What’s making us happy today…
A dinosaur celebrates his big 4-0. Dinosaurs may have gone extinct, but you can get a feel for what Homo sapiens might have felt like if they coexisted with the prehistoric monsters.
Looming large off Interstate 10 in Cabazon, 13 miles west of Palm Springs, are Mr. Dinny, a 150-ton Apatosaurus, and Mr. Rex, a 100-ton Tyrannosaurus rex. Former Knott’s Berry Farm sculptor Claude Bell built the first, Mr. Dinny, in 1975, and the second in 1981 to lure eaters to his Wheel Inn Cafe. Come they did, as did film scouts. Several scenes from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure were shot here.
While Bell left behind a legacy, today the museum and dinos belong to Creationists, who reject evolution. Whatever your beliefs, the two originals remain a free roadside attraction and a great photo op.
Photo: Marian Gonzalez
Budding paleo-artists. Studying fossils to find clues of the past, the science of paleontology, sounds like one cool Indiana Jones-like job. But who knew about paleo-artists? These professionals collaborate with scientists to drawn the renderings and murals, and build casts of dinosaurs that museum-goers gawk at.
The National Museum of Natural History may be piquing interest in both careers with a new exhibit, The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World. Not only will visitors see the life-sized dinosaurs, like a 14-foot-tall T. rex, but they will get a peek behind the process in the FossiLab of how a world that breathed 66 million years ago is recreated today. The exhibition will be on display until the new Fossil Hall opens in 2019, after a five-year renovation.
Photos: Donald E. Hurlbert / Smithsonian Institution