BERNARD N. MOORE WAS BARELY 21 WHEN HE FOUND CALIFORNIA'S FIRST DINOSAUR ON THE IRVINE RANCH, IT WOULD BE 60 MORE YEARS BEFORE HE IS TOLD!
The Dinosaur is of the Ornithiscian (birdlike pelvis) Family
and is a Hadrosaur, often referred to as a "Duck Billed Dinosaur"
based on the bony beak (see photos) that projects out in front of it's "horse style"
jaws and rows of grinder teeth.  It is a forty foot long plant eater that lived in marshy
forests.  Similar in many respects to the Edmontosaurus Annectens, the dinosaur found
on Irvine Ranch is smaller with fewer, wider teeth.  It is a herd and family variety of
dinosaur that cared for it's young in nests.  

This fact is exciting because it means there is the possibility of more dinosaurs
yet to be found in Orange County!
F Joseph Bell, Orange County Fossil Hunter Has Bagged Big Game!
A Huge Reptilian, Horse like Dinosaur.  A  Tedious, Difficult,
Nineteen Year Search was begun in 1987 to Solve
the Mystery of the Lost Dinosaur of California.

THE FIRST DINOSAUR EVER FOUND ON THE WEST COAST
OF THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT WAS FOUND
ACCIDENTALLY IN ORANGE COUNTY CALIF.
ON IRVINE RANCH, IN 1927.

No One Knew What It Was.
Though under the noses some of the world's finest scientists
it was not recognised... For 40 years!
This site is dedicated to the following people
who have contributed to the efforts of F. Joseph Bell to research
dinosaurs in Orange County, California.

F. Joseph Bell wishes to express sincere thanks to the living
and to honor the deceased:
UCLA Paleontologist "Ole" Everett Olson,
Occidental College Professor of Geology "Bill" William Morris,
Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History,
Vertebrate and Invertebrate Paleontology Departments for their
patience and support and for the training they provided a "green"
fossil hunter with more ambition than knowledge.  
Museum Curators  "Larry" Dr. Lawrence Barnes,  Dr. Louella Saul,  
Dr. J.D. Stewart, for their particular interest and assistance.  
Cam Wallis of The Orange County Museum of Natural History,
The City of Mission Viejo, The City of Lake Forest,
Irvine Ranch Nature Conservancy, Mike Kahle, Orange County Parks,
California Institute of Technology and CalTech Library,
CalTech Alumni President, The CalTech Alumni Association.
Mr. David Moore, Dr. Bernard Nettleton Moore,
Dr. Gilbert Nettleton Moore and Wife.

It is hoped that the search for dinosaurs will continue locally,
fueled by the interest and energy of Orange County's children.  
There is much to discover about the mysterious lost world that is
right here, buried under our feet in Orange County,
70 thousand millenniums ago...

F. Joseph Bell,  February, 2006.
Originally reported found in the Santa Ana Mountains
(Corona Quadrangle, Topographic Map),
by a 20 year old geology student
from Pasadena's "CalTech",
California Institute of Technology, named

Bernard Nettleton Moore
on spring break of April, 1927.

The brown fossil jawbone containing 5 rows of teeth, was turned in
along with several other fossils to California Institute of Technology,
Department of Vertebrate Paleontology for identification.
The dinosaur fossil waited.

Months went by.  
Then years went by.    
No one realized a huge plant eating dinosaur had been found.

In 1927, few paleontology professors were familiar with distinctive
ridged hadrosaur teeth like these.  The nearest similar dinosaur
teeth fossils were found in 1917 in Canada and were under study.  
CalTech's cutting edge paleontologists were not able to identify
the toothy jawbone.  It was shellacked and catalogued
"CIT 592".
More Years passed.  
Bernard did not know he had found a dinosaur.  
Nor did his esteemed professor, Dr. Chester Stock.

Bernard left CalTech.

The now "Dr." Bernard Nettleton Moore graduated CalTech in 1930
having written an exhaustive graduate thesis titled:
"The Geology Of The Santa Ana Mountains".

For six decades the dinosaur fossil was ignored:

The Fossil remained unknown, unidentified in a cardboard box
at CalTech in Pasadena, with the name of the student
and the date it was found... April, 26, 1927.
Along with a vague description of where it was found.  
Waiting for the "Modern World" to catch up.

Twenty five years later, in 1953
the CalTech fossil "museum" collection  moved
from Pasadena to the Los Angeles County Museum
of Natural History Collection of Vertebrate Paleontology.  
("Vertebrate" fossils are fossils that have back bones).

