Huell Howser - He Will Be Missed
Places Earth would like to honor the passing of the great California explorer, Huell Howser. I did not know Huell personally, although I met him once, but many people in California knew him through his countless television explorations into California history, geography, and people. A recent country song said something like, “it’s not what you take with you, but what you leave behind, when you go.” The song continues, “the teacher left her knowledge in the minds of many children...” Huell didn’t pass along his knowledge, he helped us to acquire that knowledge together. Countless people know more about California than we would have had Huell stayed in Tennessee, but had he stayed in Tennessee, we would know a lot more about Tennessee. Huell didn’t inspire this website, nor introduce me to all the places here, but he introduced me to many of them. Now we are all on our own again.
State Parks, Historic Sites, and Museums need your help.
Throughout the country, state parks, historic sites, museums, and similar institutions are struggling to continue operating. Because of general financial problems, many of these institutions are operating on a reduced schedule or in danger of closing. Some are being forced to sell off artifacts and property. Many will not weather these hard times without your help.
Places Earth urges everyone to support these vital and important public resources any way you can. Please donate your treasure, time, and talent. Write to your governor and other elected officials telling them to find a way to keep state parks open. It will be your loss.
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Dinosaur World opened in March of 2008, one of several parks in a chain. Over 100 life-size fiberglass dinosaurs and other primeval creatures are displayed in this site near Dinosaur Valley State Park. The Dinosaur Walk is a meandering trail that takes visitors past dozens of dioramas of full-size dinosaurs, usually in groups of two or three. A small museum with mostly copies of fossils contains useful information about these creatures. For children, there is a play area and Fossil Dig where participants can look through sand and find their own fossils. A gift shop sells dinosaur related objects. |
Park Road 59
Glen Rose, TX 76043
Just outside the gates to Dinosaur Valley State Park
Open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving Day
9:00 am Central time to 5:00 pm Central time.
The sister parks in Cave City, Kentucky and Plant City, Florida have similar hours and prices (this author hasn't yet had the privilege of visiting the other two parks).
|The entry gate to Dinosaur World, gateway to wonder.|
The trail begins.
|Euoplocephalus. (yu-oh-plo-SEEF-ah-lus). A true dinosaur with a soft underbelly but a back armored with bony plates and spikes from its nose to the club on its tail. It had a beak at its snout for eating tough plants. This quadruped lived in North America.|
|Diplocaulus. (di-plo-KAWL-us). This salamander-like early amphibian was not a dinosaur. It could reach over three feet in length and seems to have been common, based on the many fossils found. It lived in lakes and streams and its triangular head probably aided it in swimming.|
|Dimetrodon (dy-MET-ro-don). An early reptile that walked with its legs to the side like a lizard, it was not a dinosaur which by definition had the legs below. It had a two t o three foot high sail on its back for control of body temperature and/or courtship display. This carnivore lived in western North America.|
|Lystrosaurus. (LYST-roh-SAWR-us). This mammal-like reptile ate plants throughout the Southern Hemisphere, including Antarctica which was warmer then. Scientists have not agreed as to wether it lived mostly on land in burrows or mostly in the water.|
|Scelidosaurus. (skel-ID-oh_SAWR-us). This early armored herbivore is known from widely distributed fossils, all from England, including skin impressions. It is not certain to which family of dinosaur it belongs.|
|Scutellosaurus. (SKOO-tel-o-SAWR-us). This small North American herbivore was an early dinosaur. It lived on land and mostly walked on its hind legs, counterbalanced by the long tail, twice as long as the rest of the body. It was covered with bony shields for protection.|
|Allosaurus. (AL-o-SAWR-us). A large bipedal carnivore from North America, Australia, and possibly Africa, and Asia, when these continents were connected, make it a wide spread creature. It is believed that heavy bones and powerful muscles made Allosaurus a fast runner. Each hand had three fingers with sharp claws.|
|Liliensternus. (LIL-ee-en-STIR-nus). One of the largest of the early carnivores. Bipedal dinosaur from Europe, resembles Dilophosaurus with a long neck and tail.|
