25 July 2015

A Visit To the McWane Science Center, Part II: Southern Sea Monsters

In the previous post, we took a look at the Alabama Dinosaurs exhibit at the McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Alabama. However, as you may remember from the last post, much of Alabama was underwater during the Cretaceous Period, submerged by a shallow seaway.

Notice how much of Alabama is submerged by a shallow seaway.
[image from Sampson et al, 2010, 'New Horned Dinosaurs from Utah Provide Evidence for
Intracontinental Dinosaur Endemism'
, under CC Attribution 2.5 Generic licence]

The warm waters of this shallow sea teemed with life, and after more than 75 million years, the fossil record of these marine organisms can be found in Alabama, with a diversity and richness far surpassing the state's known collection of dinosaur fossils from this time. McWane presents a sampling of this prehistoric marine life in the sister exhibit to Alabama Dinosaurs, fetchingly entitled Sea Monsters...

WARNING: Clicking the 'read more' link below without having this open in another tab is highly dangerous. Proceed at your own risk.

17 July 2015

A Visit To the McWane Science Center, Part I: Dinosaurs of the Deep South

Sorry for the long absence. Hopefully there will be new content -- including art -- here soon.

Anyway, if you should ever find yourself in Birmingham, Alabama, as my family and I did last week, a day at the McWane Science Center is sure to prove a day well spent. McWane features a museum as well as an IMAX, and most of the exhibits are geared toward kid-friendly interactivity: there is a hall of physical-science based challenges, brain teasers, and the like, an aquarium featuring a shark and ray touch pool, and space for visiting exhibits, which at the time of our trip was hosting an interesting, interactive-heavy exhibit on the history toys and games over 20th and 21st centuries. Of course, as soon as we'd paid our admission, I dragged the family up a flight of stairs to get to what we all* came to see: the dinosaurs.

A nodosaur browses amongst the ferns as an Appalachiosaurus stalks behind it.
[photograph by the author]