Exploring a lost world that existed over millions of years ago is possible at Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum in Tucumcari.
An educational activity for the entire family is how museum director Craig Currell described the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum. The museum is unique because of its hands-on approach, Currell said.
“We operate a very hands on museum you can touch the dinosaur bones and we’re the only museum I know of that lets you touch a real dinosaur egg,” Currell said.
Torvosaurus, a rare meat eating dinosaur similar to the T-Rex, was found in Tucumcari and is the dinosaur museum’s centerpiece. Currell said that millions of years ago Tucumcari was under water so many specimens of sea life that existed during the dinosaur era can also been seen.
The museum also is utilized as a teaching tool by Mesalands Community College, which operates the facility, offering students hands-on experience in the areas of paleontology and geology.
“The dinosaur museum provides students with an interpretive look at the area’s rich fossil record and interesting geological strata, as well as a modern paleontology laboratory with the latest equipment for preparing fossils,” according to a museum brochure.
Dinosaurs are a mystery that is still being unraveled, despite more than a century of scientific study, Currell said.
Tours are available to show visitors each phase of the dinosaurs from the time they first roamed the earth. A prime example of the time line of dinosaurs is Tucumcari Mountain. Currell said it is structured in three layers with the bottom being when the animals first existed and the top layer being the surface of modern day earth after the atomic blast that scientist believe was the reason dinosaurs became extinct from planet earth.
Currell said it’s a place where people can see history in the making right down to the dinosaur droppings, which by the way are also on display.