Well, first I have to open with some disappointment. I was hoping to visit the library at the Museum of Science and see if I couldn't go home with a camera packed with vintage paleoart. And maybe - just maybe - old Ranger Rick illustrations (I will never give up hope). I knew they had a copy of McLoughlin's Archosauria, of a crazy-awesome book called The Dinosaur Scrapbook with loads of old paleoart in it... and now this sign:
Wah. Got a nice view of the city, though, so there's that.
Even so, I found a terrific variety of old -or not- paleoart in the Dinosaurs: Modeling the Mesozoic exhibit. First up, something weird that is, thankfully, hidden away in a corner, as if embarrassed:
Wow... Wow...! And then I had a nasty flashback to something I saw in the traveling "Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly" exhibit (with my reaction, via Arthene and Squee):
Oh, sweet Raptor Jesus no... (And fridge logic I'm angry at myself for not noticing right away: Clyde Peeling doesn't care about Tuataras. Or, as pointed out in the comments, every kind of extinct reptile after the "ancestral reptile".)
Thankfully, the record is set straight in their massive Dinosaur Family Tree. Sadly, I do not know who the artists are who made this or the sculptures, but this is pretty awesome. Click for the huge version:
Gorgeous, gorgeous mural (though it skimps on the maniraptors). All the colors and poses are in line with the wonderful and dearly missed Battat Museum of Science dinosaur model collection. This is the case with most of the recent art in the room. And yes, those murals are by the wonderful Douglas Henderson:
These Nyctosaurs are brand new, and they are amazing! They are probably the most recent addition to the room.
This guy puzzles me deeply. I really can't tell if he is more recent or older. He doesn't look anything like the Battat sculpt, and the low tail and naked skin screams 60's. But the color pattern seems a little modern. I wonder this because the older version of the MOS's dinosaur exhibit was almost nothing but 60's era dinosaur models. Here's a flashback to what this exhibit looked like in the 80's:
I have no problem at all with this whole room being gutted and started over. There is one little remnant of this version of the exhibit, and it's a strange one:
For the majority of the 80's, this was the most up-to-date model in the Museum of Science's dinosaur hall. They've still got him on display, with a card explaining how he is a reflection of the time in which he was made, and he looks very odd, especially with the more up-to-date small theropod in the mural right behind him.
I'm ending with this craziness from the gift shop:
Addendum: O.T.I.S. recently added a blog post about MOS and I am pretty sure we saw the exact same Opossum.
BIRDS!!! They are dinosaurs; deal wit' it. Also, I forgot to update this section before it published, but it's been a very strange week.
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Song Sparrow 1
House Sparrow 25