McKinney Museum Honors Past and Present

Wild animals and people coming together

The Heard Natural Science Museum in McKinney is more than a museum. For example, it has a dinosaur exhibit, but not just any old bones are on display.

The museum’s “Smackdown At Dana Quarry” exhibit showcases the past with its re-creation of a fight between two dinosaurs 155 million years ago.

Some paleontologists have said it appears both creatures ended up stuck in the mud during a battle of pre-historic proportions.

It was a bad deal for the allosaurus named “Dracula” for its perfectly preserved mouthful of teeth and stegosaurus named “Fantasia” after a scene in the classic Disney film.

"The very cool thing about “Smackdown at Dana Quarry” is that this stegosaurus and this allosaurus are the only pair to be found in fighting postion when they died and were discovered. In fact, the left arm of this stegosauras was found against the jaw of the allosaurus. This makes them rare, unique and one-of-a-kind,” Curator of Cultural Collections Michelle Houran said.

Six nature trails wind through the Heard sanctuary, which is comprised of five habitats. The 289-acre sanctuary brings wild animals and people together.

"It's a place for wild life. A place where the wild life are allowed to run free...they don't have to worry about people hunting or shooting them,” said Roger Sanderson, Wild Life Biologist Roger.

Nature lovers and birders flock to the sanctuary to see the butterfly garden and various species of birds in their natural habitat.

By showcasing the past and educating and preserving in the present, The Heard Natural Science Museum is staying true to founder Bessie Heard’s philanthropic nature.

"I'm just very afraid that in the future all of our natural areas will be given up because people won't know what they are or that they were even there. And we won't preserve them unless we have people that appreciate them and that's why we want the children to come out and really appreciate the nature,” said Sanderson.

Find It:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place, McKinney, Texas 75069


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