2. This is the only mount of this species anywhere in the world.
As the region is known for such fossils there are numerous species and growth sizes -as well as a life-size model swimming above your head.
A huge shout out to Ashley Hall (Adult Programs Coordinator) and Lee Hall (Fossil Preparator and Lab Manager) who were most fantastic hosts and later (when we bumped into the Curator and Head of the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology for the museum) Dr. Michael Ryan. You guys are the best and what a happy and fun environment to be working in. You can always get a sense of an institution by the people who work there, and thanks to you guys, as Drew Carey once noted, CLEVELAND ROCKS!
Reinberger Hall of Astronomy and Wade Gallery of Gems & Jewels
You pass through cave systems, reconstructed mines and what looks to be the set from a Star Trek episode for the astronomy section, with space-age shaped window displays, scrolling futuristic video screens and wall to roof mounted Hubble images. These walls are colour coded, with a deep ochre for geology and a cool blue for space.
Apparently these displays date back several decades and have not been upgraded, they were just so well done the first time around that they have been kept. This is a surprise to me as they really did feel new and cutting edge.
At various times there were also staff members walking around with live animals that visitors could interact with. This included a snapping turtle and a skunk that comes out at set times throughout the day.
- BALTO - The hero dog of Nome, Alaska, who in 1925 helped led a team of sled dogs through the snow to this distant outpost, carrying much needed medical supplies.
- The Nathan and Fannye Shafran Planetarium & Ralph Mueller Observatory. Here you can learn about astronomy and on certain nights visit the observatory to peer at the universe (check their website for opening times).
- On the way back into the city there is a fantastic whale mural that covers a large building, so keep an eye out for that.