Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology

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Coordinates: 51°28′46″N 112°47′21″W / 51.479361°N 112.789278°W / 51.479361; -112.789278

Royal Tyrrell Museum

Entrance
Established September 25, 1985
Location Highway 838
Midland Provincial Park
Drumheller, Alberta T0J 0Y0
Canada[1]
Type Palaeontological
Visitor figures ~400,000/year (2009/10)[2]
Director Andrew Neuman[1]
Website www.tyrrellmuseum.com

The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a popular Canadian tourist attraction.[3] It is a leading centre of palaeontological research which has more than 130,000 fossils.[4][5]

The museum is 6 kilometres (4 mi) from Drumheller, Alberta and 135 kilometres (84 mi) from Calgary.[6] It is in the middle of the fossil-bearing strata of the Upper Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation. Its specimens come mainly from Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Devil's Coulee Dinosaur Egg Historic Nest Site.[4]

The Royal Tyrrell Museum's mission is to "collect, preserve, research and interpret palaeontological history with special reference to Alberta’s fossil heritage".[7][8]

History[change | change source]

The Museum is named in honour of Joseph Tyrrell, a geologist who discovered the first dinosaur in the Red Deer River Valley in 1884. The Museum opened September 25, 1985 and was given Royal status by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990. In its first year of operation, the Museum attracted over 500,000 visitors.[8] The average annual number of visitors is about 400,000.[3] In 2010 the museum welcomed its 10-millionth visitor, a young boy from Edmonton.

Collections and exhibits[change | change source]

More than 4,400 square metres (47,000 sq ft) of the museum's 11,200 square metres (121,000 sq ft) is dedicated to exhibits.[9] There are chronological galleries celebrating the 3.9 billion year history of life on Earth. One of the most popular is "Dinosaur Hall", with almost 40 mounted dinosaur skeletons, including specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex and Albertosaurus.[5] Other exhibits include "Lords of the Land"; "Burgess Shale";[10] "Devonian Reef", a life-size model of a 375 million year old reef;[11] a "Cretaceous Garden", with over 600 living species of plants;[12] "Age of Mammals"; and "Ice Ages".

"Triassic Giant" is a 1,700 square feet (160 m2) long specimen of the largest known marine reptile. The 21 metres (69 ft) long ichthyosaur Shonisaurus sikanniensis was recovered from the shores of the Sikanni Chief River in northeastern British Columbia.[13]

A window into the "Preparation Lab" allows visitors to watch technicians as they carefully prepare fossils for research and exhibition.[14] There are also tours of the badlands; the hands-on "Nexen Science Hall" with interactive exhibits;[15] simulated fossil digs, and summer camps for children and families, and much more.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Contact Us". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/contact/. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  2. "2010/11 Museum Fact Sheet". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/media/2010-11MuseumFactSht.pdf. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Frequently Asked Questions". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080516141207/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/info/index2.php?strSection=9. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Naylor, Bruce G. (1997). "Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology". Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. Ed. Currie, Philip J.; Padian, Kevin. Academic Press. p. 646. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Dinosaur Hall". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20080506094553/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/peek/index2.php?strSection=9. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  6. "Getting to the Museum". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080516140839/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/info/index2.php?strSection=4. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  7. The Canadian Encyclopedia
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Royal Tyrrell Museum". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/about/a_brief_history.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
  9. "Museum Amenities". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080516132856/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/info/index2.php?strSection=5. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  10. "Museum Amenities". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080516115301/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/peek/index2.php?strSection=6. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  11. "Devonian Reef". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080516115305/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/peek/index2.php?strSection=7. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  12. "Cretaceous Garden". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080516114942/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/peek/index2.php?strSection=8. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  13. "Triassic Giant". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. http://web.archive.org/web/20080514005028/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/events/#triassic. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  14. "Preparation Lab". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-04-04. http://web.archive.org/web/20080404133251/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/peek/index2.php?strSection=4. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  15. "Nexen Science Hall". Royal Tyrrell Museum. Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080516115255/http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/peek/index2.php?strSection=2. Retrieved 2008-07-18.