August 20, 2009
Earlier this summer I asked readers to decide which city deserved the title of “Dinosaur Capital of the World.” Glen Rose, Texas took an early lead, but Drumheller, in Alberta, Canada, is now sitting comfortably in the top spot. A more contentious question, though, is “What is top museum to visit if you want to see dinosaurs?”
There are a number of institutions that could claim the title. I will list a few here, but please add your own picks in the comments if you think I have missed any!
The AMNH will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first major museum I ever visited, and it was the first place I saw real dinosaur bones. Back then, in the late 1980s, the halls were dim and the dinosaurs were still dragging their tails, but seeing those skeletons made me want to be a paleontologist. Most of the mounts have since been updated, though, and the museum has long been home to a vibrant community of dinosaur paleontologists. It is definitely a required stop for any dinosaur fan in New York City.
I had never been to the National Museum of Natural History before this past spring, but I was very impressed by the dinosaur displays and the scientists working there. The exhibit layouts were great and all the classic dinosaurs stars, like Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops, were there. Word has it that the dinosaur exhibit is going to get a facelift soon, too, so I will definitely have to go back there when it is finished.
I can’t speak from personal experience about this one, but from what I have seen the British Natural History Museum mixes classic architecture with plenty of dinosaurs. It looks like a beautiful place to meander among the skeletons, and they have a really neat animatronic Tyrannosaurus to boot!
This museum helped Drumheller lay claim to the title of the “Dinosaur Capital of the World.” Situated near many fossil-bearing deposits, the museum boasts an impressive array of dinosaur skeletons that seem even more imposing against the dark backgrounds of the exhibits. I have only seen the displays in photographs and television documentaries, but it is definitely a museum I would like to visit.
Chicago’s Field Museum is one of the top museums in the United States, and as with the other institutions on this list dinosaurs are among the museum’s main attractions. Even better, they have placed dinosaurs into an evolutionary context with their other fossil exhibits. They can also boast the skeleton of “Sue,” the most complete Tyrannosaurus ever found.
Created by the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in China, this museum holds an impressive collection of specimens, including many not seen any display elsewhere. Every major museum has a Tyrannosaurus or two, but the IVPP’s museum contains many exhibits showcasing the prehistory of China.
All of these museums carry out important research and have absolutely stunning exhibits, but if you had to pick just one to visit, which would you choose? Cast your vote in our poll below, and don’t forget to tell us why you picked your favorite!
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