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The Four Most Texan Creatures at the Texas Natural Science Center

Even the dinosaurs were bigger in Texas...

Deep in the heart of the University of Texas campus you'll find the remains of dinosaurs, giant armadillos and other prehistoric critters that used to call Texas home. The Texas Natural Science Center's Texas Memorial Museum offers free admission to exhibits drawn from more than 5 million artifacts. You could spend days browsing hundreds of fossils, displays of colorful beetles and cabinets filled with gemstones. If you’re more pressed for time, make sure you get an eyeful of these truly Texan critters:

1. The Onion Creek Mosasaur

Onion Creek mosasaur

Photo: Casey Kelly-Barton

This 30-foot reptile made its home in the shallow ocean that covered Central Texas during the Cretaceous period. It was unearthed by UT geology students in 1935.

2. The Giant “Armadillo”

Glyptodont

Photo: Casey Kelly-Barton

An ancient relative of modern ‘dillos, as well as today’s anteaters and sloths, this ancient Glyptodont spent its time eating plants and enjoying the safety of its sturdy, 5-foot-long carapace.

3. The Original "Longhorn"

Pleistocence bison

Photo: Casey Kelly-Barton

Bison roamed the North American range during the Pleistocene Epoch and were hunted by Paleo-Indian people. They also had enormous horns, as seen above.

4. The Texas Pterosaur

Texas Pterosaur

Photo by Amy Giziesnki

Things have always been bigger in Texas, it seems. The bird above, Quetzalcoatalus northropi, spreads its 40-foot wingspan over visitors as they enter the museum's Great Hall. It also happens to be the largest flying animal ever discovered.

Texas Natural Science Center

2400 Trinity St Stop D1500 Austin, Texas
Map

512-471-1604

Photos

Tags: Austin family fun, Texas Memorial Museum, dinosaurs

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