OK, so aside from Ken Carpenter pulling remains of a brutalized Allosaurus and the perpetrator’s weapon out of a drawer at me, what else is there to say about the Denver Museum of Nature and Science?
First of all I should say that I saw little more than the dinosaur exhibit and the fossil mammal exhibit. The dino mounts are, as mentioned, pretty good. Very good indeed – not over-posed, and anatomically quite sound. The Edmontosaurus looks slim, powerful, almost horse-like.
Anterior view of the Edmontosaurus mount. With the skull out of the picture and the tail hidden from view this has a very primitive-unuglate feel to it! Note the forelimb comparison exhibit (Stego vs. Edmonto) in the back.
There is a group of momma Stegosaurus with two little ones, and an Allosaurus molesting them. Again, the postures aren’t overdone (I’m not too sure about the predator, though, because I don’t have a photo of it *blush*), and the mounts look like living animals, not some antediluvian behemoths.
One thing that jumps at me now from the pictures the same way it did from the real skeletons back then is how the limbs are properly articulated. OK, maybe not perfect, we’ve learned a lot about archosaur cartilage caps since then, but there are no oddly twisted humerus or femur heads, or massively splayed feet. And the stego babies are a thing of beauty! They are, IIRC, based on two semi-complete skeletons, all the stego baby material there is. I really like the dynamic running pose Ken had them put in!
Then, there is a nice display of Coelophysis, with a large animal running off with a piece of prey and a young one trying to get a piece of it, too.
Here’s another view. Note how lovingly the ground was crafted (no plastic pot plants, no stupid gravel), while at the same time being totally unobtrusive.
Not all dinosaurs stuff is in the setting of a prehistoric diorama. There is, for example, a solitary Edmontosaurus head, not high up as it is on the mount, but at eye level. Great!
Then, there are the fossil mammals. I am not very knowledgeable about them, so please don’t expect any detailed discussions. I’ll just show a few pics and remark on the excellent mounting and exhibit design.
Rhino Trigonias osborni (another nearly useless wikiperida link) skeleton and bonebed. What luck for the museum that there were no large theropods around to scavenge the carcasses. 😉
Dinohyus hollandi (now Daeodon hollandi) life model. The only good thing this ugly beast has going for it is the first four letters of the genus name :p
One more: Hyaenodon crucians having a go at a Merycoidodon culbertsoni.
And now, to pacify the vegetarians, I have a plant to show off. Pretty Green River stuff, the DMNS has quite a bit of that.
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