It’s not exactly Jurassic Park, but it should excite the child in us all. Bones from three types of meat-eating dinosaurs will have a new home next year at the Idaho State University Museum of Natural History in Pocatello.

According to an article by the Idaho State Journal, the theropod bones were discovered in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest on the Idaho-Wyoming border and will arrive at the museum sometime in 2017. They are smaller versions of Tyrannosaurus rex.

The new additions to the museum may be worth a two-hour-drive from Twin Falls, but don’t forget about the fossils you can see right here in the Magic Valley. The College of Southern Idaho’s Herrett Center for Arts and Science has an impressive collection of 35,000 artifacts and specimens, many of them from prehistoric times including a large fossilized replica of a wooly mammoth.

Photo by Andrew Weeks
A couple of the toothy residents on display at the Herrett Center for Arts and Science.

“The natural history specimens emphasize the geology of North and Central America,” reads a description on the facility’s website. Other impressive collections at the Herrett Center include:

  • 500 paintings, ceramics and other works of art
  • Exhibits of contemporary art and art issues
  • Stargazing platform with telescope and multimedia domed theater for planetarium shows

There is, in fact, quite a bit to do at the Herrett Center. And the best thing is that it’s right in our own backyard. For prices, hours and more information, visit the website or contact the museum at 732-6655.

Another place to learn about south-central Idaho's ancient past is at the Hagerman Valley Historical Museum at 221 N. State Street, Hagerman. Here, view the skull of a sabertooth cat and learn about other Pliocene mammals and plants found in the area.

The museum also has the fossil replica of the Hagerman Horse, the area’s most celebrated prehistoric animal. For more information, call 933-4100.