So deciding to make the very best of this very bad situation, the road north seemed just fine. So off to the Bad Lands we go to the Royal Tyrell Museum to catch up on out paleontology and 3.9 billion years of evolution.
Do you know your Cretaceous from your Triassic from your Jurassic? Yeah, I’m a bit rusty too.
Come with me to the museum and we’ll see if we can’t brush up on our history.
Look at this graceful fossil. This is the penultimate image for me. A small dinosaur, so graceful, so elegant, like a dancer in an impossible pose 145 million years ago. It is very hard to believe that this is a dead creature. It looks so alive.
Here is Samantha, a young paleontologist, explaining her work for the day. She is excavating a very small bone from thickly caked mud and debris. She lets me hold a knuckle bone. Knuckle bone! Holy smokes. Soon she will have an entire fossil exposed.
Here is her lab with some of the fossil she is working on.
She tells me that this dinosaur’s teeth were found near his tail. No. Not some funny chase your tail, Night at the Museum, saga. Apparently the Earth moved in such a way to fold the skull to the tail region and the folded again to move the skull away but keep the teeth at the tail. Amazing how the Earth works.
Look here at the dinosaur’s hall (145-75 million BC) gallery. This is what I love. Albertasaurus, Trex, little bird-like creatures, stegosaurus types. Love these all.
And here we have the very slow evolution of mammals.
This one’s for my cats. Look guys 12 thousand years ago, sabre-toothed tigers, small cat like creatures, sloths.
Most of the exhibits were copies of the fossils, and no wonder, the real fossils are extremely fragile. One gallery has the real fossils on exhibit though, including these lovely small creatures.
We end with the emergence of humanoids and cattle like creatures. What a wonderful day.
Tomorrow I have it in mind to drive to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, but it requires driving thru a potentially closed and flooded town. we’ll see if I get there. Wish me luck.