It’s a Woolly Rhino Winter In Chicago!

A Woolly Rhinoceros would feel right at home in Chicago these days. With yet another round of subzero temps, I was reminded of the value of a nice, warm coat. Back in the Pleistocene, many animals adapted to frigid temps by growing impressive ones of their own, including an extinct species of rhino that’s the topic of today’s blog. As you know, I’m crazy about modern day elephants and rhinos, so it’s always a pleasure adding models of their ancient relatives to my collection. Though Woolly Mammoths get their fair share of attention, Safari Ltd. has shifted their focus to a couple of lesser-knowns such as the 2018 Mastodon and a brand new Woolly Rhino for this year. So let’s take a look at their latest “fuzzy” creation.

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2019 Safari Ltd’s Splashy Styracosaurus!

It’s a new year and a new Ceratopsian from our friends at Safari Ltd. And this one’s so colorful it has no trouble standing out from the rest. Their 2019 Styracosaurus is even more striking than last year’s Triceratops and already making a splash on my horned dinosaur shelf. Though many companies have released their own model of this creature, I believe this is one of the best. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself…

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Beasts of the Mesozoic…finally on my Shelf!

Although I’ve always been fascinated with dinosaurs, it wasn’t until the summer of 2016 that I’d start collecting models. I was traveling through the Southwest and stopped off at the Dinosaur Track Museum in St. George, Utah. As I shared in my coverage of the museum, it was their gift shop that opened my eyes to just how far dinosaur “toys” had come along since the days of my Marx playset back in the ‘70s. They even featured some of the figures from Safari Ltd., CollectA, PAPO and Schleich alongside their fossil replicas to provide guests a handy visual of what the animal looked like in life. I thought this both clever and economical – especially considering how much attention to accuracy these companies put into them. In this regard, there are few that can match David Silva’s Beasts of the Mesozoic raptor series. At the time I began collecting, they were part of a Kickstarter campaign that saw fruition this past spring. This past summer, and exactly two years after my trip through the Southwest, these gorgeous pieces finally made it to my door.

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Viva Maximo! The Field Museum’s Titanosaurus

2018 was a banner year for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Just as their iconic T-Rex, Sue, was dismantled and relocated upstairs in a more complete representation, they also welcomed the addition of some stunning Pterosaurs and a gigantic Titanosaur. Maximo has now secured his position as the king of Stanley Field Hall and definitely worth making a special trip to see…especially if you plan it on or after December 21st after Sue makes her dramatic return.

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FINALLY finding Louisville’s 1964 New York World’s Fair Triceratops!

In 2016 I posted about the Sinclair dinosaurs featured at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and my quest to eventually track them all down. In some ways, it was a celebratory blog as I’d just seen the first two outside my Chicago where “Archie” the duckbill has resided since I was a kid. Finding the T-Rex and Apatosaurus in Glen Rose, Texas was great but not my first attempt at finding one. Earlier in 2015, I was traveling through Louisville and searching all over an industrial park in search of the elusive Triceratops. This dinosaur spent some time in the Louisville Science Center before being sent into “storage” a.k.a. a parking lot in an industrial park. At the time, I was on a tight schedule and unsuccessful in finding the Triceratops in the short window I had. I’m happy to say that my second attempt last weekend was much more fruitful.

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Have you “Herd” about Eofauna’s Straight-Tusked Elephant?

There’s no question, the most endearing order of mammals to me is Proboscidea a.k.a. “trunked” animals like their only living examples, elephants. And what’s not to love? Their majestic stature, fused nose with their upper lips (trunks), and specialized teeth/tusks make them all unmistakable cousins despite their incredible diversity. Every major model company has released members of this order with several standing out as my favorites. I’ve reviewed most of them already such as Safari Ltd.’s Woolly Mammoth and Mastodon, CollectA’s Deinotherium, and Eofauna’s Steppe Mammoth. This year the rogue Eofauna has struck gold again with their incredible sophomore release – Palaeoloxodon antiquus the Straight-tusked elephant.

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Quetzalcoatlus Lands at the Field Museum of Natural History!

Maximo isn’t the only new, permanent feature at Chicago’s Field Museum. The immense Titanosaur brought along a few flying reptiles to further engage us until the return of our favorite T-Rex, Sue. Of course, Pterosaurs aren’t new to this museum and even before the big changes a pteranodon hovered over Stanley Field Hall; directing guests to the “Evolving Planet” exhibit upstairs. That model, however, has been dwarfed by its replacement – a life-sized, flying Quetzalcoatlus!

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