Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ultimate Dinosaurs!

I was very excited to see the new "Ultimate Dinosaurs" exhibit at our public museum a few weeks ago! I'm just now getting to write about it because I didn't feel up to writing coherently with the nasty flu I had. Anyway, now I'm back and ready to write! I'd heard about this dinosaur exhibit on the radio, but didn't entirely know what to expect. Whatever I was expecting, this was better! The dinosaurs were beautifully displayed and perfectly lit. The bright orange, yellow, blue, and green lights added this intensity to the skeletons and made them a little spookier.

So many of these dinosaurs were new to me. Actually, all of them were new to me. They ranged from adorably small chicken-sized lizards to T-Rex level in size. I took photos of their names as I went along, because there's no way I'd remember names like these. So here we go...

I started with my favorite photo of those I took. That first photo is actually the wallpaper on my computer now. That dinosaur who is looking so awesome in the orange light is Suchomimus. This name translates to "crocodile mimic" because of his head. I imagine this was a terrifying dinosaur.

Just look at these claws!

A close-up blingy claw and tooth:

It's hard to believe this is the same dinosaur from this angle. The skeleton looks so much longer from the side. This is another favorite photo from the day. I like the way it looks like Suchomimus is wrapping around the room. This probably would have looked cool with a fisheye lens.

This little guy was one of the first in the exhibit. Pisanosaurus was from Argentina and was only 3.3 feet long.

From the very small to the very large, this skull is from a Carcharodontosaurus. Most of these names are easy to pronounce, but this one doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. 

To give you an idea of how much larger this dinosaur would have been than the little Pisanosaurus, just this skull is 5 feet in length. Carcharodontosaurus translates to "shark toothed lizard" and I think it's pretty clear why this dinosaur got its name. I learned from the sign next to the skull that "Carcharodon" is a name for the great white shark. 

Check out the spine on Ouranosaurus! 

Ouranosaurus translates to "brave (monitor) lizard". 

A close-up of the feet, which look kind of like elephant feet to me:

The ribs:

This is Nigersaurus or as I called him, "Vacuum Head". Doesn't his head look like a small handheld vacuum? Oh, I'm just reading the sign I took a photo of that was next to him and I guess I wasn't that original after all. (I didn't read some of these signs I photographed until now.) They also noted that his head was "shaped like a vaccum cleaner nozzle, wide and flat, with all of its teeth in a row at the front of the jaws."

He looks happy enough in this illustration. Also according to the sign, Nigersaurus had 50 tooth positions and 9 replacement teeth in each socket. They say he probably replaced roughly 80 to 100 teeth per month. Hmm... That sounds like a lot. Maybe these dinosaurs didn't have that long of a lifespan or maybe there were some toothless ones walking around. Some photos of the Nigersaurus skull:

You can see how the teeth are really packed in here.

Simosuchus isn't actually a dinosaur. From what I read on the sign next to him, he's a crocodilian from Madagascar. The name Simosuchus translates to "pug-nosed crocodile" which makes sense when you look at him. I have to smile just looking at this creature. He reminds me of those little skeleton dogs you see for sale at Halloween. He's about the size of a medium sized dog.

I have to smile just looking at this picture. He's such a little character. And that hind leg of his looks like there's a pine cone on it. 

He looks ready to spring! This is what they think he would have looked like. I think he's cuter as a skeleton. But you can see that he looks like a crocodile with a short snout.

There was also a skull on display from a crocodile that looks more crocodile-like. You have to imagine the many teeth that would have been there. I wonder what happened to the teeth?


Can you believe these tiny arms? I was joking that maybe they pieced this one together incorrectly! Like, maybe they found some other dinosaur's tiny little skeleton arms nearby and just stuck them on this big guy! I'm kidding, but isn't this a weird design for a creature? It said on the sign near this dinosaur that its arms were completely ineffective at doing anything! It also said that these couldn't manage to touch their hands together or even move their fingers independently. 

Rahonavis or the "cloud menace bird"

Another cute little thing that looks like it should be part of a mobile in a science classroom.

The little Buitreraptor:

The Austroraptor:

Amargasaurus reminds me of one of Delia's sculptures in Beetlejuice!

Look at that spine!

See what I mean about Delia's art? Especially lit with the blue lighting in this scene. That little man(?) who is going to marry them also reminds me of this fossil. I guess because he's a little blue lit skeleton man.

