Houston has many museums, so I decided to do a blog series about them.
The first museum I visited was my favorite, the Museum of Natural Science. A lot of Houston museums are free on Thursdays, so that is always a good time to go.
This is my favorite museum because of the dinosaurs on display.
Dinosaurs were reptiles that lived on Earth from about 230 million years ago to about 65 million years ago.
Dinosaurs lived during a period of Earth’s history called the Mesozoic (“middle life”) Era. They lived during all three periods of this era: the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous.
Meat-eating dinosaurs are known as theropods, which means “beast-footed,” because they had sharp, hooked claws on their toes. In contrast, plant-eating dinosaurs tended to have blunt hooves or toenails.
Look at how large the jaws are on this shark. It could swallow its’ prey whole.
No one knows exactly how long a dinosaur’s lifespan was. Some scientists speculate some dinosaurs lived for as long as 200 years.
Scientists estimate that there were over 1,000 different species of non-avian dinosaurs and over 500 distinct genera. They speculate there are many still undiscovered dinosaurs and that there may be as many as 1,850 genera.
The word “dinosaur” was coined by British paleontologist Richard Owen in 1842. It is Greek, meaning “terrible lizard.” Rather than implying that dinosaurs were fearsome, Owen used the term to refer to their majesty and size.
All dinosaurs laid eggs. About 40 kinds of dinosaur eggs have been discovered.
The first dinosaurs that appeared during the Triassic Period 230 million years ago were small and lightweight. Bigger dinosaurs such as Brachiosaurus and Triceratops appeared during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Dinosaurs dominated Earth for over 165 million years. Humans have been around for only 2 million years.
Some dinosaurs’ tails were over 45 feet long. Most dinosaurs had long tails that helped them to keep their balance when running.
Most meat eaters walked on two feet. This made them faster and left their hands free to grab their prey. Most plant eaters walked on four feet to better carry their heavy bodies. Some plant eaters could balance on two feet for a short time.
The largest dinosaur eggs were as large as basketballs. The bigger the egg, the thicker the shell. So if the eggs had been larger, dinosaur babies probably would not have been able to get out.
The Stegosaurus has the smallest brain for its body size of any known dinosaur. Its body was the size of a van, but its brain was the size of a walnut.
Some of the biggest plant eaters had to eat as much as a ton of food a day. This is similar to eating a bus-sized pile of vegetation every day.
Snakes and lizards shed their skin when they grow. Researchers believe that dinosaurs may have done the same.
Something else that is really cool about the museum is the artwork they have on display of the animals and dinosaurs in action.
I’m amazed at how big this shark is.
Whoever did these works has an unbelievable talent for realism.
I would not have wanted to live during these times, when just going to get a drink of water could get you killed.
The museum also has an “Overlook” area to be able to see the entire room from the top.
You really get a good idea of just how big these beasts were.
Some people believe in the bible and some believe in evolution. Either way, it’s hard to deny that these “People” lived and walked the Earth at one time.
The museum also has displays of animals in action. It’s a very cool area to walk through.
They even have an Egyptian area.
Seeing parts of history that are thousands of years old is very awe inspiring.
Seeing a real mummified person is kinda weird at the same time as intriguing.
The Egyptians definitely had their own style and it was very cool.
I think time traveling back to Egyptian days would be very neat to do… but only for a short visit. I like fast food drive thru’s too much, lol.
The Museum of Natural Science has many more areas not covered in this blog post, so it’s worth a trip if you ever get the chance.
And lastly, the gift shop at the Museum of Natural Science is huge. There’s all sorts of neat stuff to see and purchase. It makes your trip to the museum complete.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at one of Houston’s best museums and will look forward to seeing more museums in my series.
Try going to a museum when you have the time. It will brighten your day.