Calling all mad scientists, preschool paleontologists, and lovers of “Jurassic Park” — there has never been a better time to dig up some local history.
Enter Ancient Earth. No need to create your own creatures from prehistoric DNA, just type your location into the website’s GPS and see what lifeforms were waltzing in your backyard as far back as 750 million years ago.
Editor Maddie did just that for all of our en-raptor-ed readers. Kansas City, say hello to your friendly neighborhood dinosaurs...
Meet the fossils
Tiny-armed “Albert” was an egg-laying carnivore. He would have weighed ~5,512 lbs — that’s about how much a northern elephant seal weighs, which is the largest mammal in the US (today).
Don’t let those spikes fool you, this scaly reptile is the only vegetarian on our list. This woodland herbivore is quite popular in these parts, as the Silvisaurus was designated the state land fossil of Kansas in 2023.
Need another reason to fear large bodies of water, e.g. “Jaws?” Well I have the perfect candidate. The live-birthing, carnivorous plesiosaur (marine reptile) Brachauchenius was lurking in the sea that covered much of the prehistoric Great Plains.
It’s a dog eat dog world...or maybe a plesiosaur eat plesiosaur world? The Trinacromerum likely lived alongside the Brachauchenius in the Western Interior Seaway, the former acting more as lunch than lunch date.
Boredom is about to go extinct when you realize how many opportunities there are for amateur paleontologists of every age to get their dino-fix in Kansas City. Check out:
- Science City Dig Site + Dino Lab
- Museum at Prairie Fire
- KU Natural History Museum
- KC Jurassic Farm
- Prehistoric Putt
If this list doesn’t excavate some excitement, I dino what to tell ya.