The second stop on our epic dinosaur road trip was to the Royal Tyrrell museum in Drumheller, Alberta.
Drumheller is full of dinosaurs, and not just in the Royal Tyrrell. There are 30-31 dinosaur statues placed around the city, and Drumheller is also home to the World’s Largest Dinosaur (at least to climb in).
This T-rex opened to the public in 2001, and at 86 ft (25 m) tall, it’s 4.5 times bigger than a real T-rex. It can also fit up to 12 people in its mouth, as long as those 12 people are willing to climb the 106 stairs to get to the top.
The Royal Tyrrell opened in September 1985, and attracts tons of visitors each year. In 2015 alone, they had nearly half a million visitors, though it’s possible Jurassic World helped boost their attendance. 9 paleontologists work at the museum, so there is always something exciting going on.
The museum is named after Joseph Burr Tyrrell, a Canadian geologist who found the skull of the first known carnivorous dinosaur in Canada, eventually named Albertosaurus. The museum was granted the name Royal in 1990 by Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition of its international importance.
The Royal Tyrrell recently updated its exhibits, and the first exhibit we saw when we entered was Foundations, which opened in May of 2016. The idea is to teach visitors about the development of life on Earth, and you walk through three areas and see more than 90 specimens.
We got to speak with Cameron White, Security Supervisor at the museum, who supervises the gallery experience officer team, and he gave us a lovely tour. The Royal Tyrrell often displays actual fossils alongside replicas, and they’re kind enough to let visitors know what’s real and what’s a cast.
We met Jessica, who prepares fossils right in front of you and is happy to answer questions.
We also spent a fair amount of time enjoying the art gallery room, which is set up to look like an art gallery, but with dinosaurs.
But the best part was seeing Black Beauty, one of the most complete T-rex skeletons found so far, majestic in her death pose.