Dinosaur Valley State Park
Glen Rose, Texas
Just past the Creation Evidence Museum, which wants to prove that dinosaurs and humans lived together as part of God's plan, humans and dinosaur statues actually do live together -- at the entrance to Dinosaur Valley State Park. The park itself features roughly 100 dinosaur tracks left in the bed of the Paulxy River, but what we like most are the two dinosaur statues that stand next to the entrance parking lot.
One is a 50-foot-tall toothy Tyrannosaurus rex, the other a sleepy-looking Brontosaurus. The 70-foot-long long Brontosaurus is angled to provide maximum shade from the blistering Texas sun, and most visitors congregate within its cool shadow, their backs turned to the interesting beast.
Both statues are from Sinclair Dinoland, an oil company exhibit at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair (The connection was that some dinosaurs got fossilized, some got turned into oil). When the Smithsonian refused to take the Dinoland dinosaurs after the Fair, they were scattered: Ankylosaurus went to the Cleveland Zoo, Corythosaurus to Independence, KS. Stegosaurus ended up at Dinosaur National Monument in Vernal, UT, and Struthiomimus at the Milwaukee Museum. The Triceratops landed in Louisville, KY; the Ornitholestes just disappeared. T. Rex and Brontosaurus landed in Glen Rose in 1970.
However, scientists then decided that there really wasn't such a thing as a Brontosaurus. They said it was just a paleontologists' creation, a Camarasaurus skull stuck on an Apatosaurus body. So in 1987 Texas Parks and Wildlife remade the dinosaur to conform to this revisionist thinking.
But as the posted explanation at the park reads: "When the correct head was finally installed it did not look right even though it was the right size...The new head looked like a pin head!"
So Texas Parks and Wildlife changed it back.
We especially like the posted explanation for the change:
"By the 1990s the park recognized that the Sinclair models had become pieces of history in their own right and in 1995 decided to restore the models to the way they looked at the 1964 World's Fair. The old Camarasaurus head demonstrates that our understanding of these animals continues to develop."
And it has. In 2015 a new generation of scientists announced that Brontosaurus did, in fact, exist. The prehistoric world of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair turned out to be right after all! We're glad it was preserved, and can't believe the Smithsonian passed on the dinos in the first place.