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.

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T-Rex “Stan” at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science!

While traveling through the Southwest in 2016, I stopped off at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. The purpose was to see their traveling Buzzsaw Sharks of Long Ago exhibit currently featured at the University of Texas in Austin. It featured Helicoprion fossils as well some fantastic life-size sculptures and over twenty original works of art courtesy of Ray Troll. Though it was ancient sharks that originally drew me to this Prehistoric Pit Stop, they had a pretty nice fossil collection of their own, including yet another cast of Tyrannosaurus Rex, “Stan.”

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Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center Spotlights Modern Prehistoric Discoveries!


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.

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