No matter how old we get, the sight of intact dinosaur skeletons seems to bring out the kid in all of us. From titanic sauropods to the familiar menace of the Tyrannosaurus rex, dinosaurs are a marvel to behold. They elicit a natural curiosity in all of us about what our planet was like tens of millions of years ago. Part of the inherent fascination is the distance in time that separates us from the immense creatures, a period almost impossible to contemplate in human terms. This elusive tangibility of course, the world and very nature of dinosaurs, is what injects museums of natural history and the study of paleontology with such terrific sex appeal.
With that in mind, here are the best places in the world to see dinosaur bones.
Museum mad Berlin has a gem in the Naturkunde, sometimes known as the Humboldt Museum. The facility has over 25 million zoological, paleontological, and minerological specimens, most prominent of which is a world record Brachiosaurus skeleton.
Yale’s Peabody Museum is the best and most comprehensive natural history university museum in the world. The Ivy League facility’s Great Hall of Dinosaurs is phenomenal and includes a full-scale Apatosaurus skeleton.
The name Carnegie is found everywhere in the steel city of Pittsburgh, from Carnegie Mellon University to the Carnegie Institute’s Andy Warhol Museum. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is one of the best museums in the United States, with a world class collection of dinosaur fossils and bones.
The Field Museum of Natural History is one of the most obvious reasons why Chicago is such a terrific tourist destination. On scenic Lake Shore Drive in the city’s Museum Campus, the Field contains the most complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton in the world.
Part of the Smithsonian complex that encircles the National Mall in the heart of Washington D.C., the National Museum of Natural History is free and welcomes more than 5 million visitors a year. Most people come for the Hall of Dinosaurs, which contains in excess of 570,000 catalogued reptiles.
The Wyoming Dinosaur Center is special because it provides visitors with access to a functional excavation site, in addition to exhibits of actual dinosaur bones. Wyoming is a notable hotbed for fossil deposits and the center features 28 intact skeletons.
A prominent site for paleontoglogists since 1960, a major discovery was made in 2008 in Zhucheng, a city of 1 million people in Shandong Province, China. Excavations over the course of the year unearthed a record deposit of bones and as a result, the international paleoanthropology community is abuzz. Plans are now underway to facilitate tourism to the area.
A foremost preservation region for fossils, the area known as Dinosaur Quarry is a precious Natural Monument in the United States. Home to pristine, photogenic landscapes, Dinosaur National Monument contains superb Allosaurus and sauropod specimens.
London offers so many temptations that it can be impossible to whittle down a proper itinerary. The Natural History Museum is a must however, with astonishingly, over 70 million items. The Palaeontology Hall is particularly impressive.
The Big Sky state of Montana is on every dinosaur lover’s radar as a primary location of fossils and specimens. The Dinosaur Trail is a wonderful way to take in the best of Montana, with numerous museums and state parks en route and of course, loads of awesome dinosaur skeletons.
Like nearby Montana, the badland topography of the province of Alberta provides perfect preservation conditions for dinosaur fossils. As such, the gorgeous Red Deer River valley confines of Dinosaur Provincial Park is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but a great tourist attraction.
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the best museums in the world, period. The institution’s generous endowment provides it with a wonderful scientific and research staff and the ability to procure and do what ordinary museums cannot. The result? Millions of specimens over 25 interconnected buildings, with the ever-popular Fossil Halls of course.
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