Our fourth and last stop on our epic dinosaur road trip, that was dinosaur related at least, was the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.
The Museum of the Rockies is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a Federal Repository for fossils. It’s located on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman. And of course, it has an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils.
The museum changes exhibits fairly regularly, about once a year, so there’s a lot to see.
But one constant is Big Mike, the T-rex who stands out in front of the museum. Big Mike is a bronze cast of T-rex, MOR 555, and was dedicated in 2001 in memory of Dr. Michael P. Malone, the President of Montana State University from 1991 to 1999.
We got to meet Dr. John Scannella, who worked with Jack Horner and is now the interim curator at the museum. Like us, John also had a dinosaur themed wedding, so of course we hit it off right away.
In 2010, John and Jack published research on the growth patterns of 38 skulls (Triceratops and Torosaurus) from the Hell Creek Formation and suggested that Torosaurus was an adult version of Triceratops.
This has caused a lot of debate, and is still considered controversial.
That said, one of the displays we saw was the growth and behavior series of Triceratops, which shows a number of skulls, various ages and sizes, side by side to show just how big Triceratops became. The largest skull is about the size of a car.
Another display had a series of T-rex skulls to show the growth of the “tyrant king.” Though, even the smallest skull was full of sharp teeth and would probably have been quite terrifying in life.
There was also a Burrowing Dinosaurs: Digging Deeper Into Dinosaur Behavior exhibit, which shows Oryctodromeus, the first known burrowing dinosaur.
Some of the dinosaurs on display, such as Oryctodromeus, Tenontosaurus, and Deinonychus, are built so you can see their skeletons and their flesh. One half all you see is their bones, and the other half is covered in feathers or skin.
Our very last stop on our road trip before heading home was Reno, Nevada. There’s not a whole lot of dinosaurs in Reno, but our hotel did have an arcade with the Jurassic Park game. We nearly beat the T-rex level.
Reluctantly, we headed home and ended our epic dinosaur road trip. Our week on the road taught us a lot about dinosaurs, and more importantly, what dinosaurs mean to people. We hope to do more trips like this in the future. In the meantime, we have lots of dinosaur goodies to keep us going.
Thanks for listening, and until next time.
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