Utah Field House of Natural History

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Pteranodan – One of the largest flying reptiles with a wingspan of 23-30 feet. A fur covered reptile & may have been warm blooded. Cretaceous Period.

On October 2, 2015, we took time on a rainy day to visit The Utah Field House of Natural History Museum in Vernal, Utah.  There isn’t anyway that I can cover the scope of this exhibit and I certainly don’t understand all that we saw.  I took pictures and will try and give an overview of this fascinating museum.

Main Floor Exhibits

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Diplodocus Weighed about 10 – 12 tons, with a length of about 90 feet. Was one of the largest dinosaurs. Jurassic Period.
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Diplodocus
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Diplodocus

When working with fossils paleontologists must remove the fossils safely from the rock, identify the fossil and put the fossil back together after matching the pieces.

 

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Fossil Lab

The Wreck of a Former World

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Leaving the entrance area of the main floor you enter an area showing fossils almost exclusively collected around the Vernal, Utah, area.

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This 80 Mile Map shows the rock found around Vernal (Utah Field House)

One of the first exhibits are the bones of a Haplocanthosaurus.

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Haplocanthosaurus

This is the most complete skeleton ever found of this animal, but sadly they have been unable to locate its head.  This dinosaur lived approximately 150 million years ago, making it one of the oldest dinosaurs found in the North America.

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Bones of Haplocanthosaurus

Measuring up to Stegosaurus

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Stegosaurus. Was approximately 25 feet long and weighed 4-6 tons. His brain was the size of a kitten brain at 2-1/2 oz. Jurassic Period

 

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Stegosaurus

The Eocene Epoch

During the Eocene dinosaurs had become extinct, there were huge lakes and a warm climate.  Plants and insects flourished.  This is known because the fossil record is very complete.  The body shape and diet of these animal fossils can be guessed about but we don’t know how they related to one another or how they sounded.  We also don’t have too many fossils of forest plants so this is still an unknown.

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Uintatheres – Was one of the largest land animals during the late Eocene. They were plant eaters but had intimidating tusks & 6 horns on their heads. This entire family of animals is extinct.

 

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Rhino Jawbone – 45 MYA
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Lower Jaw of a Wolf-like Animal – 45 MYA

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Dolichorhinus – 45 MIA – Closely related to horses & rhinos

Alligators in Utah?

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Alligators and Turtles – 45 MYA

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Bird Skeleton 49-50 MYA
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Leaves – approx. 45 MYA

Life Sized Reproductions of Animals of the Past

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Knob Headed Uintathere

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Coelophysis Triassic Period
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Utahraptor Early Cretaceous Period
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Woolly Mammoth Quaternary Period

There are many more rooms and exhibits but I feel I’ve given a pretty good overview of the museum.  It is a remarkable effort by the state of Utah to showcase these amazing fossils.