Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Dino Hotel Nears Completion! Part 2

As I mentioned IN THE LAST POST, the Best Western Denver Southwest is nearing its completion!  Soon, it will be the most powerful natural history hotel/museum in the entire galaxy!  In this post, we are going to see more of what makes this dinosaur hotel so freaking awesome!  Let's check out some of the skulls and bones that are going to go in the hotel!  First off, an awesome skull of an Acrocanthosaurus!

A bunch of other awesome bones for the hotel were delivered a few months ago to the Morrison Natural History Museum since the lobby at the hotel wasn't finished yet!  Any guesses as to what is inside of the crate?

I hate to say it, but your guesses were probably wrong.  Here is what was inside, with Pyg modeling for scale!  First off, a pair of Brachiosaurus femora!
One day when the Pachycephalosaurus skull was at the museum, Dr. Bob came in one day with a few other pachycephalosaur skulls belonging to Stygimoloch and Dracorex, and had us paint them!  
You can see that all three skulls are approximately the same size: there's NO way that they are all the same animal, as some paleontologists believe!
Another great picture of the Pachycephalosaurus skull!

Here's another dinosaur skull, this one is Edmontosaurus!
And the third and final awesome skull, a Camarasaurus!
The hotel has many other cool specimens, such as this Allosaurus skull, which was in the lobby!

Not only are there some FANTASTIC skulls, the hotel has some casts of fossil skeletons, as well!  Here is the plan for Wadsworth the Stegosaurus, hanging above the front desk!

First, here is Good Sir Wadsworth before being brought inside!

Wadsworth being hung up!

And finally, the lobby, complete in all of its glory!  Notice the Brachiosaurus femora off to the left, and the Edmontosaurus skull in the cabinet around the middle of the picture!

Here are some more great pictures from the lobby!  Here are the curiosity cabinets under construction:

And the final product, with the Allosaurus skull above the fireplace!

If you travel to the dining hall, right off the lobby, you can enjoy lots of fun food, just as an enormous Tylosaurus (now named Sophie) would have done 70 million years ago!  First, some pictures of Sophie!

The flipper of the specimen!

As we mentioned before, this Tylosaurus wasn't hungry when it died!  In the stomach of this beatsie are the remains of a small creature called Dolichorhynchops!  To learn more about both Tylosaurus and Dolichorhynchops, click the link HERE!

Some days, you can also check out a fun-filled and exciting fossil table, crammed full of awesome goodies!  Here are several shots of that!

They also have an awesome donation box for the Morrison Museum!  This mosasaur skull, belonging to another Western Interior Seaway critter called Clidastes, will sit inside of it!

Indeed, this hotel is full of prehistoric from top to bottom!  Actually, literally to the top, as the hotel will have a Pteranodon weathervane!  Here are the plans, and the actual weathervane itself!

Want to hear more about the hotel, but just won't be in the area anytime soon?  Not a problem!  Like their Facebook page by clicking HERE!  Not only do they share lots of awesome pictures and fun facts, they also create lots of fun Dino Memes!  Here is one of my favorites (partly because they included a link to our Xiphactinus: The Inception Fossil post when they uploaded the picture to Facebook!), but partly because it's an awesome meme!

And here is the first in a series of "Fun Fact" memes that I am working on with the Tally's!

Hope to see you all at the hotel!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Other Things at the Quarry: Dinosaur Road Trip With Grace Part 5


