ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diggin' For Dinosaurs - Royal Tyrrell & California Academy

Updated on March 30, 2010

You can also see the people who prepare and study the fossils. A large, aquarium-like window lets you peer at preparators chipping bone out of rock or making casts. And if you're tired of merely looking, you can try your hand at being a palaeontologists for a day.

For a reasonable fee, the museum will bus you about 20 minutes away into the badlands, where a team of field workers is excavating a bone bed of horned dinosaurs. Museum palaeontologists point out bones eroding out of the earth, hand you a tiny pick and a bucket, and show you how to uncover the specimen about a half-inch at a time. And that's what you'll do for the next six hours. You'll get lunch, water, and a lot of encouragement (and insect bites and a sunburn if you're not careful), and you'll undoubtedly gain a better understanding of what palaeontologists actually do. You don't get to keep your finds, however. All fossils belong to the people of Alberta, which means the provincial government, which means the museum.

If you would rather pass on the hands-on experience, you can simply watch others dig. You get to ask questions and tour the excavation site. The digs are open only in summer. Be sure to call ahead; it's an extremely popular program.

California Academy of Sciences, California

Life Through Time, the evolution exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, is short on large, dramatic dinosaur mounts but long on context, with a few surprises: the addition of live animals that have been around since before the dinosaurs. The decade-old exhibit takes a familiar, chronological approach to natural history, with a video introduction to the development of life from single-celled creatures to dinosaurs and beyond.

A bank of computers near the entrance houses Lifemap, an interactive program developed at the academy, which follows the evolutionary relationships between groups of plants and animals. It's worth spending some time here to learn which characteristics unite, say, sauropod and theropod dinosaurs.

Life began in the seas, and the next room contains some remnants from that distant past. Tanks with live horseshoe crabs, starfish, lungfish, and a preserved coelacanth show some of the life-forms that have endured for 600 million years.

Kids may want to race through life's transition to land to see the dinosaurs, but they should slow down to see the live Chinese giant salamander and chuckwalla lizard, or watch an animated video about how and why life moved from water to land. Near a diorama of a Carboniferous forest is the first fossil cast, a 10-foot-long synapsid Dimetrodon. The label sets the record straight that this sail-finned creature was "definitely not a dinosaur."

Dinosaurs fill the next room. The largest mount shows an Allosaurus chasing, and ready to chomp, a Camptosaurus. Predator and prey perch at the end of a trackway cast with two sets of fossilized footprints, evidence that helped scientists reconstruct the primal scene. It's absolutely almost overwhelmingly chilling and thoroughly realistic.

Continued in: Diggin' For Dinosaurs - California Academy & LA County

Back To Start

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)