At one time, most of western Kansas was under water. When the sea receded during the Late Cretaceous, the sedimentary rock preserved the remains of numerous prehistoric animals including giant sharks, mosasaurs (marine reptiles), pteranodons, and birds with teeth. In the latter part of the 19th century, fossil hunters including the Sternberg family discovered these well-preserved remains and began a great competition to collect the specimens and prepare them for exhibit in museums around the world.
“Dinosaurs to Dung Beetles” relates the stories behind the exhibits and collections of the museum, providing deeper meaning to almost every aspect displayed, modeled, and painted. Over 100 figures and pictures enhance the reader’s journey through the 330 million years of history that make up the museum – from the Kansas sea to the wild West, through the formative years of North American paleontology and the concept of biological evolution, to the development of the museum.