Dinosaur Dreams and Stories –Past and Now

Until I moved to Alberta, dinosaurs never dented my consciousness.

World’s Biggest Museum Dedicated to Dinosaurs
It was not until a few years ago I accompanied a sister’s family to dinosaur excavation and research hub, at the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology

Sign in Alberta’s Badlands enroute to museum. Drumheller, AB 2012. Photo by J.Chong

in Drumheller. It’s in Canada’s Badlands where the dinosaurs roamed or swam and now, where some bones and fossil rocks have been excavated over the decades.

Prehistoric mantee flipper. Royal Tyrell Museum, Drumheller AB 2012. Photo by J.Chong

It’s the biggest museum in the world devoted to just palaeontology or dinosaurs. Given the reality it sits in dinosaur bones rich part of the world.

Royal Tyrell Museum. Drumheller, AB 2012. Photo by J.Chong

Until one drops by the museum in the windswept, dry rocky area, there is no real clue that there is an international facility of dinosaur research.

Horse Thief Canyon, by Dinosaur Trail. Geological formations give it Canada’s Badlands where prehistoric bones and fossils have been found. Drumheller, AB 2012. Photo by J.Chong. Locals do camp in this area. Summer temperatures can be hot and dry –ie. over 35 degrees C.
Evidence of monstrous dinsosaurs long ago. Royal Tyrell Museum, Drumheller AB 2012.

The kitschy towering dinosaur model towering over 3 stories high, distracts from the serious matter of cleaning, identifying the skeletons and fossils with ugly machines and researchers with face masks.

Three-storey high dinosaur towers in tiny Drumheller where visitors can walk up stairs for a view. 2012. Photo by J.Chong
Horse Thief Canyon. Dinosaur Trail. Drumheller, Alberta 2012. Photo by J.Chong

Then later with newspaper reports here and there, of recent dinosaur skeleton discoveries, it makes more sense.  Like northern in the oil tar sands, where an oil worker unearthed another one in 2011 near Fort McMurray.

Certain areas of Alberta are rich in prehistoric bones and fossils. Area millions of years ago a tropical and also a sea.

The museum does have truly stunning exhibits of these prehistoric skeletal creatures lumbering across what was a tropical, even buried sea area in prairie  Alberta.  There is even a dinosaur specific to the area, named by the scientists as the Albertasaurus.

One of the larger models excavated. Royal Tyrell Museum, Drumheller 2012. Photo by J.Chong
Rock fossils display long gone underwater reef life. Royal Tyrell Museum, Drumheller 2012. Photo by J.Chong
Metal sculpture of dinsosaur graces a park by a bike-pedestrian path at a science educational centre. Calgary, AB 2019. Photo by J.Chong

Can’t Resist Claiming Dinosaur Heritage
So no wonder, Alberta does claim its dino heritage. Like the dinosaur metal art sculpture outside the Telus Spark Science Centre out in Nose Creek Park in Calgary.  Anyone who bike commutes daily through the park, sees this friendly hulking creature frozen, in the urban linear park by the children’s playground.

Prehistoric Jefferson Sloth was discovered in Alberta. Royal Museum of Alberta, Edmonton 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Smaller skeleton on right, depicts a prehistoric camel that roamed western part of Canada millions of years ago. Royal Museum of Alberta, Edmonton 2018. Photo by J.Chong

Or at the newly retrofitted Royal Museum of Alberta (RAM), where a few rooms were dedicated to dinosaur models. Wonder what other subject matter artifacts the RAM had to sequestered in the warehouse archives in order to showcase dinosaur models as a crowd magnet, especially those with children.

Ammomite is Alberta’s provincial stone. Its origins is petrified wood. Jewellery is made from the stone but not seen often as worn by locals. Royal Museum of Alberta 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Towering prehistoric models impress visitors. Royal Museum of Alberta 2018.

Amazingly even at the government of Alberta’s website, it instructs people not to sell any discovered fossils in their hikes, that they must fill out a form and submit it to disclose this. There must be enough fossil rock lying around.

Dinosaur metal art sculpture — a permanent fixture by Telus Spark Science Centre. Calgary AB 2019. Photo by J.Chong
Fiery mechanical dragon-dinosaur at the annual Beakershead, a mash-up festival of science, engineering and art. Calgary, AB 2017. Photo by J.Chong

You wouldn’t guess across some of the dull flat prairies and into the badlands hinterland, there is such mine of fossils and dinosaur stories waiting to be unearthed.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Lani says:

    Super cool! I’ve loved dinosaurs since I was a kid, fascinated by them, what happened to them, etc. Another reason to hit up Canada! The largest in the world? Nice…


    1. Jean says:

      I actually never paid attention to dinosaurs when I was a kid. I wish we had spent more time in the badlands, but it was just a day trip and it was nearly 38 degrees C that day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marta says:

    Very interesting museum! My husband would love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jean, this looks like the perfect museum for dinosaur fans. The Badlands contains some of the finest collections of dinosaur bones in the world, and I look forward to vistiing the Canadian side. ~James

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      And make sure to drop by Banff National Park. Also Yoho National Park is right by the British Columbian border after Banff.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mabel Kwong says:

    What a lovely exhibit, Jean. That is amazing the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology is the largest museum on dinosaurs. It never occurred to me Canada was probably one the places home to many dinosaurs. The dinosaur towers must be massive for people to climb up and stick their heads out of the dinosaur’s head. I wonder how often to people over there find fossils on the ground while out hiking. I know I’ve never come across such as thing and if I did, I’d be sure to turn it to the nearest research facility.

    Also this post reminded me of the Jurassic Park movies I watched over and over again when I was much younger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      I wasn’t much into dinosaurs when I was a kid. Like Australia, CAnada has huge tracts of wilderness and some diverse geological/topographical formations (except we might have way more tundra and snow)..places where once upon a time, dinsosurs might have roamed.


      1. Mabel Kwong says:

        When I think of Canada, I do think of its wilderness and tall lush trees. And also cold and snow for most part of the year.


        1. Jean says:

          Right now, cold and snow is a frequent reminder. 🙂 Merry Christmas, Mabel!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Angelilie says:

    I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and very interesting blog. I come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. A soon.


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