Paleo Art

T-Rex Mural at Dino Hotel

Cretaceous Rockies

This mural covers two walls, and depicts Colorado during the Late Cretaceous. The Rockies are already rising along the Western Interior Cretaceous Seaway, although the sea is not visible in the tableaux. Dawn Redwoods, flowering magnolias, and Bald Cyprus line a stream. Nestled in their leaves are something new – blooming flowers. Stomping through the right panel is a top predator that every other creature cannot ignore. Tyrannosaurus rex bends down, his toothy maw stretched almost in a smile. In the words of Denver muralist Tom Ward, “I wanted to paint him so he could be alternately saying, ‘Hello’ … or, ‘What’s for lunch?’”

A herd of Edmontosaurus watch warily in the distance. Some Dromaeosaurus hiding in the reeds flee at the T-Rex’s approach. On the trunk of the cyprus, a small, nondescript lizard freezes. In the left panel, a bellicose Triceratops bellows and stands its ground, refusing to yield territory to the T-Rex. Some ostrich-like Ornithomimus run away at the showdown developing between the two giants. A flock of pterosaurs — in this case Quetzacoatalus — soar overhead, unconcerned.

So what’s caught T-Rex’s attention? Why, it’s you! Please “feed” yourself to the T-Rex, and take a picture or two.

I was such a pleasure working with Greg and Meredith Tally as well as Morrison Natural History Museum Director & Chief Curator Matthew Mossbrucker

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