Mesalands Community College's Dinosaur Museum
Mesalands Community College's Dinosaur Museum opened in the spring of 2000. The facility houses approximately 10,000 square feet of exhibit space, a spacious, well-equipped paleontology/geology laboratory (with a large area devoted to storage of the Museum collections not on exhibit but available for study), a classroom, offices, and a retail store. Classes for the natural science degree programs, with an emphasis in paleontology and geology, are held here, and all fossils found on course field trips are sorted and prepped in the lab.
Field research conducted by Mesalands Community College’s natural sciences classes, which operate in the heart of one of the earth’s great fossil beds, has already unearthed three previously unknown life species in Quay County, home of the College. Every summer, one-week field courses are offered (and may be customized for special interest groups) to the public.
The Exhibit Hall houses replicated and original fossils, from tiny footprint casts to the 40’ long skeleton of a Torvosaurus. Although not limited to this time span, the Museum’s focus is on the Mesozoic, the “Age of Dinosaurs,” which is comprised of the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. The newest major exhibit to open is a “mini-museum” that explains and exhibits items from the earliest known fossils to modern man.
The Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of bronze skeletons, fossils, and replicas of prehistoric creatures. The bronzes, created in the College’s foundry, were poured by members of Mesalands staff, assisted by a number of community volunteers. The Museum was the first in the world to display a Torvosaurus skeleton, a rare carnivore from the Jurassic that is related to Tyrannosaurus rex.
Pictures and information were provided by Mesalands Community College
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