In the fourth and fifth showcase there are ammonites. Ammonites owe their name
from the Greek god Ammon, who was depicted as a man with the head of a ram.
Ammonites look like the curled rams' horns. Ammonites are a group of marine
animals called cephalopods that occurred worldwide in large numbers, from 423
million years ago until 65 million years ago, after which they became extinct,
along with the dinosaurs. The average dimensions ranging from 1 cm. up to 60 cm.
But there are also found some with a diameter of 2 to 3 m!
Within the sixth showcase there are fossil fishes from the Early Cretaceous of
Brazil. The evolution of elephants is shown in the next showcase.
In the eighth and ninth showcase lie bones, teeth and skulls of mammals from
the Ice Age, mainly from regional rivers and the North Sea.
You are now walking along the second of the moving dinosaurs. Beyond that
dinosaur you go through a door and you reach the landing. In the showcases there
are several dinosaur bones, eggs and even dung of different dinosaurs. Like
other reptiles, dinosaurs laid eggs. The eggs made by carnivores are elongated,
herbivores had spherical eggs. There are also teeth of various dinosaurs. They
are found all over the world. Teeth are protected by a hard enamel layer and
therefor better preserved than the more brittle bones.
Furthermore you will see all kinds of marine life hanging on the sealing,
including several species of sharks. Sharks are hunters. They smell to find
their meal. They can do this very well. One drop of blood can be smelled from a
mile distance! Sharks change all their teeth within every few weeks. If they
loose a teeth, the next one comes out of the row. So the shark always keeps
On the left you see the laboratory where we work on 'Kirby'
You are now entering the glass dinosaur hall. Here you can see skeletons of
various dinosaurs and marine reptiles.
The Mosasaur is actually not a dinosaur but a dangerous marine
reptile. Around 70-65 million years ago, he made the seas very unsafe. The first
fossil remains of these creatures were found near Maastricht. Mosasaur literally
means "River Meuse lizard".
Pterosaurs evolved 220 million years ago and became extinct 65 million years
ago. They were the largest animals in the air, in the days when dinosaurs were
the largest animals on land. The largest had a wingspan of about 10 meters.
Their skeleton was very light and strong. Because of their high floating
ability, they could cover up to 16,000 kilometers per flight!
means “arm lizard”. This name was given because of its strong forelimbs (arms).
It is still one of the largest and heaviest dinosaurs knwon, with a length of
between 23 and 30 meters and a weight of between 30,000 and 52,000 kilos !!! For
them even an elephant looked like a dwarf! The
Brachiosaurus had to eat about 200
kilos of plantmaterial per day. Thanks to his long neck he could easily reach
the needles of large conifers. In the days of the dinosaurus grasses and
deciduous trees were absent or just started to evolve.
was a herbivore that lived 150 million years ago. The name
Stegosaurus means "covered lizard".
His back was "covered" with angular hardened plates. These bony plates were not
for protection against predators, but served as thermoregulation. The skin on
the plates was probably full of blood vessels. The Stegosaurus probably
also communicated with his plates. At the tip of its tail were a few long spikes
to repel predators.
means something like "face with three horns". Some scientists believe that
dinosaurs were using the horns to fight, others suspect that they were too weak
and only served as a show of strength. They were indeed an impressive sight.
Besides the three horns Triceratops
had also a huge shield to protect his neck. In addition, he was quite large; he
could be three meters high and nine meters long and weighed over 5,000 kilos.
means tyrant lizerd.
Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning
commonly abbreviated to
T. rex, is one of the
most well-represented of the large theropods.The
heaviest T. rex ever found (Sue) would
have weighed around 9,500 kilograms. The skull of this huge specimen is no less
than one and a half meters long. A replica of Sue can be seen on our car park. A
would have weighed
about 6,000 to 8,000 kilos. Research showed that youngsters especially in their
teenage years (between 10-12 and 17-18 years in particular) grew very quickly.
If you leave the dinosaur hall you enter the arcade. There you will find the
fameous skeleton of Lucy. She was found in 1974 in Ethiopia. Her bones are about
3.2 million years old! Only about 40 % of her skeleton was preserved, but enough
to see that it was a woman of about 1.10 meters tall. Her hips and knees showed
that she already walked upright. Her teeth showed she ate fruit, and probably
also meat. The group of paleontologists celebrating their discovery in 1974
heared the song "Lucy in the sky with diamonds" by the Beatles, so her
name: Lucy was born!
If you walk through the museum-cafe you’ll see the entrance to the garden.
Besides hundreds of different plants and trees, there are many dinosaur and
other prehistoric statues. We wish you a pleasant walk and also a very nice day.