Allosaurus Roar Review: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbor, MI

Located in the heart of campus in one of America’s great college towns, the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History features an amazing collection of fossils that span the entire history of life on planet earth.  Featuring the state’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils, the museum also boasts an incredible array of exhibits and displays that will delight visitors young and old.

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Allosaurus Roar Review: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

If you have children, one of the best museums in North America to spend a day is The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  Widely considered the top children’s museum in the world, there is such a wide variety of activities available that almost any child (or adult) will find something to love here.  I love dinosaurs, and fortunately, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has a great collection.

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Allosaurus Roar’s Top Dozen Xiphactinus Displays

One of the more common displays in prehistoric exhibits is the Xiphactinus, the largest bony fish of the Late Cretaceous period.   Among the reasons that it is a popular display in natural history museums: it is quite large (adults can reach 15-20 feet in length); it looks very ferocious and evidently had a large appetite; and most of all, because there have been quite a few well-preserved fossils unearthed of this magnificent ancient fish.

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Allosaurus Roar Review: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA

I am usually pretty excited whenever I am about to visit a museum with a lot of special fossils on display, but honestly, some museums get me more excited than others.  The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh is one such museum: I have been several times and every time I am headed there, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Fortunately, the museum always lives up to the anticipation, and there are a lot of good reasons that the Carnegie Museum is considered one of the top natural history museums in the world.

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Allosaurus Roar Review: Ghost Ranch Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology, Abiquiu, NM

One day in the late Triassic period, thousands of small theropod dinosaurs called Coelophysis were living in a warm, monsoon-like climate, but struggling with drought during the dry season.  Those who hadn’t yet perished were languishing around a diminishing water source, when suddenly a violent storm arrived and the creatures were caught in a flash flood.  Many hundreds were killed and their remains deposited in a muddy wash where they were quickly covered and would remain for over 200 million years.

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Allosaurus Roar Review: Ashfall Fossil Beds State Park, Orchard, NE

Millions of years ago during the middle of the Miocene epoch, a large volcanic eruption in what is now Idaho spread deadly volcanic ash and dust over a path hundreds of miles wide.  In an ancient water hole almost a thousand miles away, some animals, particularly smaller ones, died shortly as the falling ash (and the glass particles it contained) quickly filled their lungs. Larger animals lived a few days longer, perhaps even weeks.  A few scavengers survived long enough to prey upon some of the dead animals filling up the pond.  But before long even the largest creatures met their end in and around the area, and the ash continued to fall, covering the bodies in a layer eight to ten feet thick that kept them preserved right where they died.

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Allosaurus Roar Review: La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, Los Angeles, CA

I don’t remember the term “bucket list” from my childhood, but if I had made one back in the mid-1970’s as a seven-year-old, it would have most certainly included a visit to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California.  I had a great plastic model of a tar pit made by Aurora Prehistoric Scenes that was one of my very favorite things.  And yes, although it has suffered the wear and tear that many favored “toys” experience…I still have it, or at least what’s left of it.  So the dream to visit this site started early for me.  I have been fortunate to be able to fulfill that dream, and now I’ve been there quite a few times.  Located right off Wilshire Blvd. in Hancock Park, in the heart of Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile shopping district, the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum complex is a National Natural Landmark, a paleontological treasure of vast proportion, and one of my very favorite places to visit.

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