|Stegosaurus. (STEG-oh-SAW-rus). This herbivores quadruped is the only plated dinosaur found in North America and has also been found in Europe. While the body was the size of an elephant, it had a small head and a brain the size of a walnut. An enlargement of the spinal cord in the hip area has been speculated to be a second brain, but this theory has been disputed. A double row of plates along the back and part of the tail may have been for defense or body temperature control, or both and four spites on the tail made a formidable defensive weapon. Many specimens have been found in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.|
||Massospondylos. (MASS-oh--SPON-die-lus). This African herbivore swallowed small stone to aid in digestion as some birds do today. Many other dinosaurs also did this.|
|Dilophosaurus. (dy-LOH-foh-SAWR-us). A carnivore from North America and China. Like many meat eaters, it was bipedal with strong hind legs and smaller arms, four toes and three fingers, all with sharp claws. It had two high thin crests along the top of its head, possibly for signaling or courtship.|
|Ceratosaurus. (sayr-AT-oh-SAWR-us). A carnivore related to Allisaurus who's fossils have been found among Allisaurus remains. This bipedal animal lived in North America and Africa. It is the only known carnivore with a horn. The horn seems not to have been useful in hunting but may have been used in courtship.|
|Minmi. (MIN-mee). Herbivore dinosaur with armored plates and a pointed tail (not clubbed as with most armored dinosaurs). Extra bones in its spine supported the weight of the armor plates and seem to be unique. Its name, the shortest official dinosaur name, is derived from the location in Australia where it was found.|
|Coelophysis. (see-lo-FYS-iss). Small bipedal carnivore with a long tail and neck. Large numbers of fossils have been found in Eastern United States and New Mexico and it is believed they hunted in packs. In 1998 a skull was taken to the Russian space station Mir, becoming the first space traveling dinosaur.|
|Pelecanimimus. (Pel-un-can-im-MIE-mus). Early Cretaceous therapod found in Spain. It had about 220 teeth and scientists disagree as to whether it ate meat, plants, or both. Some well preserved skin impressions suggest a throat pouch.|
|Gastonia. (gas-TOH-nee-uh). Although not a fast runner, this herbivore had bony plates and spikes for protection. It is a well known recent discovery in Utah.|
|Psittacosaurus. (SIT-ah-ko-SAWR-us). Related to ceratopsians, Psittacosaurus had a beak and small bony frill. It usually walked on its hind legs but used its front legs when grazing. Many excellent complete skeletons have been found in China and Mongolia and a baby Psittacosaurus is among the smallest dinosaurs found at under 12 inches.|
|Iguanodon. (ih-GWAHN-oh-don). Bipedal herbivore found on every continent except Antarctica. It is probably the first dinosaur discovered and the second named, although the first reconstructions more resembled a lizard with a horn on its nose. The horn turned out to be a claw on the hand. Iguanodon had three toes on its foot and five fingers, the claw at an angle to the other four fingers. Remains are found in large groups suggesting they were herding animals.|
|Styracosaurus (sty-RAK-oh-SAWR-us). A ceratopsian, a herbivores quadruped with a two foot long by six inch diameter horn on its nose and two stubs above its eyes. It is believed that it was capable of running 20 miles per hours . A herd of one hundred individuals has been found in Canada.|
|Brachiosaurus. (BRAK-ee-o-SAWR-us). One of the largest animals ever to live on land, once thought to lived in water, this is no longer believed. A full grown Brachiosaurus would have weighed over seventy tons and eaten over four hundred pounds of plants daily. They lived in herds in Africa, Europe, and North America.|
|Ultrasaurus (UHL-trah-SAWR-us). This is one of the largest animals ever to have lived, although there is question as to whether it might be a large Brachiosaurus or a combination of two different species. It was a Sauropod and herbivore with a long neck for reaching tree tops.|
|Spinosaurus (Spy-noh-SAW-rus). One of the largest carnivores, it had a large spine on its back extending from the neck to the hips. The spine may have been for temperature control and/or courtship. It was bipedal with a powerful jaw. The best specimen was destroyed in WW II but more were found in Africa.|
|Saltasaurus (SAHLT-ah-SAWR-us). Herbivore measuring forty feet in total length. It had five toes on each of its strong legs and may hare reared up to reach higher branches. Small bony plates have been found among the skeletons suggesting they were armored. Saltasaurus is from Argentina.|
|Oviraptor (o-vee-RAP-tor). A small bird-like omnivore dinosaur found in the Gobi desert of Mongolia. While only about five or six feet long with a short head, it had large jaws shaped like a beak and powerful jaw muscles and ate anything it wanted from eggs and meat to plants and insects. Oviraptor had an unusual crest above its snout filled with air passages and openings for its nose.|
