Saturday, December 11, 2010

Museum am Löwentor

The natural history museum of Stuttgart is divided into two facilities. The extant collections are displayed in a palace in the centre of the park

And the fossil collections are displayed in the much less glamorous Museum am Löwentor

Okay, so the seasonal difference between the two pictures doesn't help make this building look less industrial
The mascot for the museum is Plateosaurus, shown here accumulating snow outside the museum

And in a slightly more hospitable environment in a diorama inside the museum

Plateosaurus is a plant eating dinosaur from southern Germany, and most of the specimens come from a single quarry. Animals of all ages are discovered, and many of the skeletons are articulated (bones are in association) making Plateosaurus one of the better known early herbivorous dinosaurs. The museum has reopened the quarry (it is their mascot animal, after all).

From this same quarry is the even more famous Proganochelys, the oldest terrestrial turtle, seen here glowering menacingly from behind the glass.

The museum has cool displays and houses many famous fossils, but I feel like I should ration out the details since I have replaced all those touristy afternoons wandering around the German countryside  with sitting in the museum basement measuring stuff. So, whenever I get stumped for blog content I'll trot out the gallery fossils.

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