Monday, August 17, 2015

Museum Visits: Royal Tyrrell Museum Part 3

For a dinosaur enthusiast, there's little that can make one geek out as much as the Royal Tyrrell Museum's Dinosaur Hall can. Filled to the brim with replica casts and real fossil specimens, its enough to make the most hardcore dino fan look around with sheer awe.

The Late Jurassic Camarasaurus, from the Morrison Formation, is the first attraction in the Dinosaur Hall. 

Head over to the right of the Camarasaurus and visitors can find an Allosaurus with its latest meal, an unfortunate Camptosaurus. A Stegosaurus (albeit in an outdated "retro" pose) watches the vicious attack.

Not surprisingly, the bulk of the dinosaur that make up the exhibit hail from the Cretaceous era, such as this Gorgosaurus (right) and Euoplocephalus (left). As an avid ankylosaur lover, the Euoplocephalus mount looks absolutely gorgeous. It's a bit of a shame most ankyosaur remains are, for the most part, incomplete.

Gorgosaurus makes another appearance, this time scavenging the carcass of a Centrosaurus. The diorama represents the famous bone bed discovered in Alberta containing at least 200 Centrosaurus remains. Whether or not it was a flash flood that killed the ceratopsians, it's certain that theropods and other carnivores would have scavenged the bodies.

Remarkably well-preserved fossils of Pachyrhinosaurus.

Psittacosaurus lived in Mongolia and is considered one of the earliest known ceratopsians. Lack of facial horns and a bipedal stance certainly don't make it look like Triceratops, but it matches other primitive ceratopsians like Aquillops.

Chasmosaurus, like Pachyrhinosaurus and Centrosaurus,lived in Alberta and were most likely a substantial prey item for tyrannosaurs like Gorgosaurus and Albertosaurus.

Hadrosaurs were abundant during the Cretaceous, Canada especially. Pictured are Lambeosaurus (above) and Gryposaurus (below).

A collection of hadrosaur skulls.

Ornithomimus attempts to make off with Maiasaura eggs.

Back near the Gorgosaurus mount you can find several Dromaeosaurus.

The museum even has a marine exhibit! Mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, pliosaurus, the exhibit showcases what life would been like in the Western Interior Seaway.

The Maastrichtian Cretaceous is our final stop in the Mesozoic era, and the familiar three-horned face finally appears! Triceratops was, you guessed it, one of the very last dinosaurs to live during the Cretaceous.

Hypacrosaurus, the near the highest lizard (that's what its name means! It was almost as tall as Tyrannosaurus).

Tyrannosaurus claims its position as king in the hall, looming gleefully over every other dinosaur. This specific mount is pretty notable for appearing in that old IMAX film T. rex: Back to the Cretaceous

A close-up of the tyrant king's skull.

There's only one more exhibit after the dinosaur hall, and its the Age of Mammals. Next time, we'll visit our modern ancestors in the Tertiary era!

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