|Desert Bird of Paradise|
|Peter Rabbit's Garden|
|Prickly Pear Cactus|
|Smiloden - Clemson's Oldest Tiger|
Velociraptor mongoliensis lived during the Cretaceous Period, 71-75 million years ago. This guy was found in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia.
They have a room in the museum that houses a bunch of what looks like plain rocks, that is, until you turn the lights off and the ultraviolet lamps come on. Then the rocks light up into beautiful minerals. This is called mineral fluorescence.
The light from the ultraviolet lamps reacts with small amounts of impurities in a mineral and the mineral starts to glow (this is called fluorescence). These were really cool.
|Amethyst Geode, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil|
|Sandstone Sedimentary Rock|
|Aragonite, Santa Eulalia, Mexico|
|Barite, Durango, Mexico|
|Azurite (blue); Malachite (green)|
A reconstruction of how ammonites likely appeared in the Paleozoic ocean more than 400 million years ago. Ammonites and nautiloids are excellent "index fossils" because it is often possible to link the rock layer in which they are found to specific geologic time periods. The fossil is from the Jurassic period, approximately 190 million years ago. It was found in Lyme Regis, UK
|Arietites bucklandi Ammonite|
|Tyrannosaurus Rex (pea brain)|
The pink highlight is the size of the Tyrannosaurus Rex's brain. It is also shown in the above pictures in the little case next to the explanation. Smaller brains were the norm for the large dinosaurs with the T. Rex having one of the larger brains, although it is not considered to be the smartest of the dinosaurs.
Using the general ratio of brain mass to body mass for estimating intelligence, most scientists speculate that members of the Troodon, a genus of Cretaceous, bird-like dinosaurs, were likely the most intelligent. Even so, these dinosaurs considered to be the smartest of them all, were probably not as intelligent as modern birds or mammals. That means that the giant T. Rex could probably be outsmarted by a kitten if it lived today.
|Mammal-like reptile embryological skeleton, Triassic Period|
|One huge footprint|
Quote for the Day: "Fossils have richer stories to tell - about the lub-dub of dinosaur life - than we have been willing to listen to." ~ Robert T. Bakker