There’s a dinosaur on the Mall


Triceratops horridus roamed northwestern North America 65-70 million years ago when the climate was warmer and wetter. This sculpture was cast, using 3-D modeling based on computer scans, from the original skull of a triceratops in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Dinosaur Hall. Fierce as he looks, he was a herbivore.

8 Responses to There’s a dinosaur on the Mall

  1. Elisabeth says:

    I don’t recall ever seeing this. It is quite a cool sculpture!

  2. mariemcc says:

    Wouldn’t want to meet one of those in a dark alley. I love the Latin name, especially the horridus part!

  3. Doree says:

    Look at his teeth! He’s just a giant cow! Great photo.

  4. Dan Ward says:

    When I was a kid, there was a large green fiberglass Triceratops outside the natural history museum. My brother and sister and I used to love to climb it during our summer trips to DC (visiting family & such)… and I was so disappointed when I returned as an adult and found it gone.

    Looking back, I suppose it was sort of tacky and historically inaccurate – but what a fun thing to play on!

  5. Passante says:

    Dan —

    I remember it. It was known as “Uncle Beasley.” Many years ago, I photographed a bunch of kids playing on Uncle B. for an ESL textbook on Washington, DC. I, too, was disappointed when I looked for it several weeks ago and found it gone.

  6. jean says:

    I love it. Great photo.

  7. Thomas says:

    The life-sized Triceratops was moved to the Woodley Park Zoo in DC some years ago
    where it sits way out of reach of children. My wife had worked for an
    engineering company that supervised the placement of Uncle Beasley to its
    current home. I grew up as a child climbing on Uncle Beasley while it sat
    in front of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.
    It had started my interest in dinosaurs and being a big fan of the
    Triceratops. My own
    son, age four, asked me to tell him a story about a pink Triceratops
    named Harold. He had a dream about him the other night. The first thing
    I thought about was old Uncle Beasley. I’m an artist by nature and
    wanted to use Uncle Beasley as a reference for Harold to create a book for
    my son. I found your post above and thought I would write you with the
    answer. I was also interested in figuring out who came up with the name
    of Uncle Beasley. It name came from a childrens book.

  8. passante says:

    Thomas — Thank you for this information. It’s years since I’ve been to the zoo and I had no idea it was Uncle B’s new home. What a pity children can no longer climb on him.

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