Melly has got this thing about “science.” She’s always talking all scientific and logical and trying to learn new scientific facts and claiming science is fun and enlightening. Sometimes she even claims I am science, which I totally am. How could a person not look at me and admire my marvelous adaptations to a semi-aquatic environment? How could they not look at my adorable face and see how closely I resemble an overgrown guinea pig? Still, I do not love science to the same extent she does and I’d just as soon not think about certain aspects of it, specifically predators. And of all the predators I don’t like to think about, I really don’t like to think about dinosaurs. Even the ones that aren’t predators. Even the small ones. They are all scary.
So I wasn’t too excited when she told me we were going to The Dinosaur Park in Bastrop, TX.
Melly has a tshirt that says, “Rwarrr means I love you in dinosaur,” but it is just not true. It means I’d love to eat you for dinner. Luckily these aren’t real dinosaurs, they are just life-sized statues, but they are scary enough if you ask me.
Okay, some of the dinosaurs, like the pachycephalasaurus above, were kind of cute. Not capybara cute mind you. Just a little cute.
Cute or not, that pachycephalasaurus is a big animal. Real or not, he still scares me. I just wanted to get out of there and go someplace safe. Plus, I could hear kids nearby and I didn’t want to stick around to see them get eaten.
The very next dinosaur we saw was this coelophysis, which is one scary looking animal. Look at all those teeth! I was ready to keep moving immediately. No need to stop to read the signs! Seriously.
This one didn’t look too scary because it is just a baby and because Melly and Sheldon were leaning on it. You can’t touch most of the dinosaurs at The Dino Park but they have a few where you can and Melly was insistent that we get up close and personal with them. Me, not so much.
I do not know the scientific name for this dinosaur because Melly forgot to take a photo of the sign so I am just calling it The Green Capybara Eater. That is what I think it would be if it were alive today.
Even though the iguanodon was big, it didn’t scare me as much as some of the others. There are iguanas in South America where capybaras live in the wild and they are nice and friendly. I think the iguanodon would be too but you would have to keep out from under it’s feet.
Maybe all dinosaurs aren’t scary. Or at least some are more scary than others. Or maybe I was just getting tired. Linda, the park owner, told us the trail is only 1/2 mile long but it felt like 10! I guess that’s when happens when your little heart is racing.
Now that is a large animal! I think even a giraffe would look tiny next to it. I looked like a little mouse!
Luckily, brachiosaurs were herbivores. It looks like Melly caught this one eating but then you have to remember it’s just a statue and not really alive. It is life-size though and nothing could bring home the giganticness of dinosaurs better than seeing them with your own eyes.
I look pretty brave in the photo above and actually, I was getting better. Dinosaur statues cannot hurt you. (But they can give you nightmares.)
I don’t like to toot my own horn, but by the ninth mile of the half-mile long trail, I was pretty much over my fear of dinosaur statues no matter how bizarre.
Every dinosaur had an informative sign like the one above. Coral wanted to stop to read them all. At first I resented that but toward the end I used it as an opportunity to lie down in the shade. Looking at the photos of the signs in the comfort of my own home, I can see why Coral wanted to read them. They do have some interesting information. “Scythe lizard.” Good name.
Melly was impressed that several of the dinosaurs are depicted with feathers. You won’t see that in older parks. She also liked the bright colors on some of them. Since the only living dinosaurs (we call them birds) are brightly colored, it is probable that their ancestors were too.
My spell checker knew the word stegosaurus, proving that it is one of the most popular of the dinosaurs. I like the way it’s stegs are colored on the statue.
I probably should have said friend family rather than family friends. This man, Shaw, told Melly that his wife had gone swimming with a capybara. Melly was shocked, of course, and asked where that happened. I think she was hoping it was in Panama so that when she goes down there she could get to swim with some wild capys, but he said it was someplace close by. Then Melly realized that the capybara his wife swam with must be me! It turns out his wife is one of the vet students from Texas A&M who visited me at my house. So I got my photo taken with Shaw and Elliot. Shout out to Jennifer!
At the end of the trail is a cute little nest with dinosaur eggs and even one baby dinosaur. I was hoping to take a nap here but we only paused long enough for a photo since other people wanted to take photos of their kids in the nest.
These are the owner’s two kids who inspired The Dinosaur Park with their love of the prehistoric animals. However, I think I have converted them to capybara lovers now. They can keep loving dinosaurs just as long as they love capybaras more.
If you are ever in central Texas and you have some time to kill, I highly recommend The Dinosaur Park! Adults will love it too. There is also a nice playground with a pleasant water mist on hot days and a really fantastic gift shop full of every dinosaur and prehistoric animal that you could want. Melly is into mosasaurs, a type of giant prehistoric lizard, and she more than doubled her admittedly meager collection.
We want to thank the owners one more time for letting me come. They do allow pets but not over 30 lbs and they bent the rules for me because Melly swore I would be good and that I’m a non-biter.