Dinosaur Museums In New Mexico

History Of The Museum

Dinosaurs! at NM Museum of Natural History

dinosaur museum new mexico

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science was founded in 1903 and is the oldest natural history museum in the state.

The museum has a collection of more than one million specimens and is home to the worlds second largest collection of North American mammals, as well as the states only permanent exhibit on the history of New Mexico.

Its Bizarre To Think That New Mexico Is Home To The Countrys Largest Collection Of Bronze Dinosaur Skeletons But Its True

New Mexico is home to enough attractions and natural beauty that planning an entire week of fun isnt hard at all. But, some of our favorite things to do include taking in the history and natural landscape of the state. Thats why we love this cool museum in New Mexico! Natural history seems to come alive here, at the countrys largest collection of full-scale bronze dinosaur skeletons!

The Mesalands Community Colleges Dinosaur Museum and Natural Sciences Laboratory is open throughout the year on most days of the week. Before planning your visit, check out their website and Facebook page for current admission times and pricing information. You can reach them on 575-461-6627.

While this cool museum in New Mexico has a huge collection of bones, how about something a bit more modern? For that, we recommend a visit to one of our favorite spots. Dine surrounded by a huge soda collection in New Mexico when you visit the Patio Restaurant!


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New Mexico Museum Of Natural History And Science Albuquerque

The largest natural history museum in the state, travels back in time to the Big Bang and tracks the evolution of the earths creatures since. Recreated fossils of long-necked sauropods and immersive exhibits depicting what New Mexico likely looked like during the Cretaceous period star in the exhibit halls. Fossil Works, where visitors can watch volunteers and paleontologists preserving specimens, is another must-see during your visit. Several of the fossils from the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument, outside Las Cruces, were removed and stored at this museum in the Jerry MacDonald Paleozoic Trackways Collection. Public tours of the collection are available by reservation.

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Ruth Hall Museum Of Paleontology Ghost Ranch Abiquiu

New Mexicos official state fossil, Coelophysis, a small, bipedal, carnivorous dinosaur, was found in the rust and beige buttes around Ghost Ranch. Its the same landscape that served as muse for Georgia OKeeffe, but paleontologists found equal fascination hereparticularly in the 1947 Ceolophysis Quarry that preserved several thousand skeletons of its namesake dinosaur as well as other Triassic vertebrates. Coelophysis was the first of two dinosaurs discovered at the ranch. The second, Tawa Hallae, another theropod from the Late Triassic period, was unearthed in 2009 in the Hayden Quarry. The Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology exhibits each of these creatures and gives insights into the digs that discovered them.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, its always wise to verify attractions are open and their operating times before visiting. We hope you enjoy this blast from the past road trip!

New Mexico: The Tyrannosaur State


Fossils of tyrannosaursTyrannosaurus rex and its relativeshave been discovered at several places around New Mexico. Click on any of the silhouettes on the map below to learn more about the tyrannosaur fossils known from that part of New Mexico.

Green areas show the location of rocks that date back to the Cretaceous periodwhen tyrannosaurs roamed New Mexico.

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The Largest Collection Of Full

The existence of dinosaur skeletons in New Mexico creates wonder and curiosity in the young and the young at heart. The Mesalands Dinosaur Museum and Natural Science Laboratory is home to the worlds largest collection of bronze skeletons and fossils. So let your imagination run wild when you come face to face with the beasts, both large and small, that once roamed the earth.

Dont let the unassuming exterior fool you. This is a top-notch dinosaur museum that is well worth a visit. You are sure to learn something new about Jurassic plants and animals. Check the hours and admission prices for the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum before you go!

Make the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum and the town of Tucumcari part of an epic New Mexico road trip!


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New Mexico Museum Of Natural History And Science

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. It is the largest natural history museum in the state.

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List Of Museums In New Mexico

This list of museums in New Mexico is a list of museums, defined for this context as institutions that collect and care for objects of cultural, artistic, scientific, or historical interest and make their collections or related exhibits available for public viewing. Museums that exist only in cyberspace are not included.

To use the sortable table, click on the icons at the top of each column to sort that column in alphabetical order click again for reverse alphabetical order.

New Mexico Museum Of Natural History Albuquerque Nm

New Mexico Dinosaur Museum!!

New Mexico has had a long and distinguished history in paleontology. The state has a number of great places to find fossils, including some of the worlds best sites for animals from the Triassic period. Many of these, and a good number of dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, are on display at the terrific New Mexico Museum of Natural History.

About a block from the edge of Old Town Albuquerque, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History is a beautifully designed building that houses a large collection of fossils and exhibits. The majority of fossils at NMMNH were discovered in New Mexico, and the museum does a great job helping visitors take a chronological journey through the states prehistoric time.


Outside the museum near the entrance are two life-sized dinosaur sculptures, one called Spike the Pentaceratops, the other the tyrannosaur Albertosaurus. My six-year-old was excited to see them on the way in to the parking lot after a long drive, it signaled to him that we had arrived and were about to see some dinosaurs!

