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SirCrab: Unfortunately the owner did not respond to the previous note so this is being archived. Should the owner decide to repair/replace this and have it unarchived, it can be done as long as it still conforms to the guidelines.

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Uncle Beazley's Family Tree

A cache by Smithsonian NMNH Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 12/8/2013
2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:


This cache features the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Paleobiology and the National Zoo. This cache is not part of the of the Smithsonian Natural History GeoTour.

(This cache is based off the childrens’ book, The Enormous Egg, by Oliver Butterworth, and is written from the perspective of Nate Twitchell, the boy who’s egg hatched into a baby triceratops.)

A HISTORY Hi there. My name is Nate Twitchell. When I was a kid my hen laid an enormous egg. I am now 70 years old and a lot of time has passed since that day in 1955.

My hen’s egg didn’t hatch into a chicken, as you would think, but instead, a baby triceratops, whom I named Uncle Beazley. Growing up with Uncle Beazley, I became very interested in dinosaurs and wanted to become a paleontologist. I left New Hampshire and went to college in Wyoming, an excellent location for finding fossilized dinosaurs. When I graduated I went off to a small university in Idaho, where I was began my career in paleontology, which lasted for 43 years.

Uncle Beazley is no longer with us. He had a full life at the zoo and was well cared for. After two years of being in the spotlight at the zoo, Uncle Beazley was quite famous and the Sinclair Oil Company made a life-size model of him to be exhibited along with other model dinosaurs at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. After the fair, he and the other model dinosaurs toured the country.

Uncle Beazley at the World's Fair

Uncle Beazley is no longer with us. He had a full life at the zoo and was well cared for. After the two years of hoopla, Uncle Beazley was quite famous. The Sinclair Oil Company made a life sized model of him to be exhibited, along with other model dinosaurs, at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. These model dinosaurs actually toured the country for a while.

Later, Uncle Beazley actually starred in the NBC's Children's Theater 1968 TV movie The Enormous Egg based on a book that I dictated to Oliver Butterworth, which he published in 1956.

The model Uncle Beazley was then given to the Smithsonian Institution was on the National Mall until 1994, when he was moved to the National Zoo. While on the mall he received a lot of attention from the many kids who loved to climb up on him and ride behind his frill!! I even did this on one of my visits to Washington DC.

After leaving the mall, he was fixed up and newly painted, and is now very handsomely displayed in the National Zoo. Uncle Beazley now stands in a favorite spot that my Uncle Beazley used to stand and watch all the children and activity at the zoo. My Uncle Beazley’s pen was long ago divided into smaller enclosures to make it possible for the zoo to house other animals you can learn about when you visit the zoo.

It is no longer possible to climb on Uncle Beazley as it is not safe and Uncle Beazley is old and can’t take the excitement of kids climbing all over him. Please obey the signs and do not cross the railing when you visit him at the zoo.

Among the most important data that a paleontologist collects when collecting fossils is the exact location where a fossil is discovered. To do this we use several tools. A paper map is always the best as the spot can be marked directly on the map when the fossil is found. Sometimes, if a map is not available, the location would be noted by a distance and direction from a well known landmark. However, since the year 2000, GPS receivers have been the main tool used to locating the exact spot where fossils are found. It was in that year that I began geocaching, finding a location using GPS and leaving my mark behind for others to know I was there. I have decided to share Uncle Beazley and his ancient history with my granddaughters by creating a geocache for him.

I hope you will enjoy learning about Uncle Beazley's family tree and that of the ceratopsians through this geocache. This cache is a letter box hybrid, which means you will use your GPS receiver for part of the hunt and a word game, as there is no map, for another part. You will visit two places, the National Museum of Natural History where you will find the missing information for the latitude and the longitude, and – this is very important – the combination for the lock on the cache at the National Zoo [See hint below]. You could probably find the cache at the Zoo without the coordinates, but without the combination you will not be able to open the cache and sign the log.

Locating the Cache:

Go to the posted coordinates; there you will see a bronze cast of the skull of Triceratops horridus which I think is actually the species of dinosaur that my Uncle Beazley was.

