What has three horns, a skull as long as seven feet, and commands the attention of museum owners across the country? The Triceratops. And Weld County has one of its own that has gained fascination from across the globe among dinosaur aficionados.

We call him Pops the Triceratops, and he is one of the local celebrities with a fascinating story celebrated in the myGreeley campaign. He is the first complete Triceratops found in Colorado.

His story began in 1982, like so many others having been discovered in a remote part of the country. Pops’ skull was found in northern Weld County on land owned by Mr. and Mrs. Roland Mapelli near Briggsdale.  The Mapelli family donated the fossil to Weld County Government in 1986. For 34 years, Pops (the name Weld County employees chose) has greeted visitors to the Weld County Centennial Center and later the Weld County Administration Building, located in Greeley.

Being transferred from private to public ownership, however, left some gaps in Pops’ story. He had never been scientifically studied — until now. Fort the last year, Dr. Joe Sertich, Curator of Dinosaurs at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and his team have studied and are working to restore Pops before returning him to Weld county for display later this year.

The best way to keep up with Pops the Triceratops is to visit the official webpage.  Follow Pops on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.  He has videos on YouTube as well. Pops has social media followers from 34 countries.

Pops_the_Triceratops_In_Ground_1982
pops the triceratops at the denver museum of nature and science

Compete in the Pops Art Contest

The Pops Art Contest is open to everyone. You can paint, draw, sculpt, or build your submissions. The only rule is the art has to include a Triceratops. The entry deadline is July 2 and should be emailed to pops@discoverweld.com. Entries are coming in from all over the world from the Philippines and from a former Greeley resident that now lives in Portugal.