Dinosaurs are a cultural phenomenon. There are countless movies (including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom recently released), games, books, TV shows, and documentaries that fuel the imagination.
You can marvel at dinosaur skeletons in museums around the world—many even display dinosaurs from Alberta—but the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta is unique. Located in the heart of the rugged Alberta badlands, the Museum stands close to the location where Albertosaurus, Canada’s first known carnivorous dinosaur, was found in 1884.
The badlands, carved by the waters of melting glaciers 10 – 15,000 years ago, expose Late Cretaceous sediments that hold countless fossils—from microscopic pollen to the remains of some of the mightiest dinosaurs. Museum scientists are able to gather further evidence each year, adding to the global understanding of the prehistoric environment and ecosystems. It is the only museum in Canada entirely devoted to the research and display of plant and animal life based on the fossil record, and is one of the largest palaeontology museums in the world.
The galleries take you on a journey through time beginning 505 million years ago with the tiny creatures of the Burgess Shale in their underwater environment, enlarged 12 times their actual size. The Devonian Reef gallery was recently refreshed and gives a comprehensive look at the Age of Fishes before you move downstairs to the remains of the world’s largest ichthyosaur (a marine reptile). Wander through the Cretaceous Garden and you’ll see what Alberta looked like during the Age of Dinosaurs, and then, be amazed at the 40 mounted dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes in Dinosaur Hall. Be sure to leave at least two to three hours to go through the galleries as the displays give an exceptional overview and explanation of the history of life on Earth.
There’s always something to look forward to at the Museum, including new exhibits and specimens on display. Don’t miss Grounds for Discovery, an exhibit featuring the incredible fossils that have been discovered during industrial activities in recent years, and the workers who found them. Meet the world’s best-preserved armoured dinosaur, Borealopelta, in this exhibit. Fossilized in 3D, this is unlike any dinosaur you have ever seen. It’s also the oldest dinosaur ever discovered in Alberta.
There’s a lot to explore outside as well. Take your own interpretive hike through the badlands along the one-kilometre trail just outside the Museum entrance, or participate in one of the many programs that are offered in the summer, suitable for all ages. For example, you can take a guided hike, dig in a realistic quarry, hold and discover real fossils, or create a fossil replica that is yours to keep.
Discover your own adventure at tyrrellmuseum.com.
Toll free in Alberta
310-0000 then 403-823-7707
Toll free in North America (outside Alberta)
Outside North America
Highway 838 Midland Provincial Park
Drumheller, Alberta Canada T0J 0Y0