Here at Dinosaur National Monument we have our own dinosaur migration and although it only involves one specimen of a single species, it is of immense significance. A mere 18 months or so ago, our life-sized Stegosaurus model underwent an arduous migration of nearly ¾ of a mile from the closing temporary visitor center to the west border of the Green River Resource Center. Now, as the end of the building rehab projects at Dinosaur approaches, it’s time for this beast to once again prepare to greet visitors.
To prepare it for its move, we first remove the long anchoring spikes in each of the footplates.
Next an eyebolt is threaded between the dorsal plates and into the internal armature.
A chain is attached to the eyebolt and a front end loader and the Stegosaurus is gingerly lifted up.
Ropes are slung around the legs to stabilize it during transport.
Then, as Jackie Gleason so famously said “….and away we go!”
Fortunately we don’t have to move it cross country but can take a paved road to the new Visitor Center at the bottom of the hill (not the visitor center enclosing the Carnegie Quarry).
Once there, it is placed in its new display area in front of the building and, given the known proclivities for wanderlust in Stegosaurus, the feet are pinned to the ground.
All visitors who come to the Monument will pass by this ancient reptilian plant-eater with a walnut-sized brain.
However, as constant readers are well aware, our Stegosaurus made a more spectacular migration nearly 50 years ago. In 1963, our model (along with models of Tyrannosaurus, Apatosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Coelophysis, Corythosaurus, and Hadrosaurus) rode a barge across New York Harbor on their way to a 2 year stint at the Sinclair Oil Company Exhibit at the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. That’s our model third from the right.
After the World’s Fair ended, the Sinclair dinosaurs toured the US. Here’s our Stegosaurus at the East Hills Shopping Center in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Eventually the Stegosaurus-that-could arrived at Dinosaur National Monument where for the next half-century it met visitors coming to look at its remains and those of its contemporaries.
Now that it is back in place, things can start to go back to normal. So in recognition of this great moment, raise a glass to the next half-century, Salut!
Woodward H.N., Rich T.H., Chinsamy, A., and Vickers-Rich, P. 2011 Growth Dynamics of Australia's Polar Dinosaurs. PLoS ONE 6(8): e23339. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023339
NY Harbor and Missouri: http://www.monsterbashnews.com/SinclairDinosaurs.html
All others: NPS