The BYU Dinosaur Museum

Yes, the texture posted last Friday is of the BYU Museum of Paleontology.

BYU Museum of Paleontology

This building has intrigued me for a while now because it is a large metal shed. I presumedTanner dinosaur it to be a mechanical or grounds building, then I found out what it was, the Dinosaur Museum. Last fall they changed the name from the Earth Science Museum to the Museum of Paleontology. I always just assumed it was the Dinosaur Museum, which would have made it the coolest named building on campus. It is right across the street from LaVell Edwards Stadium and is home to a fossil collection with specimens millions of years old.

I never knew BYU haAllosaurusd such a rich paleontological heritage. For a period of over 20 years, during 1960s-1980s, one BYU paleontologist, Jim Jensen, put BYU on the fossil map by collecting thousands of specimens including many new species. That collection was, and still may be, stored under the football stadium until they built a building for displaying part of the collection as well as preparing new pieces.

There are many fossils of invertebrates, dinosaurs, fish, mammals, and plants. Even though the display area is small and only took me an hour to peruse – it is very impressive. Giant Ground SlothThere are dinosaurs named after BYU personalities like the Torvosaurus tanneri, named after N. Eldon Tanner. There are also Utah fossils like pieces of the Utah raptor. There are also complete specimens like of the Utah State Fossil, an Allosaurus.

giant crocodile headAlso cool is standing by a brachiosaurus bone that is taller than I am or a crocodile head that is almost a meter wide and several feet long or a triceratops head that is nine feet tall. My favorite big fossil though is one of a Giant Ground Sloth that is as big as an elephant.

Other fun things include fossils you can touch and a window to observe other fossils being cleaned and prepared.  I posted more pics on Facebook. I recommend this small museum for everyone to visit. Just remember, it is only open Monday-Friday, 9-5.

This was a fun, everyday BYU adventure that anyone with an hour or two can have, and it is only one of many museums on campus to explore. Now go and have your own adventure and be sure to share it with us.

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