Monday, October 5, 2009

'Dem Bones, 'Dem Bones, 'Dem Dino Bones

A boy must have his dinosaurs. One of our more exciting excursions this summer was to the American Museum of Natural History. The dinosaurs were our first order of business. Since the museum is too big to see in one day we settled on just two other exhibits to visit - the frog exhibit and an exhibit of extreme mammals that included the biggest and smallest mammals, mammals that can fly, mammals that lay eggs, and other mammalian oddities. Duncan adored the dinosaurs; his favorites at the time were flying dinosaurs, and we found a few of those. The T-Rex and the long necks (allosaurs, brontosaurs, brachiosaurs, barosaurs) were also among the favored dinos. What I found most interesting was the range of dinosaur sizes and exhibits about how the skeletons were reconstructed. Unfortunately, Duncan's passion did NOT also lend us the time to read all the literature, but as he grows older, I'm sure we'll get to do that as well. The frogs were numerous:  colorful; camouflaged; minuscule; shiny; wet; dry; fat; huge; squat. Name an adjective, and there was a frog to modify. The exhibit was crowded and difficult to maneuver on that day in mid-summer, but it was well worth the extra admission fee. By the time we hit the extreme mammals, Duncan was finished for the day. The extreme mammals also included less common animals, and we didn't have time to read about them so they did not live up to our hype. We stopped at the barosaurs again in the lobby and then headed home. It was a long day of cars, trains, and subways, but walking in the footprints of the dinosaurs made it worthwhile.

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