Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dinosaurs, Fossils and Gems at Burpee Museum of Natural History Rockford, IL


Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL

The Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL is a true Midwest treasure. Natural exhibits usher visitors on a journey through Rockford's natural history using fossils, dinosaur bones, casts, scenes, rocks and minerals, taxidermy specimens and more. Guests can even peek inside a working lab in the basement. The Burpee Museum provides an ideal excursion for a winter day!


Nautilus and cephalopod fossils at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL
Nautilus and cephalopod fossils 
One of the first exhibits in the museum is one of my favorites -- little portholes create windows under the Ordivician Sea that once covered Rockford. The exhibit contains intriguing and well presented fossils from the ancient sea. Descriptions help sleuths identify the fossils.

Reach out and touch fossils at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL
Reach out and touch fossils 
Throughout the museum are opportunities for families to touch fossils and casts. This aspect truly brings archaeology and paleontology to children in a tangible way making the museum experience more interesting through sparking various avenues of learning. So often, we tell children to look and not touch! What a treat for them to actually be permitted to touch so many artifacts in this museum!

Jane the fossil of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex discovered in Montana and on display at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL
Jane is a juvenile T. Rex.
Burpee's most famous resident goes by the name of Jane. Jane is a juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex discovered in Montana. Jane's skeleton was found nearly complete and helped researchers better understand the life cycle of the T. Rex as well as identify other fossils. Jane is particularly noteworthy because the skeleton on display is the most complete skeleton of a T. Rex ever found. A placard identifies real bones as opposed to cast. The skull is part of ongoing research in the lab. Impressive!

Homer is the skull of a juvenile Triceratops discovered in Montana and on display at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL
Homer's skull is representative of a juvenile Triceratops.
The gallery adjacent to Jane is home to Homer, the skull of a juvenile Triceratops. The gallery features a look at the evolution of the triceratops and other cerapods.

Rhodonite and graphite on display at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL
Rhodonite and graphite on display
The rocks and minerals gallery contains a sizable collection of specimens. Features highlight various differentiating characteristics and properties. Additionally, there are a few to touch!

Sauk Wigwam at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL

The First People Exhibit includes full size replicas of a wigwam and a tipi as well as a dugout canoe you can climb inside. Great photo op! Additional artifacts highlight Native American skills and more.

Exhibit display nature in Rockford, IL.
Hands-on nature display
A section depicting local wildlife utilizes scenes and taxidermy allowing families to explore nature in the Rock River area. Keys, bird calls and more challenge children with identification of local animals. Plus, there are some live inhabitants to visit with!

Historical sign of the Burpee Museum of Natural History
Charming historical sign perfect for the 75th anniversary exhibit.
A current exhibit highlighting 75 years of the Burpee Museum is on display through 4/30/17. The display highlights some of the older artifacts in the collection alongside some newer displays.

Exhibit allows kids to feel triceratops teeth at the Burpee Museum of Natural History.
Exhibit allows kids to feel triceratops teeth.
We always spend quite a bit of time exploring the Burpee Museum of Natural History. The exhibits are thorough yet well thought out and engaging. The combination of specimens, touchable artifacts and multimedia inspires investigation.

Things to know:

  • The Burpee Museum is right next to the Discovery Center Museum for a complete day.
  • The museum sits along the Rock River affording nice views.
  • There is a small gift shop.
  • Restrooms are readily available.
  • Expect to spend at least 1.5 hours exploring.

**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.




StumbleUpon

No comments:

Post a Comment