Friday, April 23, 2010

Albertasaurus poised to rampage through Waterloo

While I’ve known about it for years I only recently visited the Earth Sciences Museum at the University of Waterloo for the first time. I was accompanied by all three of my sons, two of whom had been there before, and we were there with a group of kids with their parents. We saw a presentation on dinosaurs that was engaging, fun, and educational. Millions of years were covered, with museum exhibits of an Albertosaurus and other extinct species illustrating points about how dinosaurs lived. The boys and I learned a new word too, discovering that the Brachiosaurus, as well as other dinosaurs and some modern animals, swallowed rocks to facilitate digestion; the museum has a specimen of such a gastrolith.

Finally, just prior to leaving, my sons led me to the 8.5 meter gneiss monolith, a truly massive slab of rock that dominates a stairwell in the Centre for Environmental Information Technology building in which the museum is housed.

As with other entries in this series, the Earth Sciences Museum makes Waterloo a better place to live — even if the large and extinct carnivore won’t really rampage through the city.

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