses one of the only dedicated paleohistology laboratories in the world, the Gabriel Lab for Cellular and Molecular Paleontology.

For more information about the ISPH, visit

The Museum of the Rockies is both a college-level division of MSU and an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the MOR is just one of 776 museums to hold this distinction from the more than 17,500 museums nationwide. The museum is also a Smithsonian Institution and a federal repository for fossils.  For more information about the museum, visit or call (406) 994-2652.  

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or