After our initial surprise that the Natural History museum is no longer open, we continued our hunt for dinosaur bones. And then last Sunday, we (finally!) found this building:
This, my fellow dinosaur lovers, is the entrance to the Mongolian Dinosaur Museum, located in the former Lenin Museum. Yes, that’s right – Lenin’s statute and his museum were pushed out to make room for dinosaur bones (don’t believe me? Read more here).
And not just any dinosaur bones, no, this move was a big deal for palaeontologists and dinosaur fans around the world because the fossils displayed inside – a full sized Tyrannosaurs Baatar (it’s “T. Baatar” for the experts or Tarbosaur Baatar but now we’re getting technical) – was returned from the U.S. not too long ago after some heated back and forth between the authorities of who had a right to display those bones.
It turns out, Mongolia has the right to display its own unique big carnivore and although it looks like a T-Rex, my friend, do not be confused by the fact that the T. Baatar has shorter arms (yes, that was possible it seems) and more teeth than its North American counterpart. And it lived only in Mongolia which is why it’s back here now on display.
Want to see it?
Sorry, you can’t – at least not from my pictures as there was a strict “no camera” rule (very much enforced by the museum staff who was trailing our every move) in the main showroom. Aside from the T. Baatar (and let me just say this, this guy was not so little despite those tiny arms), the main museum had a few other impressive fossils like dinosaur nests and the armour of Luca’s much loved Ankylosaurus, which also lived in Mongolia.
Aside from the main room, there was another little entrance room where we were able to take pictures:
…but not before purchasing the ultimate dinosaur “artefact” for our resident dinosaur expert – a “real” dinosaur egg. Luca carried it carefully around UB for the rest of the day and then proudly added it to his very own “Museum of Dinosaurs.”
So now, we display a baby Ankylosaurus – no worries, you are still allowed to take pictures here. Missing from the picture was a poster Luca drew before going to bed with a line instructing visitors to his museum to keep appropriate distance from his fossil.
It’s good that the T. Baatar wasn’t for sale at the gift shop; we may have all had to relocate into a closet to make room for that big fellow in our house.