In the Province of Alberta Canada, way in the southeast corner near the US border, there’s a place that cares about Dinosaurs. It’s called the Royal Terrell Museum in the town of Drumheller, AB.
Many years ago – too many to even fathom – dinosaurs roamed free here. Today, there’s little surface evidence of their existence. But far underground and many eons of centuries earlier, thousands existed. They shared the earth until they were hungry and then the strongest and hungriest fought to their death and ultimate destruction. It’s hard for us to imagine what life was like back then. So, after recognizing their unique historical significance, the town of Drumheller built a real tourist attraction to memorialize and try to understand these beasts that ruled the earth.
With the help of archeologists and geologists and patient passionate history buffs, we now have a wealth of information about them. Here are a few images from the museum that help us imagine what life was like millions of years ago.
Beyond the museum is a preserved area nearby where Dinosaur remains have been unearthed. Canada has conserved this land and made it accessible to all people interested in the quest for knowledge about these incredible creatures. It’s Dinosaur Provincial Park – a World Heritage Site - and you have to want to get there since it is an hour drive from the nearest town or village in Southern Alberta. It is somewhat unexpected when you arrive. For miles, the land looks like any agricultural area in the Midwest – flat and endless. As you approach the Park, the land changes from flat to deep gorges created by an ancient river that no longer exists. This dry river bed drops 1000 feet in elevation to reveal places where dinosaur bones were uncovered by archeologists in the early 1900s.
It generated such excitement that the newspapers of the time announced a Dinosaur Rush. Towns were built around the popularity of discovering the bones of ancient dinosaurs.
To see it with my own eyes, was a true revelation. While the area suggests that bones can still be lying around, the truth is they are so far underground that only professionals can find them. To underscore the significance however, the Canadian’s built sturdy preservation facilities to share where the actual findings were discovered. Here is one.
After a day of developing awareness, on land where dinosaurs roamed, I was glad to get into my car and return to the civilization that I know and appreciate. Why the dinosaurs lost their dominance and are buried under years of sand and dirt, we’ll never know. But knowing they existed on the same land that I hiked somehow makes me wonder how civilizations of tomorrow will recall our existence. Might we be the dinosaurs of the future?