Academy of Natural Sciences - November 10, 2006

We hit up the Academy (on the Parkway, downtown) on a mild day in November and had a grand time. Tristan has been on a big dinosaur kick so we wanted to go show him the real deal. I'd been there previously but it was long enough ago (circa 2001) that I don't remember much except for dinosaur skeletons. They have some live animals (rescues, mostly) and do live animal demos - we have a couple keepers at the zoo who used to work there. Also, we play the Academy softball team twice a year so I know some of those folks and I was hoping I might bump into their coach or something. No dice. The price wasn't even that bad, which kind of surprised me. Much better than the zoo or the Franklin Institute. Proceed.

T-Rex in full effect. They have a few of these in the main hall area. Good stuff.

This was a very long, serpentine, sea-dwelling dinosaur with gnarly teeth, mouth agape. Freaky.

Another aquatic-type dino, nicely posed making a hard left.

As is often the case, Steph is trying to impart knowledge upon her seed - but he's totally checking out something else.

Here's a close-up of whatever that thing was that Steph & Tristan were just looking at. Something ceratopsian. Chasmosaurus, perhaps?

Velociraptor-type little bipedal mofo with nasty claws (see far right).

Baby triceratops!

There's this interactive thing where you go behind a big booth and actually see yourself in the jungle with dinosaurs, using some bizarre but kinda low-fi (using today's standards) green-screen computer action. Here's Tristan's head and Steph (pretending to be "running" away from the triceratops, even though she was actually going the wrong direction - as evidenced from her running right into its head). The photo is of the big screen monitor that people outside of the booth can see.



Footprints, where you can walk like a crocodile or a dinosaur. Tristan chose crocodile. He's a reptilian blur.

We don't exactly know what this was, there was no sign and it was not really in an area of a specific "genre" of artifacts. It was near the eggs/nests fossil section and also the footprints. Is it a big-ass brontosaurus footprint? Or perhaps a replica of a dinosaur nest? Methinks footprint. Or Tristan seat.

T-rex from above. No less colossal.

Tristan plays dino-dentist, or perhaps I was feeding him to the Tyrannosaurus for not listening to his mother. I only see my bizarrely patterned future baldness.

We arrived just in time for the last animal show. Sweet. We saw a kinkajoo, an owl, and other stuff I don't remember. It was actually pretty well done. That poor owl was brought in to the Academy badly injured and is missing one wing completely.

The Academy has a really nice permanent butterfly exhibit and I took a boatload of close-up pictures, trying to use my "macro" setting on the camera. Not bad.

T-Rex booty. Actually, if you only ever saw a T-Rex from behind, that's probably a good thing.

My baby and her baby at Logan Circle. Damn, they're cute.