Saturday, September 12, 2015

Royal Tyrrell Museum: The Mammal Hall

The final epoch in the geologic time scale, the Tertiary period saw the rise of our ancestors, the mammals. It's often overlooked by the previous era, and I'll be one to admit that my knowledge on the Cenozoic isn't quite as "up-to-date" as it is on the Paleozoic and Mesozoic. Nonetheless, Cenozoic era animals are as equally interesting as any dinosaur...

...Such as this Pliohippus

As you've probably guessed by now, Pliohippus was a close relative of the modern horse. Now for something a little more bizarre, Uintatherium! Life-sized, too!

What a skull! It's no surprise Entelodonts are nicknamed "terminator pigs." 

Two Megacerops (Brontotherium) locked in combat.

The grand display is the mount of a Woolly Mammoth, defending itself from an onslaught of Smilodon. The sense of scale it conveys is impressive, and there's a moment where it feels like you're actually there.

There's a scale that lets you find out how your weight compares to modern mammals. I managed to be as heavy as a deer (150 lbs). Maybe I ought to go on a diet!

In total, the museum took about three hours to tour thoroughly. The Royal Tyrrell Museum has remained a major research center for paleontology, and justifiably so. If you plan a trip to Alberta, or already live in the area, I highly recommend taking a visit. Even the trip there is worth it (which I will be covering in a later post)!

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