When Uncle Beazley was fully grown - as he was the only living dinosaur - scientists were interested in comparing how he walked with the fossil trackways they were finding. One measurement they wanted was the length of his stride; which is the distance one foot travels between falls of the same foot. They tried to do this with camera shots but it didn’t work to well. Then one day, after a long dry spell during which Uncle Beazley had made one area in his pen particularly dusty, it rained just enough to wet the dust to firm mud. Uncle Beazley walked across it and it was possible to measure the distance from where his right front foot 1st landed and where it landed a 2nd time. His stride was 5’ 6”.

Now you are standing in front of the bronze cast at the posted coordinates.
1) Determine in which direction the sun will set. Now walk like Uncle Beazley and take 70 Triceratops strides in the direction of the setting sun.
2) Now head toward the North Pole, you will find large doors through which you must pass.
3) Elevate yourself. If you can fly you are in good shape. If you are like the rest of us you will have to put one foot up and then the other, or you will have to get into a box and let a steel cable do the work.
Look down at the elephant!
4) Pass through a hall full of skeletons. [This has nothing to do with the Uncle Beasley but as you pass by the skeletons look at three mammal skeletons (you are a mammal). Count the vertebrae in the necks. Do you see that there are 7 in each of them no matter how long the neck is? Now look at a bird – is the number the same as the mammals?] When you see your MUMMY turn right and look for Uncle Beazley's skeleton. The information you seek is to be found on the signs around him.

As you know, the Dinosaur hall is closed for renovation – but a temporary exhibit is open. Here you must obtain the final coordinates. The cache is located at the National Zoo in a locked box at the coordinates N 38° 55. ABC' and W 077° 02.XYZ.
Look at the tail of Triceratops horridus. There are vertebrae at the end which do not have chevrons (see image).
A = #of vertebrae without chevrons - 4 (#-4=A)
"Big Head" could he do the math?
B = Sum of the numbers in the lable Specimen USNM V ####/8. (#+#+#+#/8 = B)
"Picturing the Past" Pterosaurs became extinct at the sametime as Triceratops
C = Sum of the number of Pterosaurs in both works of art.
As a check A+B+C = 9.

"Is this the Whole Horn?"
X = Late Cretaceous Period, 66-6X million years ago
"A Highly Decorated"
Y = number of members of the ceratopsid family displayed on this sign?
"Big Meals Mean Big Guts"
(Paragraph, Line, Word, Letter)
Z = (1,1,1,11); (1,3,8,4); (1,2,3,3); (2,1,4,5); (2,3,7,7)

As a check X+Y+Z = 20.

Make sure you read the hint!!!!

The stamp pad and stamp are not trade items; please do not take them, Thank you.

This is not one of the original 9 caches there is no code word with this cache.
Critical requirements and rules for the award of the geocoin are here; more complete details will soon be found at NMNH GeoTour Passport

1) The Original 9 caches of the NMNH GeoTour must be completed.

2) Two (2) photographs are required. Posted with your found log. (This is not an ALR as you may log a find on these two caches without posting a picture. It is a requirement to be awarded a geocoin. In other words – no photos no coin but your found log will stand).
a. Photo of an adult at GC3RRWA "CINMAR" with the log book clearly next to the face. Do not expose the code word in the photo.
b. Photo of an adult at GC3T24J “Leave it to Beaver” with the log book clearly next to the face. Do not expose the code word in the photo.

3) A completed Passport with the required code words sent to the address listed on the Passport.

4) One (1) coin per household or mailing address. If there are multiple geocachers in a household who have completed the tour, only one (1) coin will be awarded to that address.

5) The passports that have been received prior to January 1, 2016 will be awarded one coin without having to meet item 1 above, and these rules were not in effect for the NMNH GeoTour at that time.

6) January 1 will be the date of publication of these requirements to earn the geocoin.

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Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ybpx pbzovangvba: lbh arrq 4 yrggref. Svaq gur fvta "Ybbx ng Zr!"
(Cnentencu, yvar, jbeq, yrggre) [2,2,5,3] [1,2,10,4] [1,1,6,3] [2,2,4,1]
Gurer vf ab "Z" va gur fbyhgvba. Cubgbtencu gur fvta va pnfr lbh unir n ceboyrz.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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