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Tuesday 30 July 2013

Royal Tyrell Museum

You may remember that I mentioned that we visited a dinosaur museum last week in the Canadian Badlands.

I'm slowly getting around to catching up with my travel posts so it's time for a look at the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller - or the Dinosaur Museum as the girls like to call it.

The girls were both pretty excited about visiting the dinosaur museum. When asked what they were looking forward to seeing in Canada before our trip they'd respond in unison with "Dinosaurs!". This answer was usually met with looks of confusion from others until I'd explain that Alberta is a major dinosaur fossil site. Large numbers of dinosaur bones and fossils have been discovered in the Badlands area since geologist Joseph Burr Tyrell's (the museum's namesake) 1884 discovery of the skull of a large carnivorous dinosaur later named Albertosaurus.

The Royal Tyrell Museum is located just a few kilometres from the location of that first fossil discovery. The girls had been hopeful that they too would find their very own fossils while we were in the area. No new fossil finds for us but we did see a lot on display in the museum, along with plenty of other interesting exhibits. Here's a look...

Dinosaur models greet visitors in the Cretaceous Alberta room


The special Alberta Unearthed exhibit featured 25 of the most significant dinosaur finds in Alberta, including this fantastic Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton among others.

This Tyrannosaurus rex was found by teenagers on a fishing trip. What a find!

Triceratops skull

In the Preparation Lab paleontologists can be seen at work cleaning up and preparing fossils. One such paleontologist is available to answer questions and to give visitors a close up look at the work they do. They also have a few fossils available that visitors can touch, including a dinosaur toe bone - just a little bigger than one of Lola's!

The preparation lab

Ava watches a paleontologist at work

That toe bone doesn't belong to Lola's little feet!

In the Lords of the Land room we were met with a huge Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton and the gem of the museum's collections, an intact Gorgosaurus in the classic death pose with its head and tail curled inward.

The girls check out a juvenile Gorgosaurus (in a classic death pose) which was discovered nearby.

Tyrannosaurus rex

The girls and I with the Tyrannosaurus rex

The Dinosaur Hall features one of the world's largest displays of dinosaur remains and was a favourite with the girls. Here we saw full skeletons of Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Camarasaurus... So many dinosaurs!

Another tyrannosaurus rex


Almost as tall as a Camarasaurus leg!

Even I'm not as tall as a Camarasaurus leg!

Estemennosuchus skull


That's a big head!

Triceratops skull

Bumpy skull

A little bigger than Ava!

Trying to climb a tree? 


Tyrannosaurus rex


In the Terrestrial Paleozoic room we found ancient reptiles than aren't actually dinosaurs but are commonly mistaken for being dinosaurs; Dimetrodons. The girls like these smaller "kid sized dinosaurs" as we called them.

Ava and Lola liked the Dimetrodons with their "mohawks"!


The special exhibit Triassic Giant features the worlds longest sea reptile, an Icthyosaur measureing 21 metres in length. This giant is so big that a whole room is dedicated to just it!

This Icthyosaur was 21 metres in length and the longest sea reptile

The Ice Age room moves a little closer to today and features an impressive woolly mammoth skeleton - complete with sabre tooth cats attacking it!

Woolly Mammoth

After we'd seen all of the exhibits inside the museum we headed outside for a walk along the trails through the surrounding area. You can see more photos from our walk on my earlier The Badlands post here.

Family shot in the Badlands

Ava off for a walk

One last stop at the museum before heading off to our hotel; posing with the dinosaur statues out the front, of course!

Lola and her new friend

Ava's new friend

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sally, I love your post on the dinosaur museum in Drumheller. Thank you! I found your website via Pinterest, when preparing for our trip to Canada in 2015 (yes, already preparing ;-). I can only hope our pictures will be as great as the ones you took of your family.


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