DINO LAND TRAVELS PHOTO DATABASE
I have traveled to the state of Pennsylvania several times during my lifetime, but during spring break of 1999 I had my first chance to visit the mighty steel capital of Pittsburgh. Of course, the first plans I made was to attend a Pittsburgh, Pirates baseball game, but secondly I arranged a visit to the famous Carnegie Museum of Natural History. After I selected a day to attend the museum I immediately e-mailed Carnegie Associate Curators of Paleontology Dr. Zhexi Luo and Dr. Chris Beard. Dr. Luo volunteered to give me a behind the scenes tour, and Dr. Beard agreed to assist him.
I arrived at the museum and called up Dr. Luo. The first thing he told me was that Dr. Beard had gone home to attend a family situation, but after the quick announcement Dr. Luo rushed down to the entrance himself and took us into the staff only area. He first showed us the "Big Bone Room," where the Carnegie preparators and curators store the un-exhibited dinosaur bones for study. Earlier that week the museum had just received several shipments of Camarasaurus, Barosaurus, and Allosaurus bones from the American West. They also received a large skull of a prehistoric fish from Germany. I was able to view these specimens and listen to Dr. Luo explain their significance to me. Next he led us into the "Little Bone Room," where the museum keeps all of their mammal fossils. The shelves were filled with several mastodon tusks and skulls of European mammals. After our visit to that bone room Dr. Luo led us to the library and staff offices, where the majority of the paleontological research is conducted. He showed us his own office, the vast shelves of paleontological journals, and the computer work station of the Carnegie's paleo artist.
After our behind the scenes tour was concluded, Dr. Luo led us into the actual museum and showed us the world famous Carnegie dinosaur hall, which contains the world's first mounted T. rex skeleton, which was bought from the American Museum of Natural History during World War II times in fear that a Nazi bomb could be targeted at New York. The museum has kept the specimen ever since. The large mounts of Allosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus also fill the hall, as does the rare skulls of T. rex and Triceratops, a model of Coelophysis, a mounted Mosasaurus skeleton, and several large ammonites. Dr. Luo also showed us the adjoining fossil lab where much of the preparation of these mounted bones takes place.
Below you can find several pictures of the Carnegie's mounted exhibits and the fossils stored away back in the staff only area.
Tyrannosaurus rex Specimen #555 (found by Jack Horner)
BEHIND THE SCENES DINOSAURS
BEHIND THE SCENES MAMMALS
Coelodonta antiguitatus Skull
Megaloceros giganteus Skull
BEHIND THE SCENES REPTILES
BEHIND THE SCENES PETRIFIED WOOD
Petrified Jurassic Log
PICTURES OF CARNEGIE STAFF
Dr. Zhexi Luo
Staff Preparator Alan Tabrum
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