Phillies’ Co-Owner Donates “Rare Dino Skeleton” To Amherst College

You probably didn’t know that Phillies co-owner John Middleton owned the rare skeleton of a Dryosaurus altus, a creature that roamed the North American landscape 150 million years ago—presumably hanging out with Jamie Moyer between starts. (We kid! They’re both very, very old!) Now he’s given that skeleton to his alma mater, and its Beneski Museum of Natural History. When it goes on display, it will be one of only two skeletons of this type on display for the whole world to see.

Some highlights from the press release my boss says might be her favorite she’s ever read:

“Leigh and I are always pleased to be able to support Amherst,” said Middleton. “But this gift is especially meaningful to me personally, as it will reside in a museum named for our good friend Ted Beneski whose generosity made the museum possible.”

This specific Dryosaurus stood about three feet tall and was 10 feet long from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. The herbivore had a horny beak with teeth only at the back of its jaw, which enabled it to pluck off and then chew plant matter quickly. Dryosaurus also moved around on two legs that were designed for speed and agility; it has been estimated that it could run more than 40 miles an hour.

“Two legs designed for speed and agility” eh? Sounds like our friend might also have advantages over Chase Utley and Ryan Howard! OK, we’ll stop with the dinosaur-Phillies jokes now. The Phillies aren’t quite extinct. Yet.