Thursday, June 20, 2013

Morris Museum "Dino Day" 2013

Back on April 27th the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey, held its annual "Dino Day".  Like past years your friends at Jersey Boys Hunt Dinosaurs were invited to host a table.  I also had the honor of presenting one of my talks on dinosaurs and was even able to bring a few of my live animals from work along!

The reason this post has taken over a month and a half to post is because we wanted to put together a really nice movie for you.  My long time friend, George, edited all of our footage from that day and put something together that is really special.  Check it out!

Now here is a less edited (much editing actually) video showcasing our friend, Ron Maslanka's Hadrosaurus puppet. 

I love that thing.  Did I mention its life-sized?

Finally here are a few photos from that day.

Elvis, the Dwarf Caiman, models as a non-dinosaur archosaur.

Luisa, the Moluccan Cockatoo/living dinosaur takes a crap on the classroom floor.

Gather round, kids!  Just try not to step in the dino crap.

Christopher DiPiazza(me), Ron Maslanka, Gary Vechiarelli.


  1. 1stly, is Dino Day an annual event at the Morris Museum? I've never visited said museum, but would like to (especially on said day).

    2ndly, a little bit of constructive criticism (in reference to the video's 1st activity): Instead of just saying "No" when someone matches a fossil w/the wrong dino, ask them about their choice (E.g. When the kid matched the tail spike w/T.rex, you could've asked something along the lines of, "Do you see any tail spikes on T.rex?"); Also, in the case of Camarasaurus, it might help to use a different sauropod, 1 w/features that are more easily visible in a model (E.g. The pencil-shaped teeth or dermal spines of dipoldocids).

    1. 1) Yes it is an annual event. We advertise for it on this site and our facebook page. If you go to the museum's site they mention it way in advance too. Most natural history museums actually have a "dino day" event. We usually go to 3 or 4 a year. Stay tuned on our site and we hope to see you at one of our events in the future!

      2) I agree mostly with what you said. When that boy was doing the activity I actually did converse with him a LOT more in the manner that you suggested I should but we had to edit a lot out for time's sake in the video (George is VERY good at editing so it looks like it was all one wasn't trust me!). I almost always give kids a verbal multiple choice like "So does this spike belong to this one or THIS ONE?" emphasizing the correct choice along with a few hints/facts like you can hear me say in the vid. I want them to guess correct because it makes them feel good and if they guess wrong I try to find a way to make it work in a positive way and plus they will remember better. Coming to my table should always be a happy experience and I never want to verbally put a child down!

      I see what you are saying changing the Camarasaurus to something more easily recognizable. Here is why I chose to do what I did.

      1) Casts are pretty expensive and unfortunately the ones you see on the table are pretty much all I have at the moment until I can buy more.

      2) To me, the idea of learning that a smallest fossil can come from the largest animal was more important than the specific genus.

      3) 90% of the people called it a "long neck" so changing it to Diplodocus or even a more iconic sauropod like Brachiosaurus would probably make little difference.

      Thank you for the comment!

    2. "Thank you for the comment!"

      No problem. I've actually been meaning to comment on your blog posts for a while, but kept getting busy & forgetting. As for Camarasaurus, I didn't mean that the genus isn't recognizable enough, just that its teeth aren't easily visible in the model. That's why I suggested a diplodocid (E.g. The Carnegie Diplodocus model has very visible teeth: ). However, I know what you mean about having to work w/whatever's immediately available. If the video hadn't been edited, I'm guessing it would've shown you saying something along the lines of, "1 of these dinos had spoon-shaped teeth like this for stripping tough leaves from shrubby trees". Am I close?

      1 more thing: I was wondering if I could get your (I.e. That of as many of the Jersey Boys as possible) help w/something dino-related. If so, should I explain what it is in another comment or email it to you guys? Many thanks in advance.

    3. Ah I see. I do own the Carnegie Diplodocus as well and I agree its a great one (along with so many others) but alas, getting hold of a cast to go with it is another story.

      Message us on our facebook page.

  2. "Message us on our facebook page."

    I don't have a Facebook. Should I message you guys at Youtube instead (I'm assuming that Griffin8891 is the Jersey Boys' account)?

    1. Nah I never go on there unless I'm actually uploading something. Just email me I guess