[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Museum Displays, Stego splitting

Joe Ramirez <jramire@ibm.net> writes:
> ** Reply to note from STEVEN9120@aol.com 06/22/95  8:05pm -0400
> <<Why is it that there are very few exhibits in these museums that can  
> show both skeletal, as well as a display that shows a complete dinosaur  
> with skin and teeth?>>
> ...
> Most museums  
> probably don't have room for complete sets of mounted skeletons and  
> *separate* life restorations, but if you like this sort of thing, try the 
> Royal  
> Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada.

The RTMP has a variety of major dinosaur display formats:
* half-excavated slabs with bones shown in-situ
        (large lambeosaur, some parts of centrosaur bone-bed reconstruction)
* a collection of ceratopsian skulls-only
* individual bones (sauropod and hadrosaur femurs, pachycephalosaur crania)
* auxiliary fragments (coprolites, fossil vegetation, teeth)
* mounted skeletons
* full-size three-dimensional life reconstructions (Albertosaurus,
  Edmontonia, Ornithomimus?) in a forest setting (IMHO the fake plants
  are less than convincing!)

Many of the mounted skeletons are posed identically to life-images on the
wall mural behind them.  This is a most effective format: look down and
you see delicate dromeosaur skeletons mounted as if engaged in tearing
meat off the centrosaur carcass in the bonebed.  Look up at the wall and
you're on the ancient mud-flat in the midst of dead bloating ceratopsians,
with vicious coyote-like dromeosaurs feasting on the carcasses, hide
flayed and meat and ribs exposed to the dusty air.

Lesson number one:  murals make an effective display, and they don't take
up any more space than a blank wall!

I think the plastic Albertosaur in the main dinosaur hall is pretty great:
pebbly skin and plausible colour scheme, lifelike pose, piercing eyes.
However, there's a new display on the concourse outside the building
in front of the main doors, which completely blows even that one away!
Albertosaurus is chasing a couple of terrified ornithomimids over the
concrete planters and past the museum's decorative pond, done in bronze
in fabulous, tendon-snapping detail.  Veins and muscles bulging, eyes
bugged out screaming ostritch-mimics running for their life from a truly
ferocious, focussed and hungry-looking tyrannosaurid, frozen in metal at
45 km/h plus.  Little details continue to pop out and amuse you as you gaze
at the scene: one fugitive is in the midst of changing direction, looking
over its shoulder, digging its claws into the soft gravel of the concrete!
One heck-of-a fine piece of statuary, beats General Wolfe at the Calgary
Science Centre cold!

Lesson number two: if your display is waterproof, put it outside!

Regarding multiple Stegosaurus species,
jpoling@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Jeff Poling) wrote:
> At 10:02 AM 6/22/95 -0400, D.W.Naish wrote:
>> In the same paper, Bakker mentions three Stegosaurus species alien to me:
>> _sulcatus_, _armatus_ and _duplex_.
>    If I understand what I've read on the dino list correctly, and am reading
> _The Dinosauria_ correctly, Stegosaurus sulcatus, Stegosaurus duplex and
> Steogosaurus ungulatus are all junior synonyms of Stegosarus armatus.

Ahhh!  That would explain the mystery of the famous and elusive Battat /
Chicago Museum Stegosaurus model, which has STEGOSAURUS ARMATUS moulded
on its belly, but comes with a dog tag which says Stegosaurus ungulatus.
The model production schedule must have allowed for fixing up the name in
the mould, some time after the dog-tag captions were already frozen.

Lesson number three: get your story straight between the 3-D and the 2-D
media teams!
Mike Bonham        bonham@jade.ab.ca      Jade Simulations International
``So, here I am, sitting by myself, talking to myself.  Now THAT's chaos!''