Leading dinosaur expert is UBC Okanagan's distinguished speaker Feb. 13

Some of the greatest predators in the dinosaur world were actually family-oriented, not the socially aloof hunters once thought to roam prehistoric lands. Dr. Phil Currie, one of the world's most prominent paleontologists, will give a public lecture in Kelowna about this and other new discoveries in dinosaur research on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Currie, a professor at the University of Alberta and former director of dinosaur research at Alberta's Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, is the next featured speaker in UBC Okanagan's Distinguished Speaker Series. He will speak to university and high school students in an afternoon lecture at UBC Okanagan, and deliver a public lecture at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in downtown Kelowna, starting at 7 p.m.

"This is a great opportunity for Okanagan residents to hear a leader in dinosaur research talk about some of the very latest discoveries and ideas about how dinosaurs lived," says Dr. Robert Young, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences with UBC Okanagan's Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

Palaeontologists have found the fossilized remains of Tyrannosaur-like dinosaurs in family groups, leading to new theories about how they lived. The idea that dinosaurs behaved like warm-blooded creatures was a revolution when it was first posed a few decades ago. Young says the thought that they were not only acting like warm-blooded animals, but also like social animals is another revelation.

"The question arises, who would have thought that T-Rex-like critters would have lived, and likely hunted, in family groups?" says Young. "That's the question Phil Currie is exploring and we're going to hear about some fascinating research at this public lecture."

Best known for his work with specimens collected in the fossil beds of Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park and China's Gobi Desert, Currie has conducted field research on several continents and was co-leader of the largest dinosaur expedition ever undertaken -- the Canada-China Dinosaur Project.

Tickets are free for Currie's 7 p.m. Distinguished Speaker Series public lecture at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, but they must picked up or ordered in advance from the Rotary Centre for the Arts box office at 421 Cawston Ave., Kelowna (call 250.717.5304). Box office hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

For information about the Distinguished Speaker Series and the February 13 lecture, visit www.ubc.ca/okanagan/speakers.

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