Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Day at the Museum

During our weekly library visit a few days ago, Carter surprised me by picking out a National Geographic documentary about a couple of paleontologists excavating dinosaur bones in Mongolia. I assumed once he realized it wasn't a cartoon about dinosaurs, he'd lose interest and turn it off. But much to my surprise he sat and watched the entire thing! (while mommy struggled not to doze off... sssshhh...!) And when it was finished he told me he'd really like to go to Mongolia someday! :-) Since Mongolia isn't really feasible at the moment, I opted for the next best option (HA!) to try to encourage Carter's rekindled interest in dinosaurs - a trip to the Texas Memorial Museum, a free natural science center on the University of Texas campus. They have several dinosaur bones on display - a very good tie-in to the documentary he had just watched. We had been before, but today was a lot of fun because it really felt like Carter was learning stuff while he was there, and understood it all a little better. Here are some photos...

Posing with a Saber-toothed Cat statue out front...Climbing the steps to the museum...In the Great Hall, Carter looked up and saw an enormous Pterosaur skeleton!The bottom floor of the museum is the Hall of Geology and Paleontology. We found skulls from several dinosaurs we recognized - Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, T-Rex.Carter standing next to the femur of a Diplodocus!There's also a paleontology lab, where Carter got to touch some bones from a mastodon. Here he's looking in a microscope with Daddy.Carter with a meteorite! He is familiar with them because they are what fall from the sky in his favorite movie as of late, Dinosaur!Upstairs from the dinosaurs, the museum also has several displays of Texas-native animals. Here we are sitting in a little "boat" in the fish room.Outside the museum there's a little sitting area, with benches made to look like the vertebrae from a Mosasaur. Here's Carter sitting on one of the benches. In his hand is his toy T-Rex skull that he carried around with him throughout the museum!And here's my sweet girl - not looking at the camera, but still looking adorable. :-)

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