In the fossil world, T. rex is Elvis. He's the King. Everybody knows him, and when the subject comes up, he's the one everyone thinks of first.
Something very similar happens with the Mesozoic. That's the era lasting roughly from 250 to 65 mya, during which dinosaurs arose, thrived, and fell into extinction. But there's a lot of interesting prehistory, On Beyond Elvis. There's the Eoarchean Era, when life (probably)arose on Earth. Or the early Cambrian when life ceased being a relatively placid process and abruptly got funky with armor, claws, and myriad offensive and defensive armaments.
And there's the Eocene Epoch, late in the Cenozoic Era. Recently I visited the Florissant Fossil Beds National monument which preserves an astonishing assemblage of fossils and microfossils from 34 million years ago. The fossilized redwood stumps are enormous, but most of the fossils are very small -- hickory leaves, mayflies, spiders and the like. Many of which are still around. So it's not as sexy a time as the Cretaceous. But collectively, the fossils offer a finely grained glimpse into the distant past, and can tell us a great deal about the evolution of life on our planet. They're not tourist bait, the way Rexie is. But for those of us who love science, it is genuinely fascinating.
The crown jewel of the collection is a beautifully detailed tsetse fly. It is the only fossil tsetse fly ever found. And it was found not in Africa, but in Colorado.