Liz Butler Draws The ROM: Dinosaurs!
This week I was off to the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs. These are definitely my favourite galleries, no question. Drawing dinosaur bones is tricky, but it’s so much fun to spend that time imagining the creatures that must have belonged to the bones! Who needs dragons when you have dinosaurs?
I chose to draw the skulls of a Corythosaurus and an Acrotholus. The Corythosaurus, like many hadrosaurs, had a beautiful crest, and you can see many examples of these crests at the museum (Corythosaurus, Parasaurolophus, and Lambeosaurus, as well as some crest-less relatives). Acrotholus has a pretty amazing skull, too, only instead of a crest it had a super thick, bony head. Awesome!
Which dinosaur is your favourite? Does your favourite dinosaur have special teeth, claws, crests, spikes, horns or plates?
- Liz Butler is an artist and teacher who loves natural history and museums. She loves drawing, painting, and making crafts of all kinds. She is happiest when she can find ways to combine art projects with science content.
- Liz’s Website – Liz Butler Draws
- Liz’s Blog – Saw Whet Studio
- More guest posts from Liz HERE!
- Do you like to sketch? Love museums? Are you a full time student in Canada? The ROM is yours to explore, FREE, every Tuesday! MORE!
- All photographs: Kiron Mukherjee.
Guest Post By Liz Butler. Last Updated: November 18th, 2013.
Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! OR You’re eating a dinosaur!
Once you’re done with your turkey dinner, considering taking a trip to your local museum. Google “turkey skeleton" and compare what comes up to a group of dinosaurs called theropods-those awesomely vicious dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex and Deinonychus.
Does anything look familiar? Take a look at those wings, legs and that wonderful head. Doesn’t it look strikingly similar to that of a Deinonychus? The feet could be the same. Throw some teeth in that turkey beak and you’d have a nightmare that could only be a dinosaur! As well, doesn’t that Deinonychus look shockingly familiar if you cover it with feathers?
Though it’s difficult to figure out exactly where they fit on the family tree, especially with the increasing evidence that many dinosaurs had feathers, most scientists (like almost all!) agree that birds are dinosaurs and that they rest upon the theropod branch. But perhaps the even more mysterious question is how did avian dinosaurs survive, while the rest of the dinosaurs vanished?
So for those carnivores out there (like me!) taking part in a dinosaur dinner, enjoy! And to those who choose to pass and sample a tofu or vegetable option instead, take comfort that you’ll have no guilty dinosaur eating dreams tonight!
- Wikipedia: Origin of Brids
- Smithsonian: What Kind of Dinosaur is Coming to Dinner?
- xkcd: Birds and Dinosaurs
- Discovery: Modern Birds Are Really Baby Dinosaurs
- Archosaur Musings: Your Thanksgiving / Christmas theropod
- Archaeopteryx detail. (Reproduction of the the Berlin specimen). Kiron Mukherjee.
- Deinonychus skull. Kiron Mukherjee.
- David Lewis, “Turkey" May 2, 2007 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.
Written by @kironcmukherjee. Last update: October 13th, 2013.
Damien’s Wish: A Day as a Palaeontologist
By Dale Brusselers
If you could wish for anything what would it be? As hard as a decision as this is to make for most of us, for young Damien, age 12, it was a no-brainer. This week the ROM and Make-A-Wish Canada teamed up to help grant Damien—who has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia—his wish to be a paleontologist for a day and work alongside curators behind the scenes. The ROM facilitated this by providing a gallery tour with Dr. Hans Larsson and Dr. David Evans, after which they moved into the private collections and finally concluded in Brian Iwama’s palaeobiology lab.
Since he was a little boy Damien has had a fascination with dragons, which transformed into a love of dinosaurs. This was extremely evident in the young dinosaur enthusiast as he toured the ROM’s galleries and labs discussing fossils and discoveries with the experts. Damien shared his impressive knowledge and passion of dinosaurs as he carried conversations with Evans and Larsson like a seasoned palaeontologist.
“I wanted to come here because I just like dinosaurs, period,” said Damien “I’m walking on cloud nine. I’ve just experienced the best day ever.”
Immersed in the ROM’s collections, Damien’s eyes lit up with an eagerness to see and learn it all from two of his idols. It was truly inspiring.
Damien is a veritable “palaeo-wunderchild”, and the ROM and Make-A-Wish, along with Drs Larsson and Evans are all very pleased to have been able to help make his wish come true.
- Dr. Hans Larsson, Damien Buckley and Dr, David Evans at the collections lab. Photo: Wanda Dobrowlanski
- Damien and Brian Iwama. Photo: Wanda Dobrowlanski
- Damien working at the lab! Photo: Wanda Dobrowlanski
#romkidsgoeswhere: Pearson International Airport & “A scene from the late Jurassic”
Our adventure to New York has wrapped, but even though @anastagee and I were back in Toronto, we had to make ONE FINAL trip to see some dinosaurs at Pearson International Airport.
Wait, what?! Dinosaurs at an airport?
Next time you’re at Pearson, drop by Terminal 1 and you’ll be able to check out this awesome “scene from the late Jurassic”! Learn more below!
Needless to say, it was a great way to say “hello” to home, with a piece of the ROM, a set of dinosaurs, and Toronto firmly below my feet.
CHECK THIS OUT: Research Casting International installs the exhibit!
DESCRIPTION OF THE SCENE
Othnielia rex, a small, agile, plant-eating dinosaur fed on low-growing vegetation, which it cropped with its turtle-like beak and then chopped with chisel-shaped cheek teeth.Othnielia walked on its hind legs, and used its stiff tail for balance. Unlike other herbivores, Othnielia lacked defenses such as bony spikes or plates, and it likely relied upon speed and agility to escape predators such as Allosaurus.
Allosaurus was the most common large meat-eating dinosaur in the Late Jurassic period. It grew to 11 metres (36 feet) in length, and weighed up to 3 tonnes. Allosauruswas a formidable predator, possessing powerful legs for swift pursuit. Its front limbs were equipped with large claws for grasping prey and its powerful jaws were trimmed with dozens of serrated teeth for tearing flesh.
The scene takes place against a backdrop of fossil-rich sedimentary rocks of the Morrison Formation. The sediments that formed the rocks were deposited on a vast lowland plain in a seasonally dry environment rich in dinosaur life. Morrison rocks, and the fossils they contain, are exposed widely throughout the western United States, from New Mexico to Montana. The Morrison fauna is best known for the giant plant-eating sauropods such as Apatosaurus and Barosaurus, but also includes the well-known plated dinosaur Stegosaurus, and the horned carnivore Ceratosaurus. Fossil remains of plants, fishes, frogs, salamanders, crocodilians, lizards, pterosaurs, turtles, and even small mammals provide a detailed picture of the environment in which the dinosaurs lived.
The display was conceived and overseen by Dr. David Evans, Associate Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology in the ROM’s Natural History department and was constructed by the craftsmen of Research Casting International (RCI), one of the world’s largest providers of museum technical services. RCI recently mounted the first fossil Barosaurus skeleton, the 27-metre (90-foot) centrepiece of the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs in the ROM’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. The Barosaurus is the largest dinosaur on permanent display in Canada and one of only two Barosaurus skeletons on display in the world.
- Learn more about the Allosaurus exhibit and other displays at Pearson HERE.
- Check out the ROM press release for the exhibit HERE.
- Learn more about Allosaurus in this great piece from Brian Switek HERE.
- Catch up on the rest my trip to New York HERE.
- See all of our previous #romkidsgoeswhere HERE!
- Thanks for joining us for our latest #romkidsgoeswhere: Kiron Goes To New York!