-Grace Albers and I are taking a trip down to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado.
-We checked out some cool petroglyphs and then camped the night.
-We arrived at the quarry and checked out all of the awesome bones on the quarry face.
-And now....
In the last post, we looked at a bunch of pictures that we took from the second floor viewing platform of the quarry face.  In this post, we have traveled below the viewing platform to the first floor to check out some of the awesome fossils that they had below!  Below is a diagram of the quarry wall that shows where the original discovery of the site was made!
Here we have the skull of a species of Allosaurus called Allosaurus jimmadseni!  I believe that this species has not been officially described, but to be honest, the genus Allosaurus is a bit of a mess, so I'm not really sure what exactly is going on!
The arm of Allosaurus.
The foot bones that were discovered of Allosaurus jimmadseni inside a reconstructed footprint!
The skull of Allosaurus jimmadseni in situ (which means that it still is in the rock).
The skull of Allosaurus!
The reconstructed skeleton of Allosaurus!
This nearly complete juvenile skeleton of Camarasaurus is apparently the most complete sauropod skeleton ever found!
One of the signs at the quarry said that a new species of sauropod, called Abydosaurus, has been discovered in the monument in a different geologic formation called the Cedar Mountain Formation!
Here is the skull of Apatosaurus louisae.
A Camarasaurus tooth on the left and several Diplodocus teeth on the right!
Skin impressions of another sauropod dinosaur called Barosaurus!
One of the tail spikes of Stegosaurus!
One of the plates of Stegosaurus!
Some of the baby Stegosaurus bones discovered in the quarry!
The skull of the small ornithopod Dryosaurus!
Unidentified lizard legs and feet.
A small crocodilian called Hoplosuchus.
A fossil conifer cone.
A fossil conifer branch with shoots!
The fossilized remains of an extinct salamander called Iridotriton!
The fossilized remains of the extinct frog Rhadinosteus!
A fossilized shell belonging to a juvenile Glyptops, a type of turtle!
A lungfish tooth plate from a fish called Ceratodus!
The shell of another extinct turtle called Dinochelys.
A fossil clam.
The fossilized belly scales of the extinct crocodilian Goniopholis.
The fossilized jaw bone of the same extinct crocodile, Goniopholis!
Next time: a few more petroglyphs and the Harper's Corner Drive!

The Quarry: Dinosaur Road Trip With Grace Part 4


-Grace Albers and I are taking a trip down to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado.
-We checked out some cool petroglyphs and then camped the night.
-We arrived at the quarry.
-And now....

Before we begin, I am going to upload two pictures of dinosaur skeletons that may be useful throughout this post.  The first is the sauropod dinosaur Camarasaurus, and the second is the stegosaur Stegosaurus.  When you see the labeled bones of two other sauropods called Diplodocus and Apatosaurus, you can refer to the Camarasaurus skeleton diagram below.  

A sidelong shot of the quarry face!
Pyg takes a look at the quarry face!
The vast jumble of bones from all sorts of different animals and dinosaurs is thought to be the result of the death of various animals upstream, and then their bones being washed together!  This explains why most of the bones at the quarry are disarticulated (or not fossilized next to each other like they would look like in real life), and are miscellaneous bones from such a wide assortment of creatures!
Bones aren't the only things that are found at the quarry, however!  Here are two pictures of fossil wood!
Pyg takes another look at the quarry face!  You can see the first fossilized log right above her head in the picture.
Remember before, when we mentioned most bones at the quarry are disarticulated?  Well, there are some bones that are articulated, most of which are part of the vertebral columns of various animals.  This looks like the tail vertebrae of something!
An articulated leg, possibly of a Stegosaurus.
A pair of femora belonging to something!
Looks like a rib bone to me!
An assortment of more bones.
Most of what would be considered the "cool fossils" (like skulls and claws) have been removed from the quarry.  According to Dinosaur National Monuments website, the only two skulls that remain belong to Camarasaurus: here is one of those skulls!
I can't identify most of the bones that I see in these pictures, but fortunately the monument sells a guide for a dollar which we bought.  Although the guide doesn't have all of the bones in it (not by a long shot!), it did have a fairly wide selection.  Here are a few of the bones that they identified!
One of the only claws that I saw (not to say that there weren't any others out there) is in the picture below.
Possibly a sauropod ilium.
Several bones identified.
What looks to me like a sauropod vertebrae.
Several articulated vertebrae.
More bony jumbles!
You can also see the top of the quarry wall in this bony jumble shot!
A Stegosaurus plate lies just about in the middle of this shot!
Here is a brief guide to some of the Camarasaurus bones found in the quarry!
A Stegosaurus sacrum (the center, or "body," of the big butterfly-shaped bone) and the left and right ilium (the outer parts, or "wings," of the big butterfly-shaped bone).
More of the quarry face.
A few more shots of various articulated vertebral columns!
A close up of another vertebrae, possibly a sauropod!
A few more shots of Stegosaurus plates!
The plate from the last picture is in the top right hand corner of this picture of what I think might be a sauropod coracoid.
Next time: other things at the quarry!
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