Monday, November 11, 2013

SVP Report 1: Natural History Museum of LA County

The Natural History Museum of LA County is excellent! I had a chance to visit it during the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting in Los Angeles the week before last. A great museum with some wonderful dinosaur exhibits. Here's a sampling!

Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops face off in the eternal battle of good vs. evil...


Triceratops puts its best foot forward.

Wall of Stuff! Can you identify all of the bones here?

Fruitadens protests the fact that it stands no taller than the hand of a sauropod. Always nice to see heterodontosaurids on display!

Thescelosaurus looks majestic, for once! (I kid, I kid, I love Thescelosaurus. But this is a particularly nice skeletal mount.)

I thought this was a pretty neat display of tracks and their trackmakers! Here's a hadrosaur foot and a hadrosaur footprint.

The centrepiece of the dinosaur galleries must be the Tyrannosaurus trio - juvenile, subadult, and adult - feeding on a carcass. There's a nice display to the side (but behind this photo) showing the preserved elements used to reconstruct the three skulls.

The dinosaurs are split into two galleries, and each has an upper level, allowing for multiple angles of specimen viewing. In this shot you can see Carnotaurus in the foreground, the three tyrannosaurs in the middle, and towards the back are Allosaurus and Stegosaurus.

Juvenile Edmontosaurus skeleton! So cool!

A display case discussing the origin of birds has this Velociraptor skeletal mount...

And a 3D reconstruction of Archaeopteryx! Stripped of its feathers, it really does show off its dinosaurian features.

And a non-dinosaur to wrap things up: I really enjoyed seeing this life-size reconstruction of the Mesozoic marsupial Didelphodon. It really emphasizes just how big some of the Mesozoic mammals could get - the skull is about the size of a opossum or skunk skull.

Next time: The Page Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits!


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