Monday, February 1, 2010

Tyrrell Museum -- Drumheller, AB -- May 26, 2009

The Royal Tyrrell. If you're into dinosaurs, geology or natural history, this is the place to be. While this is technically not a "hike" or even outdoors, it's a must-see attraction in the area, and hey, it's educational! The museum was recently renovated and the exhibitions upgraded, and there is so much to take in it's sometimes tough to make sure you see everything.

But first, let's meet the creatures that greet us at the door:

Earlier in the museum tour, there is an exhibit covering the research and some of the science behind these long extinct beasts. Just when you think it's all starting to go over your head, they throw in a nice interactive touch, or simply something that will blow your mind. Such as having a grown man stand next to the leg bone of a dinosaur:

The biggie: Tyrannosaurus Rex. I did not know until this particular visit that a full T.Rex was found in Southern Alberta... in the Crowsnest Pass, which is one of my favorite places in the world.

The photo quality is not so hot here thanks to the glass case, but this was too stunning not to show. I can't remember the name of the animal, but the smaller skull is of an alligator. Not sure I want to envision what the larger beast could be:

There was even a room dedicated to prehistoric undersea creatures, most smaller than the eye can see. The whole room glowed as each type of sea beast was highlighted and explained.

Even the floor below us had "life" to it:

Prehistoric ammonite - donated by a local company. It's about the circumference of a small table. The colours are stunning:

Another display within the museum:

This next area was brand new to the Tyrrell: the remains of a giant sea creature recovered from southern British Columbia (I believe). It took up an entire room at the museum, and no photo can compare to seeing this beast laid out. The outline represents the size and shape of where the missing pieces would be. The skeleton takes up the entire hall, and you can tell by the people at the end of the shot how big this creature was.

The halls are arranged by timeline, and one of the last stops is skeleton of a wooley mammoth and a sabre tooth tiger, bringing us to the beginning of the ice age.

From here we left the museum and went outdoors, where there was still so much more to see...

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