Skip navigation

Meet Our Scientist: Matthew Carrano, curator of dinosauria at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History


Tags: , ,


  • Mathew,
    I found a rock in Pennsylvania that I call my “Caveman’s Bowlingball.” It is about 8 inches across and 7 inches tall and 6 inches thick. Appears to have been a grey clay at one time with pieces of flint embedded in it. The rock also has holes(4) holes in it including one that looks like a thumb print, an indentation in it, that my thumb fits into.The holes appear to be made with a stick or something and are beveled on the edges of the hole as well. If you place your thumb in the indention and your fingers in the others you can carry it easily, similar to a bowling ball. I found this rock along a creek bed in Troy, PA about 35 years ago while hunting for fossil rocks which I still have a few of those too. I thought maybe if we had it dated and tested maybe it could show when Man first discoverd fire…some of the holes appear to have dark, possibly burn marks in the bottom of the holes. This rock wheighs about 20 lbs. and is slightly rounded on top and sits flat on the bottom. If interested please let me know. I will send pictures if interested. My son and I visited the Smithonian last year with his 5th grade class and would love to have this on display in your museum, possibly being carried by a “caveman”…wouldn’t that be cool?

  • dorothy carlsten

    I am trying to find pictures of what I thought was a hall of dinosaurs during 1943-47 and the totem poles. During the “war” my mother and I would go to the red brick building to visit my grandfather, T.W. Vaughan (former director of Scripps and a marine paleontologist), in his office. We would walk past the dinosaurs and a totem pole on our way to visiting him. At present I am in a Children’s Book Illustration class at RISD and am trying to illustrate a children’s story with this as a focus but would like to as accurate as possible with certain details even if it is from a 4-5 year old’s perspective and fantasy(I felt a particular ownership to the Triceratops and the T.rex.) If you can help me I’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you,Dorothy Carlsten

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *