Dinosaur Provincial Park

Calgary, CANADA


Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology

If you love dinosaurs, the Royal Tyrrell Museum is the ultimate experience. Home to one of the world’s largest collections of dinosaur skeletons, the Royal Tyrrell Museum is a world renowned museum and research facility just an hour and a half from Calgary. Search for fossils, dig in a realistic quarry, cast your own fossil, enjoy a self-guided tour through the Canadian Badlands around the museum, and take a moment to marvel at the rare blackened tyrannosaurus rex skull named “Black Beauty” when you visit.


Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis was named in 1950, Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai in 2008, and Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum in 2012. You might assume that each species looked a lot like the other two, and you’d be right. Still, there are subtle differences that help scientists tell them apart. For instance, the nose boss of P. canadensis was flat and rounded, while P. perotorum's had a domed top. Meanwhile, there were some cool “unicorn horns” jetting out from the center of P. lakustai’s frill (just behind its eyes).


A close relative of Centrosaurus, and thus classified as a "centrosaurine" ceratopsian, Chasmosaurus was distinguished by the shape of its frill, which spread out over its head in an enormous rectangle. Paleontologists speculate that this giant awning of bone and skin was lined with blood vessels that allowed it to take on bright colors during mating season and that it was used to signal availability to the opposite sex (and possibly to communicate with other members of the herd).


Imagine a dinosaur about the size of a dude with little arms walking around on two legs and covered in feathers. That’s Albertavenator curriei, a brand-new dinosaur species that lived 71 million years ago. Named for Currie, the bird-like creatures are part of the Troodontidae family of dinosaurs. When some of their bones were first found in central Alberta, paleontologists thought they part of a different clan, the Troodon inequalis. Turns out Albertavenator curriei had a shorter and stronger skull. Finding these bird-like bones is rare and paleontologists are hoping to find a complete skeleton one of these days.