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Re: Feathered Dinos at SDNHM & Other Museum Displays



For information on the "Feathered Dinosaurs and the Origin of Flight"
exhibit, which runs at the San Diego Museum of Natural History through
September 7, 2004, see http://www.sdnhm.org/exhibits/feathered/index.html.
This is a traveling exhibition, but I am not aware of any future
destinations at this point.  The exhibition was put together by Stephen and
Sylvia Czerkas of the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, Utah (see
www.dinosaur-museum.org/) so the schedule may be posted on the Dinosaur
Museum site at some point.  The Dinosaur Museum's infamous but lavishly
produced hardcover volume, _Feathered Dinosaurs and the Origin of Flight_,
has photographs of some of the models and specimens that I presume are on
display at the exhibition, though I myself have not seen the exhibition.
The feathered _Therizinosaurus_ is not in this volume.  Goofy therizinosaur
or not, this show represents the first exhibition of feathered dinosaurs
west of the Mississippi, so I would definitely say that it will be worth a
look!

Regarding other dinosaur museums to see in Los Angeles and San Francisco, I
can offer some advice.  The California Academy of Sciences will be present
not in Golden Gate Park, but at 875 Market Street, at the temporary facility
that will house most of their aquarium species and temporary exhibits this
summer on "Ants" and "Astrobiology."  We will not have any dinosaurs, with
the exception of our penguins.  Incidentally, our scaly Stephen Czerkas
_Deinonychus_ models are out on loan for the aforementioned "Feathered
Dinosaurs" show, to serve as a contrast to Czerkas' updated feathered
models.  Our Golden Gate Park facility will be torn down and will emerge in
2008 as a completely new museum.  Will it have dinosaurs in 2008?  I don't
know, but I certainly hope so!

Across the San Francisco bay, there are dinosaur exhibits at the Lawrence
Hall of Science (see  www.lhs.berkeley.edu/lhshome.html) and at the U.C.
Museum of Paleontology (see www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/museum/museum.php), which
are both on U.C. Berkeley land.  The Lawrence Hall of Science has its own
designated (pay) parking area, but parking for the UCMP (which is in the
Valley Life Sciences building on campus) is more challenging.  See
http://www.berkeley.edu/map/ and  http://public-safety.berkeley.edu/p&t/ and
http://www.berkeley.edu/visitors/parking.html for some pointers.  The
dinosaur exhibits at these two museums are rather modest.  Lawrence is
primarily an educational experience for young children, and the UCMP is
primarily a university research facility, with loads of specimens in their
collections that are off limits to the general public.  If you're a hardcore
dino fan, though, they're worth a look, and easily taken in on the same day.
The UCB _T. rex_ cast is particularly effective, and there is a nice
_Triceratops_ skull just inside the entrance to the UCMP's extensive
library, where you could spend days browsing paleo books and journals.

By the way, Cal Day is coming on April 17, 2004, and this is the only day of
the year when you can sign up for a tour of the UCMP collections.  Highly
recommended!

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (http://www.nhm.org/) is a
must-see for dinosaur lovers, complete with skeletons and a beautiful life
size Czerkas _Carnotaurus_ sculpture.  There is a Dino-Mite family fun
weekend coming up on March 27-28, 2004.  Also in Exposition Park is the
California Science Center, which has nothing to do with dinosaurs, but is a
new, state of the art interactive science museum.

Not exactly Mesozoic, but...  no trip to LA would be complete without a trip
to the Pits.  The Page Museum ("La Brea Tar Pits" at www.tarpits.org/)
offers a nice exhibition for some of the amazing fossils found just outside.
You can see mastodon, short face bear, and giant sloth sculptures outside,
as well as sticky, stinking tar pits.  Inside are a collection of mammal and
bird skeletons, and a wall covered with dire wolf skulls.  Preparators can
be seen picking through the muck in the prep lab, and tours of open pits are
available.  2 way mirrors and fading lights are used to give the illusion of
a woman's skeleton and (in a separate display) a sabertooth's skeleton
dissolving into sculpted restorations.  The Rancho La Brea discoveries were
featured as some of the world's greatest fossil treasures in David
Attenborough's program, "Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives."  There is also an art
museum in the same park, and one can save money by buying a combined
admission for the two museums.

Have a nice trip!
--------
"Dino Guy" Ralph W. Miller III
Docent at the California Academy of Sciences
proud member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kristine Dubyn" <phlewtst@optonline.net> wrote:


> Hello. I was wondering if I might ask how long this exhibit will be
running?
> I will be in CA either in June or July and would be very interested in
> seeing it. Also, do you happen to have any recommendations for the best
> dinosaur places in and around San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego if
I
> can only see a few?
>
> Thank you!
>
> Kristine Dubyn