Everyone coming to Calgary knows about the Rocky Mountains. While Calgary itself has a lot to offer visitors, there’s always the lure of the spectacular Rocky mountains in the background. However, there’s more to Alberta than cows, oil, and big rocks. There’s also Dinosaurs. An easy and surprisingly scenic hour and a half drive north East from Calgary will land in the Badlands of Dinosaur Olympic Park, one of the richest sources of paleontological finds in the world.
While it is located in the ominous sounding Alberta Badlands (they should really be called the Alberta Bad-“Ass” Lands, click here to sign my petition), the Royal Tyrell Museum lives up to its majestic honorific. There are over 120, 000 fossils here, with 47, 000 square feet of floor space devoted to the various exhibits showcasing the incredible biological history of the planet. The exhibits cover every stage of evolution in the last 3.9 billion years of planetary history. The most popular exhibit is the Dinosaur Hall, with 40 fully assembled Dinosaur skeletons including Albertasaurus, Chasmosaurus, and everyone’s favourite, Tyrannosaurus Rex.
While typically it’s young children that get a real kick out of museums like this one, I have to admit that I had a blast here. Maybe it’s my inner twelve year old, but I couldn’t resist the magic of these ancient bones. Did you know that the Velociraptors depicted in the Jurassic Park movies are completely wrong? Apparently the real Raptors are half that size, and all known species of them were covered in feathers. Although, after seeing what they actually looked liked like...
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- 'A window into the past' (theglobeandmail.com)
- "Huge dinosaur bonebed uncovered in Alberta, Canada" and related posts (sciencebuzz.org)
- Tyrrell's ambitions gave us glimpse into Lives Of Dinosaurs (calgaryherald.com)
- Tyrannosaurs Hunted and Scavenged, Fossils Suggest (livescience.com)