Dinosaurs in Texas

Dinosaurs Texas

Take a 100-million year journey through Central Texas. Walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs, see the remains of giant marine reptiles, visit the final resting place of dozens of enormous Columbian mammoths, and view artifacts detailing life in Texas from some of the area’s earliest inhabitants.

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

1600 Gendy Street, Fort Worth 76107

Who knew you could find dinosaurs in your own backyard? The Museum’s DinoLabs and DinoDig® exhibitions bring the fascinating story of dinosaurs discovered in North Texas to life with full articulations of dinosaur skeletons native to the region and a dig site replicating a local paleontological field site. Come face to face with Paluxysaurus jonesi, the State Dinosaur of Texas, plus life-sized models of Acrocanthosaurus and Tenontosaurus dossi.

Dinosaur Valley State Park

254-897-3081 or 254-897-4588
1629 Park Road 59, Glen Rose, 76043

Glen Rose is known as the “Dinosaur Capital of Texas.” One step into the 113 million year old dinosaur footprints and you’ll see why. With some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in North America, this paleontological find is an important clue to how and where dinosaurs walked.

Dinosaur World

254-898-1526 or 254-897-3081
1058 Park Road 59, Glen Rose, 76043

Located just outside Dinosaur Valley State Park, Dinosaur World features over 100 life-size dinosaur models nestled among a lush assortment of native vegetation, so believable that some visitors claim to see them moving! Children will love the fossil digs where they can dig for and keep up to three real fossils.

Bosque Museum

301 South Avenue Q, Clifton, 76634

The Horn Shelter, discovered in Bosque County, is a rare 11,200 year old Paleo-American archeological site where two skeletons and an array of burial goods were found. A replica of the Horn Shelter complete with a burial, reproduced burial goods, excavation exhibit and facial reconstruction can be seen at the Bosque Museum.

Waco Mammoth National Monument

6220 Steinbeck Bend Road, Waco, 76708

In 1978, two men stumbled upon a bone near the Bosque River. A lost world was discovered! The site features a climate-controlled dig shelter and a suspended walkway that provides an overhead view of several specimens, including a bull mammoth and a camel that lived approximately 68,000 years ago.

Mayborn Museum Complex

1300 S. University Parks Dr., Waco, 76706

Travel through millions of years by exploring ancient fossils of Central Texas at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex. Exciting and interactive exhibits invite visitors to touch a palm tree stump from the Tertiary Period and see one of the largest fossil marine turtles found in the United States.

Bell County Museum

210 N. Main St., Belton, 76513

The award-winning Bell County Museum features a permanent interactive exhibit on the Gault Site that offers an in-depth look at this important active excavation through dynamic interactive areas, informational text and the website www.texasbeyondhistory.net. Call ahead to see about opportunities for your young ones to “excavate” in our simulated archeology pits.
Kids! Download our Flip Book before your visit!

The Gault Site

3451 FM 2843, Florence, 76527

The Gault Site is one of the largest excavated sites of the Clovis culture (13,500) years ago) and a Texas State Archeological Landmark. Gault has more than 2 million artifacts, some of the earliest art and the oldest architecture in North America. Research continues and tours/speakers can be arranged.

Meet some of our 150 Texas Dinosaurs

The dinosaurs represent a variety of well known and unusual species, which are displayed outdoors with explanatory signs.


Brachiosaurus seems to be the sauropod of choice among young people today, just as Brontosaurus once was.This huge plant-eater is one of the largest known land animals.A living Brachiosaurus would probably have weighed over seventy tons and would have needed over four hundred pounds of food a day. It lived in herds in the forests.Scientists no longer believe that it lived in water. The remains of Brachiosaurus have been found in Africa, Europe, and North America. Its popularity as a "long-neck" (the name comes from The Land Before Time) was only enhanced by its supporting role in Dinosaur.


This dinosaur had a small horn on its nose and two fairly long horns on its brow with an unusually long frill or shield that stretched over the neck and shoulders. The very large holes through the bone (hence the name) lightened the weight of the frill, which otherwise would have been so heavy Chasmosaurus could not have lifted its head.

Like the other horned dinosaurs, Chasmosaurus walked on four legs and ate plants with its horny beak. Many fossils of Chasmosaurus have been discovered together in Canada, leading scientists to assume that like many of the ceratopsians, such as Triceratops, it might have traveled in family groups, with the older members of the group protecting the younger ones, as they do in the display at Dinosaur World.


Dilophosaurus is best known for appearing in Jurassic Park with a large collar around its neck. That collar is based on a modern lizard, the frilled lizard, and not on any fossils of Dilophosaurus. Although the toothy coelurosaur with its strange headgear is impressive enough, it was felt that the collar would make the dinosaur look scarier


The most notable features of Spinosaurus, for which it is named, are the long spines on its back, which probably supported a fin somewhat like that of Dimetrodon. It is interesting that two animals otherwise so different (Dimetrodon was not even a dinosaur) would share such a distinctive feature, one for which we do not know the purpose. The fin might have regulated its body temperature or have been used in courtship displays.

Spinosaurus was a large carnosaur which, typical of the group, walked on its hind legs. Its front legs were larger and probably more useful than those of some of the other members of the group, and its head is particularly large.

Notice that the Spinosaurus at Dinosaur World is colored for camouflage, which would be helpful for a dinosaur that hunted its food. (Modern human beings wear camouflage when they hunt.) But, notice that Stegosaurus, a plant-eater and prey animal, is also colored for camouflage, as are modern prey animals. Of course, any colors for the dinosaurs are guesses.


Most dinosaur names come from Greek and Latin, as does the beginning of Stygimoloch's name, but the ending -moloch is from Hebrew. Some people (including those who named it) think that Stygimoloch is demonic-looking, although the name actually refers to the Hell Creek formations, where its fossils have been found.

As it is represented at Dinosaur World, however, it seems rather dapper, almost as if it is waiting for someone to use it as the inspiration for a new hairstyle.

This little pachycephalosaur is known only from part of the back of its skull, found in Montana. Paleontologists often have to be creative artists to determine the appearance of a dinosaur from such sketchy evidence.


It may sound strange to say a dinosaur is loveable, but there is something about Triceratops that especially appeals to children. Maybe it is the charming personality of Cera in Land Before Time (1988), or maybe it is the large but not threatening, somewhat appealing look of the dinosaur itself, but for many kids, the highlight of their visit to Dinosaur World is meeting the Three-horn family.

A huge animal, with several ways of protecting itself, including a tough, leathery skin (that scientists have found fossilized impressions of), it had no real enemies. Some scientists speculate that it might have been particularly aggressive. It is believed to be one of the last of the dinosaurs to go extinct.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

If there is ever an election for most popular dinosaur at Dinosaur World, the competition will most likely be between Triceratops, a plant-eater perceived to be gentle (although some scientists disagree) and Tyrannosaurus rex, or T. rex, to friends, a carnosaur that was anything but gentle. Of the many movies in which T. rex (the all-time movie star among dinosaurs) has appeared, old T has been brought down only by Superman in The Arctic Giant (1942) and by a Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III (2001).

In 1997, the fossil of a T. rex named Sue (although no one knows whether the animal was male or female) sold at auction at Sothebys for over eight million dollars. T. rex is big business, with more different models, toys, and other representations of T. rex in the Dinosaur World gift shop than of any other dinosaur.