Dinosaurs went for sunny Spain in a big way. Millions of years ago the beasts roamed Asturias in northern Spain, leaving giant footprints on the beaches and mountains. In fact, they left behind so many tracks and bones in the area between Gijon and Ribadesella that it is known as the Dinosaur Coast. The mysterious creatures are celebrated in the $4.3 million Jurassic Museum of Asturias set to open soon.
The museum is shaped like the footprint of a pterodactyl dinosaur. Three vaulted and interconnected wings, or ''toes," will house the permanent collection of 8,000 fossils and remains of dinosaurs, other vertebrae, invertebrae, and plants. There also will be temporary exhibitions, a library, laboratory, and workshops. Within sight are two beachfront areas that have many dino tracks to admire.
Tourism officials are are expecting 160,000 visitors in the first year of the museum's operation. Along with the dinosaur traces and sandy beaches are dramatic cliffs and about 100 caves, 20 of which have prehistoric wall paintings.