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How Did The Dinosaur Come To The Museum?

Written by Sheeba Manish

Have you wondered how did the dinosaurs reach the museum? How did dinosaurs go from roaming the Earth to being displayed in the museum? To understand how dinosaurs traveled  to the museum we need to go back a few million years.

A Brief History of Dinosaurs:

Dinosaurs came alive in the period called the Triassic Era. Warm seas and humidity meant there was lush greenery everywhere, including the ice caps. In this unusual habitat, the dinosaurs evolved. Dinosaurs evolved in the Jurassic period. Then about 142 million years ago, the mighty dinosaurs were wiped out. We call this mass extinction. This era was known as the Cretaceous period. With the death of the Dinosaur, the road was open for the evolution of mammals and birds.

Dinosaurs reach the Museum

A Dinosaur (tyrannosaurus rex) model in an open air museum

Why Did The Dinosaurs Die?

The National Geographic reports that volcanic eruptions in India triggered climatic changes. The avian dinosaurs became extinct due to these eruptions. Thereafter, Earth was hit by an asteroid. The impact of this asteroid hitting earth was wildfires, pressure waves, and tsunamis. In addition to all this, there were showers of molten rock -the result of the asteroid burning up as it entered the earth’s atmosphere.

This enormous ‘crash of two rocks’ also saw high amounts of dirt and dust lingering in the air. This blanket of dust prevented sunlight from reaching Earth; plants died and with it most of the life on Earth. The Earth was a cold,dark, dusty ball that was inhospitable for living beings.

The volcanic eruption that predated the asteroid crash was killing the dinosaurs. The eruptions caused quick periods of heat, followed by cold; the continuous eruptions disrupted the delicate ecosystem that Earth was made off. The asteroid crash was the last straw and the mighty dinosaurs were finished!

Fossils? What Are They?

The dead dinosaurs were buried under all the ash and sediment. With the passage of time, more and more soil sediment deposited itself on the dinosaurs, putting pressure on them. The bones of the dinosaurs became mineralised, thanks to time, chemical reactions, and the minerals found in the soil sediments.

These mineralised bones are called fossils. So our dinosaurs lay hidden until someone stumbled on them or dug them up by accident. Scientists known as paleontologists study the history of Earth from about 12,000 years ago with the help of fossils.

Dinosaurs reach the Museum

The fossil of a Dimetrodon on display in a natural history museum

 

Finding The Fossil And How They reach The Museum:

In 2014, the world’s largest dinosaur till date -the Titanosaurus- was discovered in great condition, as a fossil of course! A farmer in Patagonia (South America) stumbled on its bone and called paleontologist from the Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio. They were shocked to find the remains of a herbivorous dinosaur that measured 40 m long and 20 m tall. It weighed an enormous 77 tons (equal to 14 African elephants).The bones of the Titanosaur are so large that only the femur bone, which is eight feet long is on display at the American Museum of Natural History.

Smaller dinosaurs fossil remains have been transported in parts and assembled at the museum. The Titanosaur is so large that the museum required not a room, but rooms to assemble it. Even then, the bones were so large that they museum made 3d fiberglass replicas of the originals. This was done using 3d printing.

Many museums of Natural History around the world maintain and preserve the bones of the dinosaurs, and that is how the dinosaur came to the museum in a journey that lasted several million years.

Watch Christian Robinson’s animated version of Daria Tessler’s dinosaur poem of how a dinosaur reached the museum. Hope you enjoy watching it.

Dinosaur Song from Christian Robinson on Vimeo.

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