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At 75 million or so years old, these patients are without a doubt among Aurora Health Care’s oldest.

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Geology Department Assistant Professor Joe Peterson and his undergraduate research students made a recent trip to Aurora in Oshkosh with dinosaur bones in hand — part of a research mission designed to obtain some more information to help them ask better questions of a specific dinosaur species.

Peterson, along with UW Oshkosh students Collin Dischler, a junior studying geology, and Carol Bigalke, a senior studying geology and anthropology, sent the dinosaur samples through an Aurora CT scan machine last week. The scan produced images of very small slices of the specimens. Peterson and his students will use the images to develop new questions about and study the behavior and injuries of the Stegoceras, Hansseusia and Colepiocephale, all types of pachycephalosaurid dinosaurs that lived more than 75 million years ago.

The student researchers said the scans will help them discuss, debate and ask questions about what purpose the distinct, bony tops of the heads of these dinosaurs had.

“I’ve liked dinosaurs for a long time, so this is pretty cool,” said Bigalke.

Aurora Health Care’s CT team in Oshkosh was as excited to be a part of the collaboration as Peterson and his students were about the opportunity to scan the bones.

“Our equipment can do such amazing things… the images give them a lot of detail and might give them the answers they are looking for,” said Michelle Crile, a CT technician at Aurora who assisted the UW Oshkosh team. “This is really fun for us. It’s neat to be able to work together on something like this.”

Learn more about what Peterson, Dischler and Bigalke are hoping to study and learn…