A Prehistoric Pit Stop at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research!

Last August, I took my kids on a South Dakota road trip while making some prehistoric pit stops along the way. At the top of the list was the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research which I’ve wanted to visit for some time. T-Rex enthusiasts know these are the folks who excavated “Sue” and “Stan” and are renowned for their marvelous replicas. To be in “dinosaur country” was particularly exhilarating for a Chicago guy like me, and I was downright giddy when we pulled into the museum’s lot that gorgeous summer evening. We would not be disappointed.

Continue reading

CollectA goes Full Frontal with Megacerops!

I just returned from visiting the Dakotas while making a few Prehistoric Pit Stops along the way. Ironically, a couple of those excursions tied in with a figure I’d just received before I left – CollectA’s Megacerops. This model is part of their Prehistoric Life Collection and, just like their Deinotherium model I reviewed in my last post, breaks the mold in terms of scientific accuracy! Whereas the previous figure depicted a relative of the modern day elephant, this two-toed ungulate was a member of the Titanothere family which shares ancestry with today’s horses, tapirs, and rhinos. It definitely looks like a rhinoceros cousin with its double horns though, unlike rhinos, these are part of the animal’s skull and “true” horns. Their unique appearance illustrates once again how diverse and amazing our planet’s prehistoric mammals truly were.

Continue reading

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center Spotlights Modern Prehistoric Discoveries!

alt="t-rex-stan-replica"

It was a long drive from Moab, Utah before we’d reach the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Colorado; welcomed by replicas of a Styracosaurus and Daspletosaurus standing proudly outside its entrance. In choosing not to display the more traditional T-Rex and Triceratops, we could already see that this attraction would make good on its slogan of being a “whole new species of fun.” The Styracosaurus’ vibrant colors reinforced that boast as modern research suggests dinosaurs were actually quite colorful rather than the drab hues most of us saw them depicted as having in popular culture.

Continue reading