Our ScientistsDonald Henderson, Ph.D.

Curator of Dinosaurs

Donald Henderson

Donald Henderson’s research focus is all about dinosaurs. Lately his studies have focused on the rates of fossil erosion in Dinosaur Provincial Park and its effect on the quantities of dinosaur fossils found there. Don also conducts biomechanical comparisons of the bite forces and skull strengths in ceratopsian dinosaurs and examines dinosaur buoyancy. In order to gain a better understanding of dinosaur locomotion, he creates computer animated models.

Contact Information

Toll free in Alberta:
310-0000 then (403) 823-7707

Toll free in North America
(outside Alberta):

Outside North American:

Email: don.henderson@gov.ab.ca

Current Research

Over the coming year Don will be working on:

  • the estimation of body masses of pterosaurs
  • the estimation of the numbers of dinosaur skeletons lost to erosion in Dinosaur Provincial Park
  • the study of locomotion of armoured dinosaurs (stegosaurs and ankylosaurs) with researchers from the Natural History Museum in London
  • revising a walking pterosaur computer model
  • studying a large Lethbridge/Korite elasmosaur that was collected in 2007
  • collecting a large hadrosaur from the Horseshoe Formation
  • collecting a small tyrannosaur from Dinosaur Provincial Park
  • dealing with the usual fossil surprises that appear every year

Recent Publications

Henderson, D. M. and Naish, D. 2010. Predicting the buoyancy, equilibrium and potential swimming ability of giraffes by computational analysis. Journal of Theoretical Biology 265: 151-159.

Henderson, D. M. 2010. Pterosaur body mass estimates from three-dimensional mathematical slicing. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30(3):768-785.

Henderson, D. M. and Tanke, D. H. 2010. Estimating past and future dinosaur skeletal abundances in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 47:1292-1304.

Henderson, D.M., 2010. Skull shapes as indicators of niche partitioning by sympatric chasmosaurine and centrosaurine dinosaurs. In, Ryan, M.J., Chinnery-Allgeier, B, and Eberth, D.A., eds. New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Ceratopsian Symposium at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, September 2007. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, p. 293-307..

Butler, R.J., Galton, P.M., Porro, L.B., Chiappe, L.M., Henderson, D.M., Erickson, G.M. 2009. Lower limits of ornithischian dinosaur body size inferred from a new Upper Jurassic heterodontosaurid from North America. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Henderson, D.M. 2006. Burly gaits: centers of mass, stability and the trackways of sauropod dinosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26:907-921.

Henderson, D.M. 2006. Simulated weathering of dinosaur tracks and the implications for their characterization. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 43:691-704.

Henderson, D.M. 2006. Floating point: a computational study of buoyancy, equilibrium, and gastroliths in plesiosaurs. Lethaia 39:227-244.

Snively, E., Henderson, D.M., and Phillips, DS. 2006. Fused and vaulted nasals of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs: Implications for cranial strength and feeding mechanics. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 51:435-454.

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