Berlin: A City of Dinosaurs

TRex hates pushupsNot every visit to a new city has to be filled with sights unique to the area. Museums of every kind abound in most cities, and many of them are just as interesting as the museums you might want to visit in your hometown, especially when you have a hankering to see some dinosaur bones.

The Natural History Museum in Berlin is famous for three exhibits: the largest mounted dinosaur in the world (a Giraffatitan skeleton), a well-preserved specimen of the earliest known bird, Archaeopteryx, and it also now houses one of the best preserved skeletons in the world of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

That’s why we went to the museum: we thought it would be pretty cool to see something older than what we see in the mirror nowadays.

So without further ado, here are the photos:

IMG_9418The Guinness World Record Certificate confirms that this is the tallest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world. That’s just his big toe, I think. It kinda looks like a wooden Dutch shoe, doesn’t it?

IMG_9415No, this isn’t the tallest one. This was the dinosaur version of “it tastes like chicken.”

IMG_9420This is the dinosaur version of Manute Bol. The one on the left. He’s over forty feet tall, which means he would probably have peered into your fourth story window when he wanted to get back inside after going potty.

IMG_9441Speaking of caring for pets, the guy who made the Arc Encounter in Kentucky thinks Noah put two of these in a boat. (As well as I guess two each of the other 700 plus species of dinosaur we’ve found so far.) And then sailed with them for over a year.

I’m reminded of Roy Scheider’s line in Jaws: “We’re gonna need a bigger ark.”

IMG_9423Is it any wonder that someone invented dragons after coming across a dinosaur skull like this?

IMG_9426A battle between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a dragon would have been epic. My money would be on the dragon, because the Tyrannosaurus Rex was around before flame throwers were invented and so hadn’t evolved any defenses. Duh.

IMG_9431The Tyrannosaurus Rex had the strongest bite in history. This was problematic for them when they tried kissing, which may be why we don’t see any more little Tyrannosauruses running around.

IMG_9433It’s pretty obvious we’ve evolved only so far.

IMG_9434Okay, so we stand taller. But some of us actually believe that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark, so I’m not sure where that’s gotten us.

IMG_9435This exhibit proves that it only takes two macaws to lift a cheetah from the ground. It’s a well known fact that they do that and then dash the hapless cats onto the rocks for a fine feast of flattened feline. At least I think that’s what the plaque in German said.

IMG_9439This guy got so hammered the next morning he woke up in a jar.

Trapped in jars closeupThese two walked into a prohibited room and were never heard from again.

IMG_9440I steered Carolyn clear of the view of this cute little (well, three feet worth of little) arachnid because I felt had she seen it, the ensuing scream might have set off all sorts of alarms and we might have found ourselves surrounded by German police officers with automatic weapons. Crisis averted.

A side-by-side comparison of the alpha predators of their times. I think lions are cuter. Up until they bite me, at which point I don’t think they’re cute at all.

Now we suddenly lurch from the Natural History Museum to Reichstag building only because I had a leftover photo of the Reichstag and thought I better use it.

Republic SquareWritten on the building is “Dem deutschen Volke,” which means “To the German people.” This building was made particularly famous (or perhaps notorious) when in 1933 it was set on fire, allowing the Nazis to use it as a pretext to arrest and kill anybody they felt like arresting and killing.

And so we close our visit to Berlin by going through a train station on our way to Dresden. But this isn’t just any train station. Comparing an average train station in America to this Berlin station is like comparing a sandlot playground to a major league baseball stadium. It’s huge, clean, quiet, filled with nice stores, and the trains zip in and out of the huge building like you’re in a science fiction movie. The US doesn’t invest in infrastructure like Europe does; it seems they’d rather give all the money to the very wealthy so they can fly over to Europe and enjoy Europe’s infrastructure. Which is a win/win for those policies, because the Most Important People get to experience the fancy transportation hubs and the government doesn’t have to waste money on the rest of Americans. Booyah!

Door of the DayAnd we’ll finish up this entry with a Door of the Day.

So long Berlin! Hullo Dresden!


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