Monday, July 15, 2013

7/14 Rapid City, SD - Geology Museum, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

One nice thing about being able to travel slowly is to find excellent little local museums like this one.  It is on the third floor of the administration building of this college, which had a very pretty campus.  Parking was easy since I was there on a Sunday and during the summer, so the campus was mostly deserted. 

It is mostly a museum full of rock samples, but it also has quite a few interesting marine reptiles and dinosaurs.  Anyway it is easily worth an hour-and-a-half.  Kids would also find it interesting.  Here are some photos I took. 

This is a Mosasaurus Conodon, which was a type of marine lizard. Remember that in the Cretaceous, most of the middle of the North American Continent was a huge inland sea, so marine animals are common in South Dakota.

And check out the neck on this Styxosaurus Snowi, which the sign said was a species of Plesiosaur.

And here is a baby Plesiosaur, curled up as it was found.

And this is a
And this is a nest of dinosaur eggs. They had quite a few broken eggs besides this nest, so it was interesting to see the texture on the shells.

And here is an ancient Triceratops skull.

Check out this huge head of an armored fish!  Actually, this fish was found near Cleveland.  The sign said that Dunkleosteus was a gigantic fish which lived in the latter part of the Devonian ("Age of Fishes"). This predator could grow up to 33 feet long and weigh 4 tons. It belonged to the Arthodira or "joint-necked" fish, so-called because the plates of bone which sheathe the head were connected by a hinged joint with the boney armor of the chest (thorax). 

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