July 27, 2011
Wall Drug in South Dakota is the ultimate roadside attraction. It’s advertised on goofy billboards all along Interstate 90, features a camel-size jackalope, sells all kinds of trinkets, has a gold-panning operation for kids and is decorated in full high-country kitsch. If you make it past the animatronic cowboy singers and the ice cream parlor and the teepee and the Western wear shop, be sure to stop and admire the T. rex looming out of a patch of palm fronds. Every ten minutes or so, the T. rex comes to life: It shakes its head, snaps its jaws menacingly and roars (or, as commenter Belle put it best, RAWRs) as dry-ice steam spews from the display.
Have you seen a dinosaur or other prehistoric creature in an unusual place? Please send your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 7, 2011
Just a quick note that Science magazine’s website is running a live chat this afternoon at 3:00 about new techniques to reveal color in fossils. Phil Manning and Roy Wogelius will take your questions about “the latest insights into what ancient birds, mammals and dinosaurs really looked like—and how their appearance may have affected their behavior and evolution.”
March 31, 2011
Pliosaurs are not technically dinosaurs, but they were fellow travelers. Both clades lived in the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, went extinct about 65 million years ago and were gigantic, toothy and bizarre.
Former Food & Think blogger Amanda Bensen (now Fiegl) left Smithsonian a few months ago to take a job with our arch-nemesis, National Geographic. She snapped this photo of a blow-up 45-foot pliosaur in front of her new office building; it’s there to promote a program called “Death of a Sea Monster.”
Note the lovely cherry blossoms—it’s springtime in Washington.
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July 7, 2010
The coast of Maine, like any good vacation destination, is full of fudge shops. They all tend to have the same selection of candies, the same line of sunburned kids and the same sticky sweet smell. But only one (that I know of) has a shocking pink triceratops Styracosaurus (sharp readers: thanks for the catch!) out front. The color doesn’t come through well in this rainy-day photo, but the dino is as pink as pink can be. It’s in front of Perry’s Nut House (you can see more pictures at the website of the shop next door, Bennett’s Gems and Jewelry) in Belfast, Maine, just off of coastal Highway 1. Perry’s is no South of the Border when it comes to tourist traps, but the triceratops Styracosaurus probably does lure in a lot of vacationers taking the scenic route to Acadia National Park.
Have you stumbled across a dinosaur in an unexpected place? If you have, and have a photo of the encounter, send it to us via firstname.lastname@example.org!
October 30, 2009
When Brian Switek polled readers about the Dinosaur Capital of the World, he included “Bedrock” as a gag answer. It did pretty well—beating out “Other” but losing, as did Liaoning and Glen Rose, to Drumheller. An astute reader pointed out that there is a way to visit Bedrock aside from being a cartoon character—it’s a campground just south of the Grand Canyon.
It was sort of surreal to go from one of the most spectacular geologic sites in the world (where I saw fossil sponges and Paleozoic trackways last week) to a kitschy roadside attraction. The cartoon-land colors are faded in the desert sun, and Fred’s wooden-wheeled car looks a bit lopsided. But sure enough, there is a dinosaur statue in the parking lot. And some sort of yellow pterosaur behind the wall, perched on a volcano.
Have you seen a dinosaur in an unusual place? Snap a photo and send it to email@example.com and you may see it here!