Fourteen more years went by.

In 1967 the dinosaur fossil was finally noticed
by a prominent Hadrosaurian Dinosaur Hunter that was working with
National Geographic and the L.A. Museum, Dr. William J. Morris.  
He had found dinosaurs 200 miles South of Orange County
in Baja California.  
More familiar with distinctive ridged dinosaur teeth like these, Morris  
identified the fossil as the partial dentary of a "Hadrosauridae" in 1967,
stapling a new tag to the old faded one Moore had attached to it in 1927.  
The fossil was beginning to progress...
Slowly.
Seven more years passed.

By 1974 little was remembered about where it came from.  
The description of it's location was unclear.  The man who found
it was also missing.  He had done geology for the USGS, Sinclair Oil,
then for Shell Oil in Venezuela and was retiring from geology.

Into A Drawer:
Back into the dark safety of a new location, this time in a drawer
at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History marked
"Orange County", the dinosaur fossil hid for

Fifteen More Years.  
Shellacked and numbered (catalogued), a second time it rested, preserved
in dust free silence while the world of geology and paleontology matured,
learning much new information about dinosaurs.

In 1987
A strange set of coincidences involving a mysterious "W"
shaped fossil united OC Fossil Hunter Frank Bell with Dr. Moore,
starting Bell on a nineteen year quest of field research and study.

One that led to the "re-finding" of this old and famous dinosaur fossil.
Feb. 12, 2006,
79 YEARS AFTER IT WAS LOST!

Thousands of miles of surface exploration (hiking) mixed with
detailed study of maps aided by satellite imagery finally
revealed the dinosaur fossil's precise place of origin.

THE DINOSAUR SEARCH CONTINUES!
No longer a lost, toothy, rock specimen, it's location is now identified.
Research is opening exciting new possibilities for additional
Orange County Dinosaur finds!  
 First Dinosaur Ever Found in California!
 Herd Animal, Never Found Alone, There May Be Additional Finds.
 Important, Rarely Found Teeth, Reveal Wear From Plant Life.
 Dinosaur Likely A Species That Migrated From Russia.
 A Very Recent Hadrosaur, Possibly One Of The Last Dinosaurs Alive!
The story of the original discovery of the Orange County Dinosaur in 1927 plus information about
the adventurous search and re - finding of California's First Dinosaur in 2006 will be
presented in an informative 200 page illustrated book.
"DINOSAUR IN MY BACKYARD, The Search For The Irvine Ranch Thunderhorse"  
written by Frank Joseph Bell will be available here winter of 2009.
The Elusive Dinosaur,
largest of all prey, has proved to be a coy
and formidable adversary, evading Orange County-ans at will
for millions of years.  Dinosaurs, particularly the California ones,
have demonstrated the ability to survive and avoid their captors.
They easily hide and outlive the people that search for them.
We now have one on the hook... A big one.  And we are better informed
about how to find more of them.  A major step has been taken
in Orange County Dinosaur history.  It is important to tread carefully
in our developments which constantly remove and bury ancient rocks,
they are the very soils that dinosaurs walked on here in
Orange County
near the base of the Santa Ana Mountains.

There are many important lessons Children, Parents, Teachers
and Paleontologists can learn from this Recent Dinosaur Discovery.

Perhaps the biggest lesson is to believe in what you are doing,
follow your instincts and continue searching
no matter what.
ORANGE COUNTY DINOSAUR
LOST DINOSAUR FOUND
Eluded Paleontologists For 67 Million Years, Then LOST for 79 Years
Located: Feb. 12, 2006
DINOSAUR "LOST" for 79 YEARS!
FINALLY FOUND after a 19 year search,
Fossil Location DISCOVERED:
  
Vague description of location resulted in the fossil being "shelved" in 1927.
The West Coast's First and Premier Orange County Dinosaur
Fossil, FOUND!
AMAZING
DISCOVERY,
 in  Orange
County,
California:
DINOSAURS
LIVED HERE!
DINOSAUR TEETH LIKE THESE WERE FOUND ON IRVINE RANCH IN 1927...THEN LOST FOR 79 YEARS!
F Joseph Bell Copyright  2006
DUCK BILLED DINOSAUR SKULL Found By Laurie Trexler (MAIASAURA PEEBLESORUM) MODELLED BY JACK HORNER IS MUCH LIKE THE SKULL OF THE 1927 IRVINE RANCH DINOSAUR
35 FEET LONG, 14 FEET TALL ORANGE COUNTY DINOSAUR by F Joseph Bell