Tellus Museum

posted in: GEORGIA, TRAVEL | 0

Every time I exit the state northbound, I inevitably drive by the Tellus Museum, and see the billboards proudly boasting about dinosaurs, and I think to myself, “why haven’t we visited the Tellus yet?!”. Finally on a quiet summer afternoon, my husband and I set out for an “adventure date” and checked the Tellus off the Adventure map.

I was excited the moment we pulled into the parking lot. There, right amongst the Corollas and Altimas, was this absolute behemoth beauty, a 100-ton 1997 Komatsu dump truck. These highly specialized machines are used in the gold mines of Nevada. They can carry tremendous payloads, but at the sacrifice of speed – she tops out at 42 mph.

We also saw a much more reasonably sized Euclid dump truck, and while beautiful, she paled in comparison.

As soon as you walk in, you are greeted with an enormous bronotosaurus in the lobby. Its absolutely mesmerizing to stand under the long neck and imagine what it was like when these giants wandered the earth.

When we visited, there was a temporary exhibit of different rocks and minerals. I had a rock collection as a child, like any good science nerd, so I absolutely geeked out with nostalgia as I saw different rocks that I remembered from my youth.

There was one huge piece of “float copper” from Michigan, which is when a piece of copper is embedded into a glacier and moved from one location to another, resulting in some places on the rock that are dragged across the bottom, making deep scrapes in the rock. It was really interesting to see the different textures and colors from the oxidizing copper.

I also particularly enjoyed seeing the different formations that were created from gypsum because we learned about these when we visited Mammoth Cave. Since Mammoth Cave has been frequented by tourist for over 200 years, many of the most elaborate and delicate formations have been destroyed or poached, so it was interesting to see them as they would have once been in the wild caves.

We started the ‘main’ exhibit and were greeted by some of the more popular specimens, Pterodactyl and Triceratops. I was absolutely giddy. I love dinosaurs – but what I didn’t know at the time is that my most favorite dinosaur was also hidden within the collection.

This is Appalachiosaurus, which is a small but fearsome tyrannosaur who hunted the eastern United States where I live. I found this guy really interesting – I mean, I say little, they’re still quite large, just not the size of the more recognizable Tyrannosaurus Rex – because I can just imagine them hunting our natural environment in prehistoric ages.

Next we stood in awe of Tyrannosaurus Rex, who is one of my favorite (but still not THE favorite). I found the Tyrannosaurus specimen to be particularly beautiful – the lighting was perfect, dramatic, and the bones were such a beautiful coppery amber color. T-Rex is my hubby’s favorite.

This is Elasmosaurus, a member of plesiosaur family. She might be pretty recognizable as some believe that the “Loch Ness Monster” is also a member of the plesiosaur family. Even though they are commonly mounted in this pose, it is believed that they swam with their neck straight out front or even down below the body, hunting for food below like a reverse giraffe.

While they did not have a full skeleton of Megalodon, they do have a set of jaws from the the fearsome 50+ foot super predator. It’s believed that Megalodon closely resembled an enormous great white, and some of the characteristics were similar, such as the constantly shedding double rowed teeth.

MOSASAUR! MY FAVORITE! I had no idea that they had a Mosasaur at the Tellus, but I was delighted when I saw her. Mosasaurs can range from 3 to 50 feet in length depending on the individual species. They are more closely related to our modern snakes and reptiles than to dinosaurs, but that doesn’t stop me from counting her as my *favorite* dinosaur. I loved being able to see her in the exhibit. Like our modern sharks, it is believed that Mosasaur shed her teeth constantly, and potentially even gave birth to live young.

We were also delighted to find a wonderful exhibit on aviation, and the evolution of the automobile. My husband enjoys being a recreational pilot as well as a gear-head, so he is fascinated by combustion engines, jet propulsion and space rockets, all of which were on display.

I had a wonderful afternoon at the Tellus and will be sure to keep an eye on their exhibitions in the future to plan my next visit.

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Adventurer / SysAdmin / Photographer

Hello fellow adventurer! I'm Jessica Jones, or just Jess if you'd like. I'm a driver at Jeeptographer.com, primarily with Blue, my 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon . I'm 36 years young, and I enjoy adventuring to beautiful spots with the primary intent of taking photos. I *love* capturing our natural world.

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