T.rex Tuesday Utah Road Trip

It’s time for an exciting T.rex Tuesday special May Day edition! We’ve been pretty hard to nail down lately, but that hasn’t been without at least a few side benefits. We’ll be sharing some of those over the next few weeks as we get settled in here in Colorado. Here’s the first! While making the journey from California to Minnesota at the beginning of April, we had the opportunity to stop by the Museum of Ancient Life in Lehi, UT, and see their impressive collection of mostly cast dinosaur skeletons - which is touted as the largest collection in the world. While there are a number of impressive specimens represented, it’s only appropriate for T.rex Tuesday that we focus on the dueling pair of Tyrannosaurus rexes poised over a hadrosaur in a scene very reminiscent of the one at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.

A pair of Tyrannosaurus rex casts are posed squaring off in the Cretaceous hall of the Museum of Ancient Life in Lehi, UT. 

A pair of Tyrannosaurus rex casts are posed squaring off in the Cretaceous hall of the Museum of Ancient Life in Lehi, UT. 

I am not sure at all what specimens are represented here at this museum, but it’s clear that they aren’t duplicates of the same one. To be honest, the short snout of the one crouching down looks an awful lot like the holotype at the Carnegie, which only enhances the similarity between the two museums.  

I don’t know for certain whether or not the Museum of Ancient Life’s collection of cast skeletons lives up to its claim as the world’s largest. But I can say that it’s an impressive collection either way. When you walk through the door, you’re greeted by an impressive Torvosaurus chasing a trio of small Othnelia - a species that is represented liberally inside - while a Quetzelcoatlus circles overhead. It’s a great beginning to what is a real adventure inside. And while a large number of the specimens are cast, there is a fossil prep lab inside as well, and several preparators were busy at work on a specimen of Barosaurus, a sauropod unearthed in Wyoming in 1995. I’ll certainly be circling back to this museum a number of times for Saurian Sunday and Theropod Thursday specials, as there was A LOT to see.

The Museum of Ancient Life is located in Lehi, UT, about 20 minutes south of Salt Lake City, right along side I-15.