Wednesday, August 28, 2013

8/26 Museum of the Rockies

Actually, I came here twice because ticket is good for two days, and I got tired first day.  This museum is connected with Montana State University in Bozeman and is the place where the famous dinosaur-hunter Jack Horner is still curator of paleontology.  He is known for finding the first dinosaur eggs, as well as big t-Rex dinosaurs.  The scientist in Jurassic Park was supposedly modeled after him, and he acted as technical advisor to the movie.  You have probably also seen him on TV.

Anyway, this is a very nice museum with even big vehicle parking!  Yea!  There is a planetarium with shows almost every hour, a plains Indian museum, and a Montana history section here.

 This room is just a display of how they bring bones back to the university and clean them for study.

Here is where a bunch of dinosaurs got stuck in the mud!  Literally, only their legs are shown here.  And the legs are mostly from younger animals.  So a herd of animals got stuck, the adults were able to escape, but the juveniles died and the rest of the bodies were eaten and dragged away by predators, leaving all these vertical leg and foot bones.

One interesting thing they do for display, is to show the skeleton on one side and the animal as it would have looked with flesh on it on the other. Sort of a cutaway animal.
One of the nice things about this museum is that they have so many specimens, they can display adult and juveniles together to show how they changed as they grew.  Here is an adult and then a baby.
And here are skulls of the same species from a baby to an adult in the far back.  Notice that the baby has more rounded features.  We would call that "cute."

And an adult and juvenile T-Rex.

They have painted these models of dinosaurs to show how they might have been colored.  There are two smaller predators attacking this big plant-eater.

And some more photos of the museum.

Look at these teeth!

I saw two shows in the planetarium--one on the Northern Lights and the other on the current night sky in Montana.  It is a large and very comfortable room with seats that are tilted back so you could see the ceiling comfortably.  Nice place for a nap, frankly, after walking around the exhibits.

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