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Bird, Roland T. (Roland Thaxter), 1899-1978


Biographical Note

Roland Thaxter Bird (1899-1978) began working with curator Dr. Barnum Brown in 1934 upon discovering a new genus and species of dinosaur. With no formal training, Bird found a Stegocephalian specimen, which was later named Stanocephalosaurus birdi by Brown. He did work in the field and in the preparatory lab, as well as field photography. In 1939, Bird discovered several giant sauropod dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy riverbed in central Texas. This discovery was monumental as the tracks were the first of their kind to be found. In addition to finding the tracks, Bird also lifted them and installed the tracks in the museum.

At age 14, Bird dropped out of high school due to a respiratory condition. In the 1920s, he worked as a Florida cowboy, traveling across the United States on a motorcycle with a modified sidecar. Before he died, he finished the manuscript for his book “Bones for Barnum Brown: Adventures of a Dinosaur Hunter,” which was published posthumously.

Selected Bibliography

Bird, Roland T. Bones for Barnum Brown: Adventures of a Dinosaur Hunter. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2013.


Roland T. Bird, Wikipedia.