October 18, 2016.
The VLM’s new Dinosaur Discovery Trail opened this past Saturday. October 15, 2016. By closing time on Sunday the 16th almost 3,000 visitors had passed through our doors to see this new permanent outdoor exhibit. But for all you dinosaur fans (including my good friend Nathan!) that can’t be here for a visit right now, here’s a virtual tour of the dinosaurs on the trail! When you first enter….
….and turn right, you’ll see Brachiosaurus, a long-necked herbivore:
Then a smaller dinosaur called Guanlong–its fossils have been found in China:
Stegosaurus is close by–famous for its two rows of bony plates down its back:
My all-time favorite meat-eating dinosaur, Allosaurus lurks close behind Stegosaurus–in fact two of them!
A little further on the trail, we see a predator and prey scene, with the duck-billed dinosaur Tenontosaurus being hunted by a pack of three Deinonychus:
Parasaurolophus, with it’s beautiful crested head is next on the trail….scientists think it used its crest to make sounds to communicate with others of its kind. What kind of sounds do you think it made?
Velociraptor fossils have been found in northern Asia. Scientists think its arms may have been covered in feathers, though it could not fly:
Spinosaurus had giant spines down its back which may have been joined by skin to form a sail-like ridge. I wonder what it was for?
Hysilophodon, a small plant-eating dinosaur, had a beak-like mouth. This model is pretty close to full-sized!
The fierce Dromaeosaurus had hind feet with a large sickle-shaped claw on its second toe like its “cousin” Deinonychus–and sharp teeth!
The ever-popular Triceratops is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs with three horns on its face and a bony frill at the back of its head:
The king of the dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex meets us at the end of the trail, one of the largest meat-eating land animals of all time:
And, though it’s not a true dinosaur (it’s technically a “flying reptile”) Pteranodon can be seen swooping out of the trees as we leave the trail:
Hope you enjoyed the “tour!” The trail also features a large children’s “paleo field camp” play area and three huts featuring real and replica fossils. So there’s a lot more to explore on the Dinosaur Discovery Trail–hope to see you out here! Cheers, Lisa