Stygi-what? A truly scary dinosaur

First, please allow this appeal to all my wealthy blog followers:

Do you have a spare $2 million lying about, unused?

How about building a new home for the Garfield County Museum in Jordan, Montana? I’m sure it would be tax-deductible.

In the center of the Montana Dinosaur Trail lies the Garfield County Museum. Well, centrally located in the state. Sort of.

This is another of the dinotrail museums that focuses on the county’s past and its peoples … and its DINOSAURS, too! That is an incredibly cool spin on the small town museum that I’m still trying to get my head around. It’s not just some Folsom spear points dating to 10,000 years ago. The local paleontology digs produce fossils dating back more than 60 million years.

Unfortunately, the building is not air conditioned, which apparently means that it can’t be a repository for the better specimens of fossils found locally. Granted, a lot of the museums we’ve seen have casts of the originals on display. That’s still needed. 

But the nice woman who answered our questions and told some of the stories associated with Garfield County said a modern museum could be built with about $2 million. 

There is nothing wrong with dreaming big, especially when you have tens of millions of years to cover in your county’s history!

I hope the county and museum can raise some of that, because it’s a nice museum with some cool stuff.

Smaug Jr. is kept safely behind glass. Whew. I’d hate to see this one show up alive in “Jurassic World: The RV Park.”
The naming convention is so, um, scientific! It fails to capture the fear this creature inspires in me.

As for the dinosaurs, it has the skull of a dinosaur that I find absolutely terrifying. I understand, intellectually, that Dinos are big and dangerous, or fast and dangerous, or small, fast and dangerous. But when I saw the skull of the Stygimoloch spinifer, I understood why folks once thought dinosaurs were ancient dragons. This guy makes me think of Smaug, from the Hobbit movies inspired by J.R.R. Tolkein. Horns, spiky nose, teeth, and probably really bad breath.

Even the name is scary. Moloch was an ancient deity that required human sacrifice.

Garfield County has a nice Triceratops horridus. The purple light is an artifact in my photo … it’s not that pronounced in reality. Also, the mural is a nice addition, but the science behind the scene may be a bit dated. It looks a bit like the area near Jordan today, not 60-odd million years ago.

The museum also has a Triceratops, information on the Wankel Tyrannosaurus rex, some nice Ammonites, and the only cast in existence of an anklyosaurid that has been named Chrichtonsaurus bohlini, named for Michael Crichton, author of the book “Jurassic Park.” How cool is that?

The only cast in the world of a dinosaur named for Michael Chrichton.
Harry the Triceratops has a nice story, about a little boy from England who went to Make-A-Wish with his dream of going on a dinosaur dig. This Trike is what he found.
Good on you, Harry, both of you, as well as the foundation and the McKeevers.

We were camped at Fort Peck and drove south and west to get to Jordan. It was worth the trip. Plus we ate at the Summit Corral restaurant. I had the Hot Hamburger sandwich with beef gravy and fries, which I imagine is sort of a northern version of Canadian Poutine. Could be wrong there, but it was surprisingly good.

Surprisingly good lunch at the Summit Corral in Jordan.

So was the strawberry-rhubarb pie.

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