July 28, 2010
I love visiting the fossil halls of natural history museums, but I have to admit that I sometimes yearn to see new specimens on display. Tyrannosaurus, Apatosaurus, Triceratops, Allosaurus, Edmontosaurus—their skeletons remains as impressive as ever, but given all the new dinosaur species discovered during the past century, it would be refreshing to see some new, lesser-known dinosaurs on display.
If I had free reign to set up a dinosaur hall as I saw fit, for example, I would want to create an exhibit all about the tyrannosauroid dinosaurs. It used to be that we knew only the last and the biggest of the tyrant dinosaurs, but during the past decade our knowledge of tyrannosauroids and their evolution has greatly expanded. Among others, I would love to see tyrannosauroids like Dilong, Appalachiosaurus and Raptorex on display next to their well-known relatives like Gorgosaurus and Tyrannosaurus to illustrate how these predators evolved.
The same could be done with sauropods. We’re all familiar with the classic sauropods such as Diplodocus and Camarasaurus, but what about some of the really bizarre sauropods few people know about? By presenting oddballs like the hoover-mouthed Nigersaurus, the sail-necked Amargasaurus and the armored Saltasaurus next to the classic forms, museum visitors could gain a fuller appreciation for sauropod diversity.
What about you? If you could design a museum dinosaur hall, what would you put in it?
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