Dinosaurs & Mars Rocks!

Quite wonderfully, I had the chance to visit the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto a few weeks ago. The amazing museum boasts more than 6 million artifacts and about 40 galleries of art, archaeology, and natural science. Being the science enthusiast that I am, I went straight to the dinosaur exhibit (half real, half produced). They were absolutely amazing – I could not help but wonder what the animals looked like when they were around — a tantalizing reminder of the different world that the Earth once was.

IMG_7308

First up was the Lambeosaurus, which is a late-Cretacious period herbivore dinosaur (lived about 76-74 million years ago). Very unique headgear.

IMG_7316

Albertosaurus (found in Alberta), a fearsome Cretaceous predator built for speed and agility that lived during the late Cretacious period (about 76-74 million years ago)

IMG_7336

Quetzalcoatlus – the largest pterosaur that ever lived. It lived during the late Cretaceous period (70-65 million years ago). To me that was the weirdest of them all – a scavenging flying lizard?

IMG_7315

Giant sea turtle from a Cretaceous North American sea

IMG_7307

Immense Jurassic dinosaur

IMG_7319

Oviraptorosaurs (from Creatacious Asia and North America, about130-65 million years ago) – were toothless but had well-developed jaw musculature. They have some really obvious skeletal similarities with extant birds (not known with certainty if they were actually capable of flight). They also had feathers.

IMG_7320

Solnhofen limestone – a much acclaimed fossil deposit (deposited in salty lagoons 150 milion years ago) that has yielded an amazing diversity of fossilized late Jurassic organisms; provides soft tissue impressions of jellyfish, squid, crab, and shrimp.

IMG_7321

Jurassic sea stuff

Age of the Mammals

Nothing like natural history when you need a little bit of perspective
Nothing like natural history when you need a little bit of perspective

IMG_7327

IMG_7329 IMG_7330 IMG_7331 IMG_7332

IMG_7344
American bison (a near threatened species)

Mars Rocks and Meteorites from the Moon

ACTUAL rocks from Mars — The result of meteorite impacts that resulted in rocks being blown off the Martian surface and crossing the orbit of our planet to eventually fall as meteorites.

NWA 5298 shown here had been part of a lava flow on Mars some 200 million years ago and was launched towards Earth 20 million years ago. The amazing collection also included meteorites from the moon!

IMG_7391
Standing next to Mars stuff, I have to say, is a huge honor 😀

IMG_7351 IMG_7352 IMG_7355 IMG_7357 IMG_7375 IMG_7378 IMG_7381 IMG_7395 IMG_7396

Canyon Diablo

IMG_7412

This is just a smaller fragment of a much larger metro rite that hit Earth about 50,000 years ago in Arizona. At the moment of impact, it was estimated to have been 50 metres in diameter, weighing 150,000 tonnes, and and traveling at 12 km/s. It released as much energy as 2.5 megatonnes of TNT, blasting a crater 1700 metres wide and 170 metres deep!!

I very much enjoyed my visit to the Royal Ontario Museum. It was like a mirror into the past.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s