While browsing Flickr recently, I came across this postcard, shared by Jordan Smith. Ichthyosaurs get no respect. Either they're seen as nothing more than Mesozoic dolphins or overlooked as less spectacular than the pliosaurs or mosasaurs. But this has to be the most undignified treatment yet.
At least it's received a new paint job since then. The postcard is an advertisement for the Prehistoric Gardens, a roadside attraction in Port Orford, Oregon. It features the work of sculptor Ernest V. Nelson, who held firm that his work was "scientifically correct." Well, it's certainly not bad for mid-century paleontological thought. I love this psychedelic Dimetrodon and laughing Triceratops.
Photo by Vintage Roadside, via Flickr.
Their T. rex is appropriately old-school, and seems to be quite happy about it.
Photo shared by Jaysonphoto, via Flickr.
Another highlight: the giraffe-patterned Psittacosaurus.
Photo by Michael Hanscom, via Flickr.
I also found this great old map, which apparently still reflects the layout of the attraction.
Shared by Chango Blanco, via Flickr.
If slideshows with elevator music are more your speed, well, fullscreen this puppy and crank the volume.
I need to get to this place, if only to get a better look at that Eryops, which looks like a Simpsons character. But what I'd really love to see happen would be for some roadside attractions to start popping up which feature more up-to-date ideas. Any pretense to accuracy aside, it would be fun to see the wacky ways people would handle therizinosaurs, alvarezsaurs, and the host of other feathered theropods. Not to mention bringing in some of the wild variety of ceratopsids we've been treated to recently. Of course, if one of these lottery tickets would pan out one day...