Calgary Dinosaur Museum Calgary Dinosaur Museum

Dino Delights: Top 8 Exhibits at the Calgary Dinosaur Museum

Different species have always piqued the interest of humans. For a long time, the curiosity of us humans has been leading us to some surprising discoveries, be it in the field of innovation, history, or any other. One such species that has always attracted humans and the concept of the beginning of earth is Dinosaurs.

From dinosaur fossils collection to rock formations, fields like Paleontology never fail to curb this hunger for knowledge of ours. One of the many results of this hunger is the Calgary Dinosaur Museum, which is ranked pretty high in the list of the World’s largest collections of fossils and dinosaur remains.

1. The Calgary Dinosaur Museum

1.1. Location and History

Also known as the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, the Calgary Dinosaur Museum is located Drumheller area, located in Calgary city of Canada.

Spread across the landmass of 135,000 sq ft, this museum of Alberta was announced by the Government in 1981 and was finally opened in 1985, after four long years. It was named after Joseph Burr Tyrell, a Canadian Geologist; known for the discovery of Dinosaur bones in Drumheller town, Alberta. It was bestowed the title of ‘Royal’ by Queen Elizabeth II in the year 1990. This place is not only a museum; but a huge learning lounge, found in Calgary.

2. Top 8 Museum Exhibits: Calgary Dinosaur Museum

Royal Tyrrell Museum
Image by SimaGhaffarzadeh from Pixabay

From ancient fossils to dinosaur models as exhibits, the museum tour of the Calgary Dinosaur Museum will allow you to check out various highly interesting and interactive displays of about 800 dinosaur fossils (which are a part of their permanent display), along with an interesting medium of instructions through audio-visual media in Alberta.

Most of the exhibits of this learning lounge are arranged on the basis of their geologic era. In total, the museum’s collection holds over 350 Holotypes and 160,00 fossils; which also makes it the museum with the largest fossil collection exhibits in Canada.

Now, let’s take a look at some interesting parts of this Alberta museum.

2.1. The Dinosaur Hall

T-Rex Specimen
Image by Rachealmarie from Pixabay

Housing one of the world’s largest skeletons of dinosaurs, the Calgary Dinosaur Museum’s Dinosaur Hall presents a bewitching walk full of exhibits, with huge skeletons or remains of various species of dinosaurs and mammals like Triceratops, Camarasaurus, and the most well-known, the Tyrannosaurus rex. The large teeth, strong jaws, and intimidating presence of these large, beautiful, yet scary creatures never fail to take dinosaur fans’ breath away.

2.2. The Cretaceous Alberta

Image by Ray_Shrewsberry from Pixabay

This exhibit will make you feel as if you’ve climbed into a time machine, only to travel 69 million years back, to the Cretaceous period. This exhibit of the Dinosaur Museum displays four Albertosaurus individuals (assumed to be a family), moving around in a dry river channel.

This exhibit is based upon scientific discoveries of a mass grave, where the remains of 12 Albertosaurus Sarcophagus were found.

2.3. The Preparation Lab

Image by Los Muertos Crew from Pexels

As the name suggests, the preparation lab allows its visitors and spectators to see the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into the preparation of fossils before they become a part of the exhibition at the Dinosaur Museum. It allows the visitors (most fascinated of which are the young kids) to spectate the process of fossils being prepared for research and display. If you want to see technicians and paleontologists working their best in all their glory, you’re going to be fascinated with this particular experience! If your kid dreams of working in a research facility, this museum should be on your list without any doubt.

2.4. The Paleozoic Era

Marine life
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This particular area is devoted to marine reptiles and invertebrates, which have made possible the diversity that is found in marine life. The most famous of this exhibit is the Dunkleosteus, which is understood to be a large armoured fish, with a rapidly moving jaw, found more than 350 million years ago, mainly during the Paleozoic Era.

2.5. The Terrestrial Paleozoic

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This exhibit of the Calgary Dinosaur Museum, Alberta is particularly famous for a skeletal exhibit that is mistaken for a dinosaur: The Dimetrodon, which in reality is a huge reptile, which is called to be ‘mammal-like‘, which is now scientifically termed as a ‘stem mammal’. It also gives a glimpse of the Great Dying to the spectators; the event which wiped out about 90% of the living organisms on earth, 252 million years ago.

2.6. The Triassic Giant

If you miss exploring this particular exhibit, you might as well not make a trip to the Calgary Dinosaur Museum at all. The Triassic Giant is the specimen of the largest marine reptile, Shonisaurus sikanniensis.

This specimen was discovered in the 1990s, along the banks of Sikanni Chief River, Northeastern British Columbia. The excavation of this fragile specimen took three field sessions, which took place in the span of 2 years.

2.7. The Cretaceous Garden

This particular section of the museum is famous for the sense of realism it provides to the spectators. This garden contains living relatives of the vegetation of the Cretaceous era, in which you can find various animals and dinosaurs of the same period enjoying the gifts of nature, such as ponds, flora and marshes. This particular exhibit dates back to about 66 – 75 million years ago.

The Cenozoic Gallery of the museum gives an insight into the ‘era of the mammals‘, or the Cenozoic period. This era is famous as the era of continental drift, the emergence of mountains and the distinction of species. After the extinction of non-avian (flightless) dinosaurs, the population and size of mammals began to increase and fill up the ecological space. These events are interactively and efficiently described in this gallery section of the museum, throwing light on the world that existed millions of years ago.

3. The Calgary Dinosaur Museum: Activities Offered

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If you thought this museum only allowed you to act as a spectator, you were wrong. The Calgary Dinosaur Museum allows young kids and other visitors to indulge in various activities as well, which makes the experience much more enjoyable and memorable!

