Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park, CO

Woodland Park, Colorado is an easy drive from Denver, the capital of Colorado. It takes a little over an hour and a half to reach Woodland Park and the Colorado Springs area. There are numerous places to visit in Colorado Springs and Woodland Park including the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center. The resource center is dedicated to offering education, research, and fun to the residents of Colorado and the USA. It also helps that Pikes Peak is a short drive from the area.

RMDRC, as locals call it has numerous displays of dinosaurs, marine reptiles, pterosaurs, and fish of the North American late Cretaceous period. Visitors are able to walk around the entire facility learning about the fossilized animals. They can also see workers in the fossil laboratory who are cleaning up discoveries for viewing. The exhibits do change periodically to keep it fresh and attractive to even the locals. The museum also offers a place for children at the Woody's Paleo Playground with a dig site. Children can create a dinosaur, dinosaur rubbings, and watch an educational video about paleontology.

Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 9am to 6pm, and Sunday 10am to 5pm. The center is open seven days a week all year, except for the major holidays. Admission is $10.50 for seniors, $11.50 for adults, and $7.50 for children. Children 4 and under are free. They also have a military discount of $1 off all the general admission prices, as long as current military ID is shown. Group tours, birthday parties, and a scout program are available. There are also memberships to the museum.

The most stunning exhibit is the Albertosaurus Libertus, or Pebbles as the center calls it. This skeleton of a dinosaur was found in Teton County, Montant. It is a meat eater that lived 75 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period. It is a 20 foot skeleton. However, it is only a replica as the original skeleton is at the Museum of Ancient Treasures in Wichita, Kansas.

Other dinosaurs on exhibit include the Bambiraptor Feinbergi, Conchoraptor Gracillis, Dromaeosaurus Albertensis, Edmontosaurus Annectens, and Oviraptor. The original skeletons of most of the dinosaurs are at other museums, and the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Research Center has only the replicas.

A number of other reptiles, marine reptiles, and prehistoric fish are also on display in replica form. The Paleo Laboratory will be working on real bone fossils of animals. This is one section in which visitors can learn a great deal about what goes on in a laboratory and how the fossils are prepared for eventual display.

At the end of the tour of the RMDRC visitors are able to pick up souvenirs in the local gift shop. The gift shop has a number of dinosaur replicas and items to bring home. The theater has 20 seats for the continuous running movie on what dinosaurs looked like, how they are found, and geology of the earth including North America. The Museum may have only replicas, but they offer a good idea of what life was like in the past.

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