Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Diggin’ Up Bones

In 1993 we were treated to the combination of two great minds: Steven Spielberg and Michael Crichton. We have since lost Mr. Crichton, but he captured my imagination with the long ago The Andromeda Strain, a 1971 Sci-Fi techno movie that freaked out an entire cast of unknowns. It is well worth revisiting, but by today’s FX abilities, it is akin to a spinning paper plate as a hovering flying saucer.

Mr. Crichton has a string of wonderful books; the last one that he was working on upon his death has been finished by his son. Mr. Crichton did not just write Sci-Fi, he took scientific fact to an entirely different direction and added a twist of Stephen King.

As Jeff Goldblum responds in Jurassic Park:

Hammond: "When they opened Disneyland in 1956 nothing worked."
Ian: "Yeah, but John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down the pirates don't eat the tourists."

On the 20th anniversary of the release of Jurassic Park, we are now provided a new glimpse into a remake of Jurassic Park, complete with blue and red glasses. While I cannot see with 3D glasses, I would actually love to see this movie in 3D. I did not get to see the movie in the theater, but I had read the book prior to the movie, so I rented it on video when it was released. I have seen it a few times and rather enjoyed it.

Let’s look closer at TRex.

This is in my back yard.

Big Mike

This is Mike who greets all guests who enter the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT. He is cast in bronze, but the real bones are inside the museum.

The museum is filled with spectacular dinosaur bones and skeletons. The bones have generally been located in the Montana area. It boasts one of the largest collections of fossils in the world.

By following the link, you will get to see some of the outstanding specimens that I have had the opportunity to enjoy.

However, the Museum of the Rockies is not the only dinosaur exhibition in the state of Montana.

Evidently, dinosaurs roamed all over this area until the event that stopped the roaming. I am currently reading a book my mom recommended: Gorgon about the extinction of the dinosaur in South Africa. He looks a tad bit like a rodent with those long teeth. The problem with him is that he is the size of TRex.


While Montana does not have any history of these beasties gravitating towards the eating of cave dwellers, Montana has a fair share of dinosaurs that have run amuck across the landscape.

The Dinosaur Trail is a self-guided trip across the state that allows people to interact with areas that the big guys roamed over.


This trip includes areas where the are both interactive displays like the Museum of the Rockies and field digs.

One of the most amazing thing to me was that there were such creatures and they were there for the showing. The triceratops is amazing. I remember seeing drawings of these as a kid when we studied science, but I never imaged I would ever see one face to face, let alone think anyone else would. The Museum of the Rockies has an outstanding display of these guys. Some skeletons are complete and some have had to be cast for missing pieces, but the heads are the size of a Volkswagen, or it seems.

The finds in this state border on unbelievable, but there they are. In the stone, sediment and whatever else buried them all those years ago, there are gaping mouths filled with rows of fantastic teeth and empty eye sockets.

It is easy to see why Mr. Crichton chose the dinosaur as his subject of the book Jurassic Park and why he would want to see them come to life. It is only a squint of the eye to see them fleshed out when you gaze at their amazing bones and body.

One leg bone in the Museum of the Rockies is taller than the cabin I am visiting. Never mind that it is thicker than the poles holding up the porch. Toe bones are longer than arms and the knee cap is way over anyone’s head.

You can book an internship with the PaleoWorld Research Foundation for 2013. They will make you an assistant researcher and take you along on a dig. Seriously, this would be an awesome adventure for anyone who is interested in exploring the past and seeing things that man has never seen before as you uncover the earthly remains of our largest inhabitants on this planet. http://www.paleoworld.org/

You do not need to travel to a remote island in Costa Rica where you may be eaten by the exhibits to explore the inspiration for the book. Travel to Montana and join a dig. The Judith River Basin is a great place to start.

This boys and girls, is your adventure of a lifetime!


Julie and Blu

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