January 20, 2012
I have a fondness for roadside dinosaurs. Not because they’re accurate. Quite the contrary. Concrete and plastic dinosaurs beside America’s highways are often sad, malformed creatures that are truly terrible. Nevertheless, they are a reminder of the popularity and cultural importance of Mesozoic life, especially along roads that connect fossil-rich exposures where many authentic dinosaurs were found.
My vote for the best worst dinosaurs goes to the monstrosities at Stewart’s Petrified Wood shop near Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. One sad, roughshod theropod is poised to chomp down on a poor mannequin, and a model in a shock wig rides a dilapidated sauropod surrounded by icicle lights (seen above in a photo by David Williams).
But I know there must be others out there. I want to hear your suggestions for the worst roadside dinosaurs. And if you have a snapshot, share the photos of the poor beasts. You can send your submissions to email@example.com. I’ll share the best of the worst later next week.
Sign up for our free email newsletter and receive the best stories from Smithsonian.com each week.