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In 1997 a complete articulated foot of a diplodocus dinosaur was found at what is now called the “Foot Site” by the Big Horn Basin Foundation. The quarry holds 3 diplodocus dinosaurs, two of which are sub adults and one is an adult. The site is still being actively excavated and is about 2 miles south of the Wyoming Dinosaur Center on the Warm Springs Ranch.
Director of the Big Horn Basin Foundation, Jessica Lippincott, who also works with Natrona County Schools as a Discover Presenter is continually inspired by the creativity and curiosity of students. Seeing their passion for learning and dinosaurs she thought it would be a great idea to have students submit ideas for naming the Diplodocus. “We had entries from all over, even from England. I was so excited when our Board picked the winner and the student was from Wyoming.”
The winning entry, “Dopota”, belonged to Ft. Caspar Academy student, Kaitlin Trost. As part of the naming the dinosaur, Kaitlin was awarded with a “Kids’ Dig” certificate which allows her to explore real paleontology activities for a day. She was also given a plaster cast of “Dopota’s” foot.
As for her plans for the foot? “I probably will leave it at my Grandma’s work. She likes Dinosaurs too and we are going to visit the Dinosaur Center together.”
Often watching PBS Kids with her family, Kaitlin said she would love to be a paleontologist or a veterinarian when she gets older. When asked what her inspiration behind the name Dopota was Kaitlin said, “I just wanted something original and I had never heard Dopota before. It is exciting and it sounds fun, Dopota the Diplodocus!