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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Girl with local ties discovers dinosaur bone

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This is what many believe Deinonychus may have looked.
Gabrielle Block, a 9-year-old resident of Annandale, Md., began Saturday, Nov. 21, as an accompanying member of a family gathering.

By day's end, she may have been responsible for a major paleontological discovery.

Block and her family, parents Greg and Karin, and sister Rachel, 7, went for an outing at the newly opened "Dinosaur Park," in Prince Georges County, Maryland, a recently opened 7.5-acre area opened for the purpose of discovering what prehistoric figures used to roam the area. The Block's trip coincided with the park's second weekend of being open to the public.

About an hour into a public dig, Gabrielle discovered a small bone, measuring about one-half inch in length. She presented it to park officials, who believe her finding very well could be from the skeleton of a Deinonychus, or Raptor. The finding came as a big surprise to one park official, who said discoveries of this potential magnitude are rare for any untrained explorer.

"The odds of (a finding being made by someone like Gabrielle) are very low," said Peter Kranz, who runs the programs of the park. "Even people who are well-trained have a hard time finding things."

The incident has brought a great deal of media attention to the Block family, including a story in The Washington Post. Karin Block said at first, her daughter was a bit overwhelmed by all the attention she's received, but says she's quickly gotten used to it an at this point, almost seems to be enjoying it.

The find has also offered a major publicity boost for the park. Kranz said it's always difficult to promote a new business, but Gabrielle's find has helped the establishment accumulate more than four pages of Google search results.

Adding an even bigger bit of surprise to the situation is that the bone wasn't found by the Block sister those close to the family would have expected.

While both girls have an extreme interest in animals, the trip to "Dinosaur Park" was organized for younger sister Rachel, who has been fascinated by dinosaurs since a viewing of the animated film, "The Land Before Time," during her infancy. Gabrielle's interests are more focused toward polar animals, such as penguins and polar bears.

Despite this, Block said there has been no feelings of ill will from either sister, saying Rachel was very excited to see something was discovered in the park.

The Block family has long standing ties to the Brazil area.

Gabrielle and Rachel's grandmother, Nancy Block, grew up in the city until she moved to attend nursing school in 1949. The former area resident said all the attention being showered on her granddaughter was "really great" and that she was "handling it very well."

Block's finding is currently being evaluated and if it is determined to be the find many officials feel it may be, it could be placed into the Natural History Exhibit at the Smithsonian. Karin Block said a great deal of family life has been dedicated toward animal themed discoveries since the birth of her two children, and to see one of her children come through with such a successful find at such a young age was exciting for the entire family.

"This is all very exciting stuff," Block said. "We've been doing the dinosaur thing for a long time now. We always plan our vacations around the girls and what they love, so this was just great for all of us."

As for the discoverer herself, Gabrielle expressed her elation in a very low-key fashion.

"It's been really exciting," she said. "It's been really fun."

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QUOTE: "measuring about one-half in length."

Interesting story. One half of what? Inch, foot, mile?

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 6:54 PM

Please reread, Lee, before being so critical! Indeed.....interesting story!!

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 9:04 PM

If you notice, I quoted the article. Actually ccp'ed it (you do know what that means?). The paper has now changed the article. You are the one that should not be so critical.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 9:34 PM

Duh.....ccp'ed it????? Excuse me for not knowing you did that! I guess I fell victim to the old assumption rule. Perhaps I just noticed your name and figured it was another of your picky comments that tends to stray from the content of the article.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Tue, Dec 29, 2009, at 3:50 PM

Your first clue should have been the word in caps, "QUOTE".

And my picky comments? I didn't stray a bit from the article. I quoted it. But I'm the one who shouldn't be so critical? Give it up, you have no clue.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Tue, Dec 29, 2009, at 4:14 PM

Too funny! Anyone can place "QUOTE" in front of anything, but it does not necessarily make it a direct quote...especially if the article was edited after its original publication. Also, citing any source from the internet is generally a dangerous practice.

-- Posted by madman36 on Wed, Dec 30, 2009, at 6:44 AM

So citing something from the on-line Brazil Times is a dangerous practice? That's not saying much for your newspaper.

BTW, are you related to Bigpappy?

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Wed, Dec 30, 2009, at 9:33 AM

I have no idea who bigpappy is. I have not lived in Brazil for over tweny years....but still have family there.

To be honest, I would have to question the credibility of any online newspaper (or hard copy for that point) as a truely credible source. Most tend to be to politically motivated and are usually not unbiased (sorry for the double negative). Utilizing multiple sources to verify data is the safe way...in my opinioin.

-- Posted by madman36 on Wed, Dec 30, 2009, at 8:21 PM

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