Friday, April 23, 2010

University of Alberta Palaeo Museum

The University of Alberta Laboratory for Vertebrate Paleontology has a small public gallery in the Earth Sciences Building. Although small, it has some very fine specimens.

The dinosaurs may be the showiest and biggest specimens on display, but there are also excellent trilobites and jawless fish.

Champsosaurus lindoei, swimming away.

One of the most important dinosaur specimens is UALVP 2, a skeleton and excellent skull of Stegoceras.

And there are TWO ankylosaur specimens on display! The skull belongs to UALVP 31.

UALVP 10 is a great specimen of Gorgosaurus. Many of the dinosaur specimens on display were collected by George Sternberg, who collected and prepared for a few seasons in the 1920s.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Drumheller in the wintertime.

Drumheller, the town where the Tyrrell Museum is located, is a great town full of concrete dinosaurs and badlands scenery. Most tourists likely see it only in the summer, but I find myself there more often in the winter. It's often very cold, but the snow in the badlands is quite nice, so here are a few photos from various winter trips to Drumheller.

The Hoodoos are a favourite photo spot for good reason, and I think the low winter sun makes for a very nice sky in this shot. These photos are from February 2009.

It was a fairly brisk day, but Scott bravely scouts out the best view of the hoodoos.

And here's Derek for scale with the hoodoos, just as our light gives out at about 5:15 pm.

Fast forward to my most recent visit in February 2010. The giant dinosaur is decked out in Vancouver Olympics mittens - the torch had done a relay stop in Drumheller. Very snazzy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What I've been up to.

To get this blog warmed up, I thought I would post a few pictures about my ankylosaur-related travels from the past few years. I've had the opportunity to visit museums in several different countries now. Today I will start close to home with some pictures from the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, which I've visited several times now both for fun and work.

These first photos are from way back in fall 2006, just after I had moved to Alberta. The museum has changed in many ways since that first visit, including the placement of the statues out front.

Run away!

This is a photo of one of several extinct exhibits (did you see what I did there? eh?) that have been replaced recently. Extreme Dinosaurs showed some of the cool finds, mostly theropods if I recall correctly, from the Sino-Canadian Dinosaur Project. This fella is Sinraptor. I liked the blue and purple lighting.

Although this post is somewhat theropod-heavy, pachycephalosaurs are one of my favourite groups. I think this is one of the only models of a Stegoceras that I know of, and it's a shame it's not on display anymore.

Finally, we'll end with a shot of the Triassic Hall, now inhabited by the stupendous Shonisaurus sikanniensis. This hall had a great diversity of skulls and mounts; in this photo we've got Dilophosaurus and Heterodontosaurus.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let me introduce you to my little friends.

This blog is set up mostly so I can update friends and family about my summer's exploits in Korea, China and Mongolia, but I may update with other travel and dinosaur news of interest from time to time.

My research is on the ankylosaurid dinosaurs, the ones with tail clubs, lots of armour, and, one may expect, bad attitudes. I like them because they have the thick skin and surly demeanor that I lack in real life.

Here are some pictures from a paper on tail clubs I published in PLoS One in 2009.

Thus does the blogging commence.