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.
Standing at the West end of Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo is a lone statue often overlooked by the two million guests who visit the park each year. Back in the early ‘70s when I first saw it, just about every dinosaur depicted was either T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, or the long-necked Brontosaurus (later changed to “Apatosaurus” before regaining its legitimacy). The zoo’s dinosaur, however, was none of these but rather an obscure duck-billed variety called (at that time) a Trachodon. Despite what I’d seen in books and cartoons, this replica gave me something that I’d never had before; a true sense of scale. For the first time I could look up and appreciate the actual size of these prehistoric monsters and, over forty years later, I’m fortunate to still be able to see it at the zoo today. Only recently would I gain a true appreciation for the treasure that it is. Continue reading