Dinosaur Museums of the World

There are amazing dinosaur collections at many universities and museums; here are some of my favorite museums with dinosaurs we’ve visited.

In the early 20th century Roy Chapman Andrews led a series of expeditions into the Gobi Desert and Mongolia. He made important discoveries including the first-known fossil dinosaur eggs. He worked through the American Museum of Natural History and later became its director. Popular books of the 1950s about his life and discoveries influenced later generations of dinosaur hunters.

Explorations in China became more and more difficult, mostly for political reasons, only becoming accessible
again at the end of the 20th century. In his book, Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs, Michael Novacek describes
expeditions to Ulaan Bataar, Dalan Dzadgad, Baishin Tsav, Hurrendoch,Saynshand, the Nemegt Basin, Ukhaa Tolgod, and the flaming mountains of Gurvain Saichan. The discoveries from these expeditions have shed new light on our understanding of the animals of that age. Perhaps the best specimen is the Oviraptor buried while on its nest. We saw some of the results of these expeditions along with other Chinese findings at the natural history museum in Wuhan

In Bozeman, Montana, the Museum of the Rockies is worth a journey, as the Michellin guides would say. Its dinosaur dig crew, led by paleontologist and curator Jack Horner,(who was also science advisor to the Jurassic Park films), excavate fossils which are prepared and studied at the Museum. Some of the most famous dinosaurs in the world such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and Deinonychus (very similar to Velociraptor) are on display.

In close contention as my favorite is the Royal Tyrrell Museum at Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. Many of its exhibits were found in nearby badlands and the museum organizes family oriented tours for would be dinosaur hunters.

Those on the east coast aren’t without options. The Smithsonian in Washington DC and the American Museum of Natural History in New York have famous collections of dinosaurs, with exhibits that have been updated to show modern understandings of these behemoths. The Smithsonian includes triceratops, camptosaurus (juvenileand adult, and an allosaurus.

The 2 Peabody museums at Harvard and Yale also invite visits.. In addition to the reconstructed skeleton of Apatosaurus the dinosaur formerly known as (“Brontosaurus”) and other dinosaurs discovered and named by the Museum’s founder, O.C. Mars, the highlight of the Yale Peabody is. Rudolph Zallinger’s The Age of Reptiles. This painting, done in the Renaissance fresco secco technique, runs length of the east wall of the Great Hall. It provides a panoramic view of the evolutionary history of the earth — from the Devonian Period 362 million years ago to Cretaceous Period, only 65 mya . Based on the best scientific knowledge available at the time, there are anachronisms due to later scientific advances. The chronology of the mural reads from right to left and spanning 300 million years. The large foreground trees mark the boundaries between the geologic periods. You’ve probably seen reproductions of this painting, but The Age of Reptiles may not be reproduced without the written permission of the Yale Peabody Museum.

 

 

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