Despite the fact we arrived at 1:30 AM, Josh and I were up surprisingly early. We still had about an hour drive to get to the Dinosaur Resource Center Museum in Woodland Park but we knew we would have smooth sailing and beautiful landscapes to keep us company. The museum is part of Triebold Paleontology which is known for its work in the paleo-community including molding/casting, cast and specimen sales, and mounting dinosaur specimens. Some might recognize the director, Mike Triebold as he recently was at PaleoFest as one of our speakers. Upon arriving at the museum we were greeted by Tracie Bennitt and her husband John. Tracie is the Sales and Marketing Director for the Institute and helps keep things rolling. Her husband John is a great guy and is typically the one they send to mount a specimen. We received a great tour of their facility and their museum.
The museum was full of fossils of all sorts. The dinosaur hall had Edmontosaurus (duckbill
dinosaurs), several Pachycephalosaurus casts (the bone-headed dinosaurs), a T.rex cast, a Daspletosaurus (T.rex’s cousin), and several other dinos. It was awesome to see so much in one area. In addition to dinosaurs, one of the things the museum is known for is their work with mosasaurs. Mosasaurs are the big sea-going reptiles that lived in the late Cretaceous period (but they are NOT dinosaurs), in fact they are probably more closely related to lizards like the Komodo Dragon. In fact one of the reason we did not get a chance to say hello to Mike Triebold was that he was on another mosasaur dig in Kansas.
The reason this might be of interest to Burpee is that in the late 1960′s our founding director Milt Mahlburg and one of his students collected a couple partial specimens of some mosasaurs in Wyoming. The specimens are currently in Burpee’s collection, but needs some restoration and mounting. If the right funding and time becomes available we could have the specimen restored and mounted for an exhibit, so we wanted to see the facilities at the DRC as they would be the logical ones to do the work.
The mosasaur that Burpee has appears to be a composite Platecarpus and would be an impressive
animal at nearly 20 feet in length. Just imagine one of those fellas “swimming” around our new exhibit halls…(sigh)… I can dream can’t I? Anyhow after an exciting day, Josh and I bid Tracie and John goodbye and left the museum. As we were leaving we could not help but notice our adventure for DAY 3…..PIKE’S PEAK!! Bring your oxygen masks for tomorrow’s entry!