Experience Utah’s Past World

This is not an official Natural History Museum of Utah publication and is only intended to serve as a display of my writing ability.

Have you ever wanted to walk among the prehistoric denizens of Utah? What does a hadrosaur look like? How long is barosaur’s neck? And what is a proto-tryanosaur? Well, the Natural History Museum has you covered!

The Past Worlds exhibits is just one of 10 permanent exhibits that displays research-laden artifacts.


Image courtesy of Natural History Museum of Utah.

Your journey at the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Gallery (Map) through Past Worlds begins with the earliest known prehistoric habitants, and leads you to the Lake Gallery and the modern-day ecosystem you’d find when you visit the Great Salt Lake. That journey include an awe-inspiring view of a world-class hadrosaur mount, one that rivals the likes of internationally-renowned Sue the T-Rex. Devote some extra time to the hadrosaur because it stands out in relation to its cast counterparts. NHMU paleontologists unearthed nearly 80 of this animal and used its original fossil material to demonstrate, not only its grandeur, but the weight and texture of the minerals that used to be its skeleton.


Image courtesy of Natural History Museum of Utah.

Learn about the diversity of Utah’s prehistoric inhabitants through the different eras while scrutinizing wonderful graphic murals that illustrate the environment during that time.

Cast your vote in the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry mystery as you investigate an exhibit on ‘Allosaur,’ the state’s official fossil.

allosaurusg1610_ORIG_adj copy_6

Image courtesy of Natural History Museum of Utah.

Continue to an intriguing exhibit on biodiversity, the wall of ceratopsian skulls. This isn’t your grandma’s Triceratops. The ceratopsian family was as diverse as the day is long. And, if you don’t believe that, take it up with devil himself, Diablo Ceratops (Oh, you’ll see him on the wall!).


Image courtesy of allosaurusroar.com.

Enter the pleistocene era where creatures begin to resemble what we know today, including the Wooly Mammoth, who stomped along the shores of ancient Lake Bonneville.


Image courtesy of Natural History Museum of Utah.

Grab your field kit and become a paleontologist for a day in the ‘dinosaur gig’ by observing how staff members get specimens ready for research and display in the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation Paleontology Preparation Lab.

Carrie in Collections

Image courtesy of Natural History Museum of Utah.

You can then mill through the mineral reference collection and view the Triassic plant display in the Ruth Eleanor Bamberger and John Ernest Bamberger Memorial Foundation Learning Lab.


Image courtesy of Natural History Museum of Utah.

Then be sure to finish off your day of hard work as a guest an Ice Age dinner party.

Learn more at nhmu.utah.edu.


Author: Mike DeVine

Writer and Editor. History buff. Doing sports things. Film fan. University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate [B.A. English '06]. @UWAlumni Lifetime Member.

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