For 25 years, the Royal Tyrrell Museum has been piecing together stories of the plant and animal life that existed on earth thousands of years ago.
While collecting bones, along the way they collected quite a few stories of their own.
On the occasion of the Tyrrell's 25th anniversary, they are getting ready to share those stories with the world.
Right now, the museum is dedicating the resources of designers, researchers, technicians and virtually every other aspect of its organization in some way to make way for its celebration exhibit, Alberta Unearthed: 25 Stories of Discovery.
This exhibit will include the most notable specimens, and the stories behind them. It will include a number of discoveries that have almost become lore in the palaeontology world. Leanna Mohan, marketing coordinator for the Royal Tyrrell Museum, says the discoveries are largely from Western Canada.
“Some are stunning from the scientific value, some are stunning just to look at, and some have great stories,” said Mohan.
On display will be Black Beauty, the nickname of a Tyrannosaurus Rex discovered in the Crowsnest Pass by a couple of young men out fishing in the early 1980’s. Blackened from the mineral deposits over the years, it is a remarkable specimen, and was found about 60 per cent complete. It has only been exhibited a handful of times.
Another legendary find is the Devil's Coulee nest. In 1987 a young girl from Warner, Alberta found what she believed was a dinosaur eggshell. It was confirmed, and Dr. Phil Currie led a crew to investigate. It was Kevin Aulenbach who stumbled upon the nearly 80 per cent complete nest of a Hadrosaur. What made the find extraordinary is the discovery of intact embryos of the dinosaurs.
There are 23 more specimens that will be on display when the 2,000 square foot gallery opens May 22, 2010. The finds are from different ages of the museum, as it grew from the unique roots of one of the first museums of its scope outside of a metropolitan area, to the world-renowned educational and research institution it is today.
Along the way, it was given Royal status, built relationships through international programs and symposiums and has been actively doing research locally and throughout the world.
Dr. Don Brinkman who, along with Dr. Don Henderson, is taking the scientific lead on the exhibition. Brinkman says, in telling the stories behind the specimens, they are telling the stories of the museum.
The exhibition has been in the planning process for about two years, and under active construction for about a year. Luke Webster is the principal designer.
While the museum is set to open the exhibition in May, the actual anniversary is later in the fall and plans are in the works for a celebration.
“Our anniversary on September 25 will be a week long celebration,” said Mohan.
Alberta Arts Days from September 17 to 24 lead up to the anniversary, and will take an active role in the celebration. Look for more details in upcoming issues of The Drumheller Mail.