D is for Dinosaur

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Today’s entry for the travel theme of the A to Z Challenge is not a particular location but rather a theme. When I travel, one thing I love to do is visit museums. And if there are several museums and I have to choose but one, I will almost always choose to visit the dinosaur museum. So today, D is for Dinosaur.

I was one of those kids who knew how to pronounce every dinosaur name, and I could spell “paleontologist” before I could spell my own name. As an adult, I still get excited about dinosaurs, so I visit every dinosaur museum I possibly can. I’ve been to more museums that I can count, but I thought I would pick a few (okay, 5) to introduce. If you ever get the chance, I recommend these museums to bring out your inner dinosaur geek!

1. Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies is located in Bozeman, Montana (US), and in addition to information about the rich cultural history of Montana, the MoR is noted for its superb collection of Montana dinosaurs. The Dinosaurs Under the Big Sky permanent exhibit contains an abundance of fossil specimens and is curated by world-famous paleontologist Jack Horner. This exhibit focuses on the ecology and biology of dinosaurs throughout the Mesozoic. Public tours are available during the busier summer season.

Museum of the Rockies

“Big Mike” the T. rex welcomes visitors to the Museum of the Rockies – photo by kei

2. Royal Tyrrell Museum

The Royal Tyrrell Museum is located in the town of Drumheller, in the province of Alberta in Canada. It is located in the midst of prime dinosaur territory, only two hours from Dinosaur Provincial Park. This museum has visually stunning displays that detail the history of life on the planet.

Royal Tyrrell Museum

The World’s Largest Dinosaur overlooks Drumheller in Alberta, Canada, near the Royal Tyrrell Museum – photo by kei

Royal Tyrrell Museum Royal Tyrrell Museum

3. Houston Museum of Natural Science

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is in the city of Houston, Texas (US). In addition to an amazing mineral collection and too many exhibits to visit in one day, the museum boasts a huge fossil hall with impressive giant skeletons representing the history of life on Earth.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Dinosaur hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science – photo by kei

4. San Diego Museum of Natural History

The San Diego Museum of Natural History is in San Diego, California (US). In addition to beautiful dinosaur panoramas, the museum details fossil finds from (primarily Quaternary) coastal California such as whales, walruses, and predators.

San Diego Museum of Natural History

Dinosaurs, megasharks, and more at the San Diego Museum of Natural History – photo by kei

5. Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum / 福井県立恐竜博物館

The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is located in the city of Katsuyama in Fukui Prefecture in Japan. This is the largest research museum in Japan, and it is located just a few kilometers from Japan’s largest excavation site.

Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

So I still get excited about dinosaur museums, and I love to spend hours wandering the halls. I love fossils, but I also love reconstructions and to hypothesize about the ecology of these beasts. There’s just something incredibly fascinating about dinosaurs…

What is your favorite dinosaur museum to visit? Have you been to any of the ones on my list? Do you have any recommendations for future dinosaur museum trips? Let me know in the comments!

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10 thoughts on “D is for Dinosaur

  1. I can’t quite recall if I’ve ever been to any dinosaur museum and I certainly have not been to any of the museums on your list here but since I too am a dinosaur-mini-fan, I’ll definitely seek some of them out 🙂

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    • Often the dinosaur exhibits are in the museum of natural history or natural science, along with other exhibits. It seems like most major cities have some kind of natural history museum so you might start at the one nearest to you!

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    • I would love to visit the London Natural History Museum! If I could visit the natural history museum in every major city I think I’d be quite pleased. The Royal Tyrrell is in a city that’s a bit out of the way, but you can combine a summer trip with taking part in a fossil dig! The landscape is amazing.

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