This red lit dinosaur is the Carnotaurus:

Look at those little arms!

This next picture scares me more than any of the others I took that day. For some reason, it isn't too hard for me to imagine this one on the attack.

Giganotosaurus is the one name I will remember. It's the perfect name for this large T-Rex type dinosaur. This huge skeleton was saved for last in the exhibit and it made a big impression with that lime green lighting.

Here I am with Giganotosaurus. Actually, he doesn't look all that large in relation to me. Of course, he'd seem plenty large if he was alive and standing behind me!

Here's his feet:

I found a video on YouTube of the exhibit, which was a nice overview for me. It's always interesting to see the different perspective someone else has when photographing the exact thing you photographed.

The music that's set to this is very bold and dramatic - perfect for dinosaurs.

I have a feeling that a lot of these dinosaurs were new to you guys. Do you have any favorites? I found myself saying "This one's my favorite!" several times.


  1. Nigersaurous looks fake, but cool at the same time. I wonder why they adapted that way, having such a straight row of teeth? Looks like a great exhibit!

    1. Shanon ~ Ha! Yeah, doesn't he? I guess I had to look at these dinosaurs in good faith, because for all I know they could have thrown a few made-up ones in there. ;) Just kidding, but really most of us wouldn't know!

      I just did a bit of reading on Nigersaurous and the scientists believe that with his head and neck built the way they were, this dinosaur probably browsed around for food close to the ground. All of its teeth are in the front of the skull. So maybe he did really have a vacuum-like life! Just skimming along the ground, chewing as he went. So that's the sense that I make of its adaptation. His short neck (for his type of dinosaur) made only a certain type of eating possible, and I guess his skull shape and teeth fit with that.

      It was a great exhibit! I always find dinosaurs interesting, but I thought this was extra well put together. The way it was lit was fantastic. And as you can see, there were so many unusual dinosaurs. Much more interesting than I even expected!

  2. Really interesting, I'd like to see an exhibit like this. I wouldn't want to meet any of these giant lizards in real life though. I got my hands full with chip monks and mice. Really nice pictures! Interesting how they are bi-pedal.

    1. Matt ~ It was great! If these dinosaurs ever travel to your area, they'd be worth seeing. Actually, they haven't been out and about much before now. I think I read they'd been to two places in the U.S. and two in Canada before now.

      Haha! Oh, that's funny. Hey, you actually do have a little lizard around too! It's true, small creatures are enough to deal with. I can't imagine existing with dinosaurs. Even seeing the little ones run around would be crazy. But these big ones! And the Pterodactyls flying over. How scary would that be? I keep being reminded of different parts in Jurassic Park.

      It is interesting how so many are bi-pedal. That makes it even easier to imagine them running around! I assume those would be the faster dinosaurs.

  3. Sorry to hear you weren't doing well, but I'm glad you're better! I can't believe it's been snowing here all day!

    I like Nigersaurus and the pug croc, I've never heard of them before. I'm going to have to read up on those. You tend to forget there's more to dinosaurs than what you see in Jurassic Park!

    1. Dex ~ Hey! It's good to hear from you! We haven't chatted for a long time. Yeah, it was beginning to feel like the never-ending flu. I am so glad to be feeling better too. It's been snowing all day? How much did you guys get? It snowed here today too, but luckily none of it stuck to the ground. Isn't it crazy for April? We had a beautiful, sunny, 70° day yesterday and today we had a high of 33° and snow! I was glad to get out to the local park yesterday, where I took some photos that might turn into the next blog post.

      The pug croc. :) Yeah, those were two favorites of mine too. Although, I felt like I was saying they were all my favorite through the exhibit. They're worth reading about. I did a little extra reading on some of these after writing this blog post and there is a lot to learn. It's so true! I tend to think of the standard T-Rex, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus stuff. And raptors because of Jurassic Park. It was so fun to see some new dinosaurs!

    2. Yeah I haven't been hanging out on Twitter as much as I used to, which is something I should really try to do.

      We only got a few inches here, nothing too terrible but completely unnecessary for April!

    3. Dex ~ I know what you mean. I've been on Twitter every few days but I really need to get back to the blogosphere! I was happy just to be blogging again, but I haven't been reading other people's blogs as much as I'd like.

      I know what you mean. A few inches of snow is no big deal in December, but in April you just want winter to be over!