Driving into Drumheller, one sees dinosaurs everywhere in the form of humorous plaster figures, some large, some smaller, cute and kind of kitschy, but they led me to believe that the museum itself might be more of the same.
WRONG! The Royal Tyrell Dinosaur Museum is a world reknown center of paleontological research, with astounding displays of life forms covering the 3.9 billion year history of life on earth.
On entering the museum, visitors are greeted by a life-like exhibit of Albertosaurus, the flesh eating dinosaur discovered in that area in 1884 by a man searching for coal seams. It soon became apparent that this region of Alberta contained a rich and varied collection of fossilized life forms, which continue to be protected, are reported to the government and then carefully excavated and examined.
|Model of Albertosaurus on entering the museum|
|The scattered way most fossils are found and have to be put together by paleontologists like a giant puzzle|
|The way fossils are found in rare and very fortunate circumstances|
|The head on the floor in front is the REAL one, which was too heavy to mount for display, so a plaster cast substitute was added to the exhibited skeleton.|
|Part of a section representing early marine life|
|Throughout the museum, displays of fossil animals are shown against a backdrop of artwork that depicts the imagined real scene at the time.|
A visit to the museum is not complete without taking the walking tour through the adjacent badlands to get a greater understanding of the geology of this particular area. If you are in Alberta, a visit to the Royal Tyrell is an experience not to be missed!
|Two Hoodoos; chimney-like rock formations (fun to read more about here)|