Let’s see what these activities are.

3.1. Badlands Science Camp

This week-long camp is pointed towards young kids and young adults, with a mission to increase environmental awareness among them through the means of education and personal growth. The camp is divided into two categories: The Junior Science Camp and The Senior Science Camp and is held mostly during summer.

While the junior science camp allows kids to work with real dinosaur fossils and dinosaur skeletons of different; the senior science camp, on the other hand, allows young adults to work in real fossil quarries and sort microfossil matrices. This camp is also one of the main attractions of the Calgary Dinosaur Museum, Drumheller, Alberta. Camps like these are the real reason kids love dinosaurs, after all!

3.2. Badlands Interpretive Trail

family walk
Image by Oldiefan from Pixabay

If you’re visiting the Calgary Dinosaur Museum and do not indulge in the activities there, it might be a waste. One such activity, in which you should definitely take part, is the Badlands Interpretive Trail.

On this trail, the visitors are allowed to walk through a 1.4 km long track that passes through the Badlands area surrounding the Dinosaur Provincial Park and takes approximately 30 mins to cover. Throughout the trail, you can find interactive displays in form of signs, which are dedicated to the history of the area, as well.

3.3. Dino Dig

Image by walkersalmanac from Pixabay

Whip out your digging tools and fossil brushes, because the Calgary Dinosaur Museum allows its visitors to indulge in the real-life fossil-digging experience, among other attractions. There are three such programs offered by the museum: Dig Experience, Dino-site and the Express Dig Experience.

All three of these programs allow adults and kids to handle real fossils and remains of different dinosaurs and dig for them using real Paleontology tools, the only difference being that the Express Dig Experience is based inside an indoor site. If you’re planning to indulge in these, make sure to match the vibe and wear hats and sunscreen. However, keep in mind that this experience requires parental guidance due to uneven hikes and handling of tools, for children under 12 years of age.

3.3. Fossil Casting

Do you have a knack for art and sculpting? The Calgary Dinosaur Museum has got you covered with its Fossils Casting experience.

Creating an experience that allows touching and handling real dinosaur remains and fossils, the museum authorities allow its visitors to form a cast of the selected fossil and keep it, during the fossil casting class. This class, held by the Museum located in Drumheller, is instructor-led and is fit for ages 4 and above. It is a fun experience and will allow you to create a souvenir of your visit on your own!

3.4. Visit the Gift Shop

gift shop
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One thing that all museums definitely have is a gift shop, which is filled with attractive show-pieces, miniature replicas and keychains, that will keep your visit to the museum and the exhibits there always fresh in your mind; the Calgary Dinosaur Museum is no exception. Own a dinosaur, dinosaur fossil or dinosaur skeletons (miniature ones, of course), buy a key ring, or buy gifts for your whole family; the museum has always got you covered! This part is definitely among kids’ favourites.

4. The Calgary Dinosaur Museum: Nearby Attractions

4.1. Visit Midland Provincial Park

The Dinosaur Provincial Park is a rich output of the coal mining history of Drumheller, Alberta.

It is a state park, in which the Calgary Dinosaur Museum is located. It is the location of a large mining disaster, which took place in the 1920s, in which many people died after explosions.

Apart from rich history, it also allows visitors to indulge in many interesting activities, such as Canoeing, Kayaking, Fishing and hiking, along the Red Deer River nearby.

4.2. Visit the Drumheller Little Church

Get ready to be bewitched and struck with cuteness at the same time!

This little church is located just outside Drumheller, near the Calgary Dinosaur Museum. It can accommodate as many as 10 people comfortably at once. It was built in 1958 by a local contractor, in cooperation with the ministerial Association. It is erected on the northern side of the north dinosaur trail, and has been booked by some couples for their marriage ceremonies numerous times!

4.3. Admire the World’s Largest dinosaur

Image by Momentmal from Pixabay

If your family takes interest in dinosaurs, Drumheller has got you covered You can also meet World’s Largest Dinosaur, nicknamed Tyra when you visit Drumheller.

This 86ft tall Tyrannosaurus Rex is found about 5 km from the Calgary Dinosaur Museum. It towers over the Drumheller town Valley and gives a breathtaking view to its visitors after a long climb of more than 100 stairs. You can also find a gift shop at the base of Tyra after you look at the magnificent scenes of the Badlands from her jaw (Yes, she’s a she, and 4.5 times bigger than the real dinosaurs of her species).

4.4. Visit Dinosaur Trail Golf & Country Club

With the address ‘6455 N Dinosaur Trail’, the golf course had a 9-hole layout when it was opened in 1965. Today, it has doubled the layout to that of 18 holes. This golf course found in Drumheller is no joke; it requires a lot of skills and practice to master this course.

It counts among the top tourist attractions near the Calgary Dinosaur Museum, found near the Red Deer River. You can explore the grounds and have fun, all while mastering your golfing skills! Spend one summer Sunday here, and you’ll find yourself coming back very soon.

Final Note

Image by Anchesenamon from Pixabay

The Calgary Dinosaur Museum has always attracted people from Canada and around the world. It curbs the hunger for knowledge and the curiosity of various people of the world, which, in reality, is a part of human nature. History gives us a sense of belonging; an image of our past, telling us where we come from. This museum of Canada in Calgary is a by-product of such curious actions only.

If you decide to visit Drumheller, Canada, with your friends or family from any part of the world, a trip to this museum should be on your list without a miss; for it will be a trip memorable.

Have you visited The Calgary Dinosaur Museum, Drumheller, Canada with your friends or family? Tell us about your experience in the comment section!

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