Once inside, the very first dinosaur most visitors will see is the huge Tyrannosaurus rexStan. This cast is one of the most well-known dinosaurs in the world, and it is posed in a very dynamic way, head down and ready to greet young visitors eye-to-eye. We have seen casts of Stan in a number of other museums, but we like the pose in New Mexico the best.


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Las Cruces Museum Of Natural History Las Cruces

This small-but-packed museum in downtown Las Cruces displays exhibits highlighting desert life, New Mexicos connection to the space race, and paleontology. The latter exhibit highlights the fossilized trackways that dot the Permian Basin, including the previously undiscovered creatures who walked the clay at the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument leaving their footprints for the ages.

Where Are The Dinosaur Fossils In New Mexico

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is home to the worlds largest collection of dinosaur fossils. The museum has specimens from all stages of the dinosaurs lives, including the earliest known dinosaurs.

The fossils are housed in a number of galleries, including the Dinosaurs Gallery, the Earth Gallery, and the Human Origins Gallery.

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New Mexico Dinosaur Road Trip

It may be difficult to picture today, but dinosaurs once roamed New Mexico. In the Jurassic period, the southwests dry climate was home to dinosaurs such as Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, and long-necked sauropods. During the Cretaceous period, much of what is now the Land of Enchantment was submerged in water, but on land, dinosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus rex, dominated. Today, those fascinating creatures are long gone, but evidence of their presence remainsmuch to the delight of dino-loving kids and their families. Here are six destinations around the state for families to unearth New Mexicos past.

Mesalands Community Colleges Dinosaur Museum Tucumcari

Live From The Dinosaur Museum

This homespun museum at Mesalands Community College keeps things local with displays of specimens gathered in the area. It houses a variety of replicated and original fossils, including footprint casts of the 40-foot long Torvosaurus, a carnivorous relative of Tyrannosaurus rex. Visitors can also view paleontology students and the curator preserving fossils through an observation window in the exhibit hall.

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Collections In The Museum

dinosaur museum new mexico

The Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has a vast and varied collection of specimens, artifacts, and photographs.

The museum has a focus on the natural sciences, and contains exhibits on geology, paleontology, ornithology, and botany. The museum also has a large collection of minerals and rocks, as well as a meteorite collection.

Clayton Lake State Park Clayton

Clayton Lake State Park draws visitors for boating, camping, fishing, and hiking amid the rolling grasslands of northeastern New Mexico. With little light pollution here, its also a renowned destination for night-sky viewing and even earned a designation as an International Dark Sky Park. Theres also another amusement for dino lovers: one of the most extensive dinosaur trackways in North America. These trackways have been instrumental to paleontologists in understanding dinosaur movement and migration patterns, and the dinosaurs behaviors and social interactions between parents and offspring.

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Horned Dinosaur Bisticeratops Froeseorum

Bisticeratops froeseorum was believed to have existed in the Cretaceous Period, which was brought to an end by the asteroid that wiped off most of the dinosaurs 74 million years ago. The new species belongs to the group of dinosaurs known as ceratopsids, which also includes the triceratops. The distinctive features of these enormous, four-legged herbivorous dinosaurs include massive horns, powerful beaks, and a broad, shelf-like forehead.

Tyrannosaurids like the Tyrannosaurus rex mainly preyed on the gentle giants. The skull of the Bisticeratops has evidence that supports this view. Numerous bite marks were discovered on the skull’s surfaces, including the upper jaws, cheeks, and frill. Based on their location and size, it is assumed that a tyrannosaurid was responsible for the bites.

It’s not known, though, whether the predator found the Bisticeratops already dead or whether it hunted and killed it. Their enormous horns are believed to have acted as a sexual feature for exhibition and mate selection and a protection mechanism against attacks.

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Escape Into A Prehistoric World Where You Become The Dinosaur

Natural History Museum aims to bring ‘Bisti Beast’ animatronic to ABQ

The states most visited museum, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, located northeast of Historic Old Town Albuquerque, celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2016. Alberta, Photo: NMMNHS.

Roam the Earth as a dinosaur this holiday season! There is no wizardry required to achieve this transformation, just a trip to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in the Old Town Albuquerque area.

On display now, the traveling exhibit Be the Dinosaur is a state-of-the-art video game that allows visitors to explore some of the greatest mysteries of paleontology in a completely interactive way while walking through the Cretaceous period as a dinosaur.

The exhibit depicts a day in the life of a dinosaur and how they might have lived. Working with a world-class advisory panel, including renowned paleontologists and interactivity experts, the Eureka inquiry-based simulation technology allows visitors to immerse themselves in this lost world. Six stations allow visitors to simultaneously venture into a virtual world to forage for food and water while dodging attacks from other dinosaurs, in the largest and most complex restoration of an extinct ecosystem ever created.

Kids love dinosaurs, and this exhibit allows them to experience what its like to actually be one, said Executive Director Margie Marino. Its great fun watching our guests interact with this highly interactive and engaging exhibit.

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Mammals Put Brawn Before Brains

Prehistoric mammals bulked up, rather than develop bigger brains, to boost their survival chances once dinosaurs had become extinct, research suggests.

