Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Dinosaur Named After Judith

Dinosaurs capture the imagination of the visitor.

This reconstruction of a skull, with the original fossils displayed nearby, has special significance. This is spiclypeus shipporum, a new species found in the Judith River Formation in Montana. The find has also been called Judith in honour of the location- and that river was so named by the explorer William Clark, co-captain of the Lewis & Clark expedition, for a woman back home he would later marry.

Here's an artistic look at Judith.

The original fossils are displayed here.

Some final shots from the Fossil Gallery.

I decided to go all negative on one of these shots. I'm not quite done with the Museum of Nature, but will get back to it after the beginning of the month.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

A Family Tree Of Dinosaurs

Continuing on today where I left off with more of horned dinosaurs, including this triceratops specimen.

A fossilized palm leaf- back in the day, this was their food.

Triceratops is the horned dinosaur that most people know best.

In the days of the dinosaurs, the continents themselves looked different from what they are now.

It takes years to prepare a fossil for display.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Mighty Armoured Beasts

The Fossil Gallery starts looking at the various herbivore dinosaurs that employed various defensive techniques against predators. Among them was panoplosaurus, an armoured dinosaur built like a tank. The fossilized skull of one is here.

Here we have a specimen of leptoceratops, an early member of the various horned dinosaurs.

Sometimes more than bone is fossilized.

Some more of the horned dinosaurs. This skull in the foreground is styracosaurus.

Here we have anchiceratops, another of the horned dinosaur family.

And the specimen beside it was the first documented example of its kind- chasmosaurus irvinensis.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Evolutionary Advances

 Suspended above are the ancestors of whales- mammals that started life on land before taking increasingly to the seas and evolving to become the leviathans we know today. Dorodun atrax and pakicetus were the forerunners of their time.

This creature is notharcus, an early primate.

We move back into the dinosaur section properly, with a look at hesperornis, a diving bird that has a lot in common with contemporary birds.

Strictly speaking, pterosaurs were flying reptiles and not dinosaurs.

Fossils of sea life of the Cretaceous have been found as well.