Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles: Part 3- The Dinos

Hi.  I am Faith and I am the reason we went to see this museum.  I have been begging since we ended up here in Cali.  Back in Utah there is a really cool museum called the Museum of Ancient Life.  It was fairly close to our home so we spent a lot of time there.  I love to learn about dinosaurs so coming to the NHMLA was pretty cool.  

We saw the gems and minerals first but I was wanting to head to dinosaur hall as soon as we could.  I wanted to get there before the crowds got there.  It was a little bit of a walk to find it but when we did it was just as exciting as I could have imagined.  

One of the best parts of this museum is that we can actually touch real dinosaurs.  Well not real dinosaurs since they are long ago extinct but we got to touch real dinosaur bones.  There was a frill from a Triceratops and a fossil toe bone from a T-rex.  
They both felt a lot like rocks that had been touched by a lot of people.  The bones were darker from where everyone was touching it which helps me understand why we cant get near the big ones on display.   This museum has a lot of glass between us and the dinosaurs.  It kind of throws a lot of glare and makes things not as easy to see.  While I would like to see it without the glass I want these to still be in great condition for people in the future.  

Id like you to meet Thomas.  Thomas is one of the most complete T-Rex fossils ever discovered. He was found by a local school teacher Robert Curry in southeast Montana in 2003-2005.  He is about 70% complete which makes him in the top 10 of the most complete to be discovered.  They think he was about 17 years old, 34 feet long and 7,000 pounds.  When found the excavating team wanted to name him Bob but Robert requested his name be Thomas, after his brother who loved to fossil hunt with him as a child.  On this display you can look into these lighted holes to see close up details of the clues used to learn more about his life. 
Here you can see a close up of the vertebra and the details they learned from it to help determine his age.  Each of the little lighted holes holds another piece and the story it tells.  I loved the way it was magnified to see the tiny details. 


In the center of the Dinosaur Hall is a really cool display of T-rex growth. It has a baby T-rex that was about 2 years old when it died.  It measures 11 feet long and is the youngest known T-rex fossil in the world.  Next to the baby is a juvenile T-rex.  It is about 13 years old and 20 feet long.  This T-rex could have weighted about 4,000 pounds.  That is about my age.  I am glad I am not a T-rex.  My parents wouldn't let me in the house.   
The larger of the three T-rex on display is Thomas.  It is very large compared to the other two.  Its weird to see how much they change over time.  



Getting dinosaurs out of the ground isn't an easy process.  In the Dino Lab you can see them working to get the fossils clean and ready to display for us to see.  The all were wearing gloves and working with small brushes the size of a toothbrush or even smaller.  Its not a fast process.  

Before they get it to the lab though they need to get the fossil out of the ground and in this museum you can see the tools they use.  They have a wall of tools and the descriptions of what they are used for.  



They also have a display of how things are found in the ground.  Its not as simple as just finding a dinosaur in the dirt.  The bones are often scattered from the conditions they died in, the shifting of the ground they are in and the compression of years under ground.  Every step of getting the bones excavated is very difficult and involves a lot of digging. 

I really loved this place.  Dinosaurs are awesome and I love to learn more about them.  Between this museum and the one back in Utah I am wondering where else I can find more cool dinosaur museums.  Vernal Utah is one place on my dinosaur bucket list for sure.  

Thank you, 
Faith. 












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