Houston Museum of Natural Science

Yesterday I went to Houston Texas for an appointment with the French Consulate to get my long-stay visa for France. Since I had to drive three hours there from Austin for an appointment that only took one I decided to spend the afternoon there. After my appointment I had breakfast at a place called Baby Barnaby’s (excellent food, get the green eggs plate) and then I went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I had been there before a few years ago to see Lucy, our famous Australopithecine ancestor, which was a really great exhibit. This time around there was an exhibit called Warriors, Tombs and Temples which was all about Chinese history and dynasties.  My favorite parts of the museum:

A Crystal Skull. It reminds me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Plus it’s pretty incredible to think they found a crystal large enough to carve down into a skull.

This Mastodon flings a hunter with his tusks, but the hunter’s homie gets payback. I really like the way that the people who set up the exhibits seemed to have had some fun with it. It made the exhibits really stand out in my mind.

Irrefutable evidence that we did not come from Adam and Eve, unless they were Australopithecus Afarensis. This exhibit changed since the last time I visited about 5 years ago. They added some humanoid species to the list that came before Australopithecus. There was also a great mural of humanoid species and a tree of where humans, apes and monkeys split off.

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The mammal section was very interesting. The photo bellow is a Mastodon about to be eaten my a Megalodon shark. Mastodons were supposedly good swimmers and so this scenario was highly probably way back when. Also in this section was an ancient ancestor of the sloth that was as big as an modern-day elephant. He looked a lot tougher than the sloths you see in zoos today.

And of course… no Paleontology exhibit is complete without dinosaurs. I loved dinosaurs when I was a kid. Who didn’t right? This museum has about four or five T- Rex’s, a Velociraptor, an Alosaurus, Stegasaurus, two long-necks (yes I forgot the name so I’m using a term from Land Before Time), and two enormous Pterodactyls among many other dinosaurs. It’s always awe-inspiring to see the T-Rex, a truly amazing predator. I was really surprised by the giant Pterodactyls. These were a different species of Pterodactyl that had a wingspan of 35ft. It’s hard to tell from the photo but they were about 15ft tall and pretty menacing.

Last but not least was the exhibit Warriors, Tombs and Temples. It was a rather small exhibit, but the pieces they had on display were top notch. I learned a lot about Chinese history, which was great for me because in the western world you learn mostly western history and so I never really knew much about ancient history of the far east. These terracotta warriors made during the reign of the Qin dynasty around 200BCE were fantastic.

Cannibalism = bad Karma

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4 thoughts on “Houston Museum of Natural Science

  1. I went to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC with two other chemists from work. We walk through the early hominids section after which one of them, a PhD chemist, turns to us and says “you don’t really believe this stuff right?”

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    1. Yeah maybe they change them around. I remember both a raptor and dieynchus and when I went it was definitely a pterasaur. I don’t remember seeing a quetzacoatulaz. Great museum isn’t it? I think it’s comparable to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural Science in regards to their fossil dept. at least.

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