Happy Sunday everyone! I hope some of you have introduced yourselves to @SaberToothDen. He’s really a furry cool tiger. I was hoping to meet him in purrson and tour the museum, but only service animals are allowed in the museum, so Mom had to go in my place. She got to see some of the behind the scenes stuff courtesy of Tara Hubner, Digital Marketing Manager and Richard Busch, Education Collections Manager. So now I’m gonna turn the blog over to Mom.
Pumpkin’s mom here. I have to preface this by saying I absolutely love the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS). I moved to Denver about 30 years ago. Every museum I’d been to before the DMNS was your usual collection of dioramas and such. It was all look but don’t touch. DMNS was the first museum I’d ever been to that had interactive displays. I couldn’t believe there was so much stuff for kids to touch and explore. Over the last thirty years, it’s just gotten better and better. In fact, DMNS has the largest educational collection in the country. It’s so large, it’s getting its own wing! If you don’t know what the educational collection is, it’s the exhibits that can be touched and studied. These are the exhibits that travel to schools, are set up on carts with people explaining what the items are, and are set up in rooms in the museums for special school field trips. Pretty impressive! By the way, if I’ve gotten anything wrong, if anyone from the museum reads this I hope they’ll feel free to correct me. Please!
I got to go behind the scenes and see the sign shop and some of the educational displays that were in storage. I even got to touch some of the displays. For someone who’s loved museums since she was a little kid, this was quite a treat! My favorite was the tiger. I’ve always wanted to know what a tiger feels like. It was pretty soft. I got lots of pictures, so I’m going to let them tell the rest of the story. (Click on the pictures to biggify them.)
I got to pet this tiger!
I pet the foxes too.
Woodworking shop. Lots of display items are built in here.
Display stands under construction.
Printing shop where all the signs are made.
These were all created by Gary Staab. The dinosaurs are out in the parking lot. The sculpture is to celebrate the Mammoths and Mastadons exhibit that’s currently running.
Some pictures from around the museum.
How taxidermy is done.
This manatee is part taxidermy and part model. Can you tell where the parts are connected?
And last, but not least, some pictures from outside the museum. The museum is located in City Park. It’s a really beautiful setting for a museum.
In the summer, this is a sculpture fountain. It has sprays that keep changing and people play in it.
You can see downtown from the museum.
I hope you enjoyed my visit to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. If you live in Denver or plan on visiting here, make time to see it. You won’t be disappointed. And now, back to Pumpkin.
Pumpkin here. City Park is a great park. The Denver Zoo is located there, it has ball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, fountains, lakes, rose gardens, and lots to do! Mom will have to take me when the weather’s nice so we can get some better pictures of the park, especially the roses when they’re in bloom.
Ran a little long this week, but there were lots of pictures to show you. Have a great week everyone!
Happy Sunday everyone! I got something furry special for you today – I interviewed a saber tooth tiger! Now, you might think a saber tooth tiger would be ferocious, but not this one. This is the friendliest tiger you’ll meet. He’s @SaberToothDen, and for the past 40 years he’s greeted all the visitors at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. On April 21, the museum is having a big celebration in honor of his birthday and in conjunction with their current Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit that runs through May 23.
@SaberToothDen is very special. Not only does he greet all the visitors that come to the museum, he helps collect money for the museum. Once upon a time, the museum didn’t charge admission so the museum installed the tiger to help encourage donations. You drop a coin down his throat and he roars! Just listen.
And now the interview!
PP: Do you eat anything besides coins?
Saber: Well, for the past 40 years, I’ve been on a pretty strict coin diet. But, my twin in the fossil mammal hall was known to stalk giant ground sloths. Typical smilodon (saber-toothed cat) food choices also included all kinds of large, Ice Age animals like bison, tapirs, deer, American camels, and horses.
PP: Have you ever needed a makeover?
Saber: Yes, I most certainly have. It’s hard to keep your good looks when you’re adored by so many children. I’ve been repainted and had a tooth repair—but my signature growl is still the original.
PP:How do you like living in the museum?
Saber: I love it! My days are filled with pats on the head and quarters in my belly. A cat couldn’t ask for anything better.
PP: Have you always just been in this one spot or have you gotten to see other parts of the museum?
Saber: Since I started eating coins 40 years ago, my home has always been near the entrance to the Museum.
PP: Would you want to live anywhere else?
Saber: Definitely, not! I feel like one of the most privileged animals in the whole building because I get to greet everyone who comes in the door.
PP: Do you enjoy watching all the people? Do you think the museum is busier than it used to be?
Saber: Watching all the people is my favorite part of the day! I couldn’t tell you if the Museum is busier than it used to be—my memory has gotten fuzzy in my 40 years—but I do know that I see thousands of excited faces every day. It makes a cat smile.
PP: Do the exhibits really come alive at night like in the movies?
Saber: Well, I can’t get in to too many details, but I will say that T. rex can have a bit of an attitude problem and the mule deer in Explore Colorado play a mean game of poker.
PP: Do you have a favorite exhibit?
Saber: Right now, I’m a huge fan of the new Mammoths and Mastodons exhibition. Not only is it full of information about proboscideans (elephants and their relatives), but there’s a life-size model of a scimitar-toothed cat that you can touch!
PP: Are you looking forward to the big celebration in April?
Saber: It’s going to be a blast. At first, I was a little apprehensive about having a birthday party since—you know—I’m turning 40 and all. But, the more that I’ve started to think about it, I’m excited to celebrate because those years have been really good to me.
PP: What would you like people to know about you that I haven’t thought to ask?
Photo courtesy of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Saber: The Saber Tooth Cat was created by Henry Wichers Inchumuk and his apprentice at the time,
Richard Stucky, who is still one of the curators at the Museum. The cat is made of fiberglass
and is modeled after a male specimen’s skull. Richard made the mold of the teeth and sabers from the skull and lower jaws of the specimen, and Henry fleshed out the body. The full saber tooth cat model was on display in the Museum’s old fossil mammal hall (see attached photo). The same cast was used to create the donation box version that sits near the entrance to the Museum.
So that’s part 1 of the interview. If you’re in the Denver area or visiting here, you’ve got to go to the museum. It’s a pawsome place with lots of exciting things to see. Mom got to tour some of the behind the scenes areas of the museum. I’ll tell you all about that next week!