Burke’s Last Stand

The morning started rather sleepily.

Thanks to a Christmas present that kept our attention well past bedtime.

No alarm, so we eventually woke up and stumbled to the coffee pot. The goal was to visit the Burke Museum on the last weekend they will be open for the better part of 2019, while they move to the new Burke. Some of our friends were going to visit so we walked over to join them, and half of Seattle and their kids.

While we have been to the museum several times, this visit included two special events.

The first was listening to a story read by the author. It was a native tale, and a children’s book about a mouse. The short version is that a bear, getting ready for hibernation, sits down on the mouse’s house, crushing it to bits. The mouse is quite mad, but the bear dr dismisses him as insignificant. The mouse declares he is a force, and can move a mountain. The bear, and the rest of the mice, laugh at this notion and the bear settles down to sleep. While he sleeps the mouse sets about his task, “One step, one stone at a time.” After having worked for several months the mouse has moved a mountain of stones, burying the bear. The bear eventually wakes, roars as he shakes the stones free. However, instead of being mad, he respects the mouse and his efforts. All of the other mice do as well and tell the mouse he is so revered that he does not need a house, as he is welcome to stay in any of their houses. And that is why today, mice feel free to live in anybody’s house. Or toaster.

Native Frog Hat

The second treat was getting to visit the dinosaur preparation area. Up close and personal with the Tufts-Love T-Rex.

This is probably the most complete and best preserved of the 15 known t-rex skulls in the world. It is still being freed from the matrix it was found in, in Montana.

Lower jaw, really about 2/3rds as the rest was in the other room

Nose on view. Would be the last view if they were alive, with the lower jaw still attached.

These next series of pictures illustrate why this skull is so spectacular. The first is just to show the skull from the side to get perspective. Note the location of the light near the rear of the skull.

The curator is holding a full scale model of the T-Rex brain

This is the stapes. In humans it is the smallest bone, located in the ear.

Straight highlighted bone is the stapes

The current Burke Museum building is scheduled to be demolished after the collections are moved to the new building. No need to be quite as gentle with the rooms.

What a great idea.

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