For the first 10 million years after dinosaurs died out, mammals prioritised boosting their body size to adapt to radical shifts in the make-up of Earth’s animal kingdom, researchers say. Read more

New Mexico’s Most Visited Museum

Seismosaurus and Saurophaganax in “Age of Super Giants” exhibition.

Just minutes away from Albuquerques lively Old Town Plaza, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science takes you on a journey through New Mexicos past, from the formation of the universe to the present. This interactive, high-tech museum features an active volcano, Ice Age cave, and dinosaurs galore, including the enormous Tyrannosaurus rex and Seismosaurus.

The museums popular exhibition, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, is the only Triassic hall in North America.

The Planetarium and Lockheed Martin DynaTheater are exciting detours on journeys through the museum, which also includes a cafe and the Natureworks Discovery Store.

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Prehistoric Trackways National Monument Outside Las Cruces

Established in 2009 on Bureau of Land Management public land, this monument protects a major deposit of fossilized footprint tracks. They date to the Paleozoic era and cover approximately 5,280 acres of desert with amphibian, reptile, insect, and plant impressions. Hiking is allowed at the monument, however, there arent any interpretation sites for the fossils. To learn more, youll need to head to museums in Las Cruces or Albuquerque.

Clayton Lake State Park Dinosaur Tracksite Clayton Nm

Mesalands Dinosaur Museum

In the northwest corner of New Mexico, not far from where the border meets Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma, sits a state park full of interesting dinosaur tracks. While relatively off the beaten path, Clayton Lake State Park is one of the more well-known dinosaur tracksites in the west, and one of the few large tracksites open to the public.

The dinosaur tracksite was discovered in the early 1980s when a flood washed silt away from an earthen spillway above the 1950s-constructed dam which created nearby Clayton Lake. As the earth was washed away, a layer of rock dated to about 100 million years old was revealed, and in the rock were hundreds of dinosaur footprints, including several pathways.

When we arrived at this peaceful, quiet state park, we were thrilled to have a chance to get out of the car and walk, and the trail to the dinosaur tracks is a little over 1/4 mile. The walk takes you past Clayton Lake along a trail full of bustling wildlife. We saw many different types of birds and insects along the way my then-six-year-old son enjoyed picking up rocks and seeing if he could throw them all the way down the hill to the lake. . The lake and trail were wonderful even though it was nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the cool breeze off the lake and the tree cover on the trail around the lake made the weather just about perfect.





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New Mexico Latest Tips and Stories

New Mexico Museum Of Natural History Named A New Species Of Horned Dinosaur

When researchers discovered a bone that protruded from the ground was joined to a virtually full cranium. The skull was identified as belonging to a novel species that science has not yet discovered after decades of cleaning and study at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History.

According to Newsweek, Dr. Steven Jasinski, Professor of Science and Technology at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, stated that additional research on specimens was already held in museum collections, along with the acquisition of new specimens and their study will help us comprehend these dinosaurs even better.

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The Dinosaurs And Prehistoric Animals Of New Mexico

  • B.S., Cornell University

Each state boasts a fossil record revealing a variety of unique dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, and New Mexico is no exception. It has an amazingly rich and deep fossil record. The geologic formations in this state stretch back nearly unbroken for over 500 million years, encompassing most of the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic Eras. Way too many dinosaurs, prehistoric reptiles, and mammalian megafauna have been discovered there to list them all individually. Discover the most important fossil finds in New Mexico, ranging from the tiny dinosaur coelophysis to the huge prehistoric bird gastornis.

Ballista / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

The official state fossil of New Mexico, the fossils of coelophysis have been dug up by the thousands at the Ghost Ranch quarry, leading to speculation that this small theropod dinosaur roamed the southwestern plains of late Triassic North America in vast packs. Coelophysis is also one of the few dinosaurs to show evidence of sexual dimorphism, males of the genus growing slightly larger than females.

New Species Of Dinosaur Discovered In Northwest New Mexico

Huge Dinosaur Fossil Airlifted to New Mexico Museum
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A new species of a horned dinosaur was discovered by paleontologists in a 74-million-year-old rock formation south of Farmington.

The Bisticeratops froeseorum was discovered in the Bisti De-Na-Zin Wilderness area.

Bisticeratopsadds to the diversity of Late Cretaceous horned dinosaurs from New Mexico, said Dr. Spencer Lucas. It shows that important discoveries and analyses continue to be made in the state in our effort to understand better the history of dinosaurs during the last few million years before their extinction.

The Bisticeratops was a horned dinosaur classified in the same group as the Triceratops. The dinosaur had an estimated body length of about 18 feet and was a plant-eating dinosaur.

The Bisticeratops lived mainly in jungles and swamps near a seacoast that was located in what is now considered northwest New Mexico about 74 million years ago.

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science says the fossil discovered includes most of the skull of the dinosaur. They say there are bite marks on the skull, and those could be from a predatory dinosaur.

Researchers say the discovery helps in understanding dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous Period. The discovery of the Bisticeratops adds to other recent horned dinosaurs found in New Mexico.

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