Exploring the Fossils of the BYU Museum of Paleontology

Welcome to the world of ancient creatures! The BYU Museum of Paleontology has a vast collection of fossils and specimens that offer a glimpse into the earth’s natural history. From the majestic T-rex to the humble trilobite, this museum has something to offer for everyone interested in palaeontology. Join us on a journey of exploration and discovery as we delve into the fascinating world of these prehistoric creatures and learn about their lives and habitats.

The BYU Museum of Paleontology

The Brigham Young University Museum of Paleontology is a natural history museum located on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. The museum showcases a collection of over 17,000 fossil specimens from a range of time periods, including the Cambrian, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.

History of the Museum

The BYU Museum of Paleontology was established in 1976 under the direction of Dr. James A. Jensen, a renowned paleontologist. Jensen collected fossils for over 50 years, amassing an impressive collection that he eventually donated to Brigham Young University. The museum has since grown to become one of the most prominent paleontological museums in the western United States.

The museum attracted significant attention in 2005 when they acquired the fossils of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, affectionately nicknamed “Stan”. Stan is one of the most complete T-Rex specimens ever found, with over 60% of his bones recovered. His bones have been utilized in research efforts and are highly valued among paleontologists

Exhibits and Collections

The BYU Museum of Paleontology boasts a variety of exhibits and collections. The centerpiece of the museum is a massive diorama that depicts life in ancient Utah during the Jurassic Period. Visitors can check out mounted skeletons of various dinosaur species, including Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, and Triceratops. The museum also has a great collection of marine fossils, including ammonites, trilobites, and many other arthropods.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum frequently hosts temporary exhibits. Recent examples include “Dinosaurs in Their Time” and “The Lost World of Dragonflies.” There are also hands-on exhibits where children can touch real fossils and learn about fossil preparation techniques. It’s a great educational destination for both families and scientists.

Research and Education

The museum provides educational opportunities for both students and visitors. Docent-led tours are available for groups, and the museum regularly hosts workshops for teachers interested in incorporating paleontology into their lesson plans. The museum is also available as a research facility for scientists studying ancient life. The collection is available to researchers, universities, and other museums on a case-by-case basis.

The BYU Museum of Paleontology is at the heart of the University’s paleontology program. The university has exciting ongoing research, including the excavation of numerous dinosaurs. Paleontology students at the university are also given an insider’s look into curatorial work and museum outreach.

The BYU Museum of Paleontology is a gem of the Rocky Mountain West, offering visitors a window into the past and present world of paleontology. The museum is open Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free so take advantage of the opportunity to visit the museum!

Highlights of the Museum

The BYU Museum of Paleontology is a fascinating destination for people who love prehistoric creatures. The museum boasts of an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils and runs a range of educational programs for both adults and children.

Dinosaur Collection

The BYU Museum of Paleontology is home to one of the most impressive displays of dinosaur fossils in the world. Visitors can get up close and personal with the massive skeletons of prehistoric giants, including a T-rex, a Stegosaurus, and a Camarasaurus.

The museum’s dinosaur collection is educational and mesmerizing, with specimens from all over the world. Visitors can learn about each dinosaur’s anatomy, diet, habitat, and other interesting facts. The collection also includes fossils from other ancient creatures like giant marine reptiles, flying reptiles, and prehistoric mammals.

The Dinosaur Collection is the most visited section of the museum, and for a good reason. There is something incredibly awe-inspiring about seeing the massive bones of animals that roamed the earth millions of years ago.

The Jurassic Period

The museum’s focus is on the Jurassic Period, a time in history when dinosaurs ruled the planet. During this period, the Earth’s geography and climate were very different from what we know today.

The museum has a range of unique specimens on display that date back to the Jurassic Period. These specimens help visitors understand the environment in which these ancient creatures lived. There are also interactive exhibits that bring the history of the Jurassic Period to life, allowing visitors to experience what life was like for these magnificent creatures.

The highlight of the museum’s Jurassic Period section is the “Wall of Bones.” This exhibit features a 150-foot-long display of fossilized bones from a wide array of prehistoric creatures that lived during the Jurassic Period.

Paleontology Field Experiences

One of the most exciting things about the BYU Museum of Paleontology is that visitors can participate in real paleontology field experiences with museum staff.

The museum organizes programs that take visitors out into the field to search for fossils with paleontologists. This is an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to get their hands dirty and learn about the science of paleontology. Visitors can witness firsthand the painstaking work that goes into excavating and preserving fossils and get a unique learning experience in the process.

The paleontology field experiences range from short, one-day visits to longer camps that last several days. These programs are well supervised and are designed to provide visitors with a unique and educational experience.

The BYU Museum of Paleontology is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures. With numerous exhibits, interactive displays, and hands-on opportunities, the museum is an excellent place to learn, have fun, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re planning to explore the fascinating world of ancient fossils and natural history, the BYU Museum of Paleontology in Utah is a must-visit for you. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit and make it a memorable experience.

Hours and Admission

The BYU Museum of Paleontology is open from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The museum is situated on the eastern edge of the Brigham Young University campus. Admission is free for everyone, and the museum management does not require any prior reservation to visit the museum. 

However, the museum does accept donations to help support its research studies. Besides, if you’re planning to visit the museum with a large group of visitors, such as a school or university group or a tour group, you can notify the museum management in advance. They’ll be happy to accommodate you, and might even arrange a guided tour for you. 

It’s also worth noting that the museum offers a 10% discount on souvenirs and gift shop items to BYU students and employees. 

Getting Here

The BYU Museum of Paleontology is located at the corner of 1000 E and Bulldog Blvd in Provo, Utah. Visitors can use the Google Maps app or online maps to get to the museum and find nearby parking.

If you’re coming by car, there’s a free parking lot just south of the museum building. Visitors can also take the Utah Valley Express (UVX) bus service, which has stops at the museum. The UVX bus service is free to use for everyone, and the museum is situated at the “MTC” stop. 

Visitors who are disabled or have mobility issues can also use the nearby handicapped parking lot or get assistance from the museum staff.

Tours and Events

The BYU Museum of Paleontology offers a wide range of tours and events throughout the year for people of all ages. These include guided tours, public lectures, and workshops on paleontology, geology, and natural history. Here are some of the most popular tours and events available at the museum.

Guided Tours: Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the museum, which is led by a trained museum guide. Visitors can learn about the museum exhibits and fossils, and ask questions about the history and science behind the displays. The guided tours are available for everyone, and there are no extra fees for the tours. 

Public Lectures/Workshops: Visitors can participate in the museum’s public lectures and workshops, which are held throughout the year. These events are designed for people of all ages, and explore various themes related to paleontology, geology, and natural history. Visitors can learn more about the science and history of ancient fossils, the natural environment, and the earth’s history. These events might require prior registration.

Student Programs: The museum also offers various programs and resources for students and teachers. The museum has several online resources, including lesson plans, videos, and educational games. Schools and universities can also plan field trips to the museum and get a chance to learn from trained museum experts.

The best way to find out about the tours and events available at the BYU Museum of Paleontology is to check their official website or call them for more information.

With its fascinating displays, expert guides, and engaging events, the BYU Museum of Paleontology is the perfect place for visitors of all ages and interests to explore the wonders of natural history and ancient fossils. Plan a visit today and create memories that will last a lifetime! 

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