|Triceratops (try-SAIR-uh-TOPS). One of the last dinosaurs to evolve toward the end of the dinosaur era. The largest and heaviest of the Ceratopsian dinosaurs with a smooth solid frill, a short thick nose horn, and two large horns above the eyes. They may have traveled in herds and large numbers have been found in Montana, Wyoming, and Alberta.|
|Carnotaurus. (KAR-noh-TAW-rus). Only one specimen has been found of this carnivore, a nearly complete skeleton from Argentina. Fossils include skin impressions showing a pebbly skin. It was bipedal with a short snout and two horns on its head.|
|Pachycephalosaurus. (pack-ih-SEF-uh-loh-SAWR-us). This bipedal herbivore is the largest from a group of dome headed dinosaurs that some experts speculate butted heads, although this has not been proven. It saw the end of the dinosaur era. Remains have been found in North America.|
|Deinonychus (die-NON-ee-kus). A bipedal carnivore who probably hunted in packs. This ten to twelve foot dinosaur was first described in the 1960s from fossils found in North America. Many scientists speculate that it was the most intelligent and deadliest of the dinosaurs. It had powerful hands and one of the three toes on each foot had an enlarged claw.|
|Stegoceras. (steg-OS-er-as). A small to medium size dome-headed herbivore from North America and China. It had a large bran protected by a three inch thick skull and it is speculated that they may have butted heads for dominance the way wild goats do today.|
|Maiasaura (May-a-SAWR-a). A large herbivore of the Hadrosaur duck-bill family. Over two hundred individuals have been found in the United States presenting a range of life including fossils found in nests of two dozen eggs showing that Maiasaura cared for its young, thus its name which means 'good mother dinosaur.'|
|Stygimoloch (stij-ih-MAH-luk). Bipedal herbivore found in Montana. They had a complex skull consisting of a dome and horn cores on the back of the skull believed to support clusters of horns. To date a fossil of the front of the skull had not yet been found.|
|Tyrannosaurus rex (tie-RAN-oh-SAW-rus REX) Arguably the most popular of the carnivores. T-Rex came at the end of the dinosaur era 68-65.5 million years ago. It romed Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and New Mexico. It was one of the largest carnivores measuring up to 50 feet in length. It was bipedal with a huge tail to balance it's huge (four foot long) head filled with powerful jaw muscels and a jaw with 58 replaceable teeth. It had 8-inch claws on its feet but its arms were so short, it couldn't pick its teeth. Several recent discoveries have increased the number of specimens found (see Los Angels County Museum of Natural History).|
|Chasmosaurus (KAZ-nuh-SAWR-us). A herbivorous quadruped from Canada, scientists assume they were herding animals because of the large number found together. They had a small horn on the nose and two long horns above the eyes. Most striking is the large frill about the neck with holes in the bone to reduce weight.|
|Brachylophosaurus (BRAK-ee-loh-fo-SAWR-us). A herbivore in the duck bill family from Canada where nearly complete skeletons have been found. It had a small hump on its nose and a thin bony crest over the top of the head. It was bipedal and browsed on leaves and flowering plants in forests.|
|Velociraptor (vel-OSS-ee-rap-tor). A bipedal carnivore with a long sickle-shaped claw on the middle toe of each foot. It is believed that it used this claw to kill its prey. It had 80 teeth in a long flat snout. Its long stiff tail was used to balance and allowed nimble maneuvers. It was not large, only about 15-33 pounds but had a large brain compared to its body size. They lived in Mongolia.|
|Torosaurus (TOH-roh-SAWR-us). One of the last of the ceratopsians, a herbivore from North America. It had the largest frill of any ceratopsian and its skull was larger in proportion to the body of any other land animal.|
|Parasaurolophus (PAR-uh-SAWR-ol-oh-fus). A duck bill Hadrosaur with a crest on its head up to six feet long with air passages that are believed to have been used to create sounds or smelling. The crest might have varied in size between male and female and contributed to courtship displays. A bipedal herbivore from North America.|
|Dryptosaurus (DRIP-toh-SAWR-us). This bipedal carnivore had large claws. Individuals were found in isolated locations suggesting that they were not social. First discovered in 1866 and was a player in the 'dinosaur wars' that tarnished early discoveries.|
Fossil Dig allows children to pretend to be scientists.
|Somervell County Main Page|
|Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in Places Earth. Places Earth is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, exhibits, and sometimes locations are subject to change without notice.|
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