Museum of Science presents Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries June 5 through August 21, 2011

June 1, 2011

New findings from top paleontologists and vivid lifelike models challenge old notions

BOSTON -- On Sunday, June 5, the Museum of Science, Boston will open Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries, a new temporary exhibit that will dramatically change the public's perception of these prehistoric creatures. Through recently discovered fossils, vivid life-size dinosaur models, CT scans, computer simulations, and biomechanical engineering, visitors will learn how leading paleontologists from around the world are using new theories, groundbreaking discoveries, and the latest technologies to transform our understanding of these mysterious ancient beasts.

Museum visitors will stroll back in time along a 700-square-foot walk-through diorama that brings to life the rich diversity of animals existing in a Mesozoic forest in China. Dozens of scientifically accurate life-size models of over 35 species of dinosaurs, reptiles, early birds, and mammals populate this most detailed re-creation of a prehistoric environment ever constructed.

In another area, a six-foot-long mechanical Tyrannosaurus rex scale model actually walks in place, demonstrating biomechanical studies on dinosaur movement. Visitors may also follow a 15-by-10-foot re-creation of the famous Davenport Ranch Trackway, a collection of sauropod and theropod dinosaur prints unearthed in Texas, showing how recent analysis of the tracks has revealed new ideas on dinosaur herding behavior.

"People of all ages will be captivated as they walk back millions of years to discover how science and technology are revolutionizing what we know about dinosaurs, how they looked, and how they behaved," says Paul Fontaine, Museum of Science vice president of education. "This amazing exhibit combines major fossil finds, casts, and computer animations with striking life-size models -- and even a mechanized T. rex -- to reveal a dynamic new vision of dinosaurs and the scientists investigating them."

"Astaro shares the Museum of Science's commitment to advancing science and technology through education," said Bob Darabant, vice president, Astaro Americas. "The Dinosaur exhibit will capture the imagination of children and adults alike. We are pleased to be part of the exhibit and to partner with the Museum to foster an interest in science and technology."

Other exhibit highlights include:

  • A model of the largest Mesozoic mammal yet uncovered, the badger-sized Repenomamus giganticus, shown in the diorama stalking baby dinosaurs;
  • A cast of Bambiraptor feinbergi, the best-preserved and most complete dromaeosaur found in North America that, along with numerous other fossils, provides intriguing evidence that dinosaurs are closely related to modern birds;
  • A new, full-size cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex in a dynamic pose;
  • A stunning 60-foot-long metallic re-creation of an Apatosaurus skeleton, based on new DinoMorph computer drawings used to investigate the full range of vertebral movements of this huge, long-necked creature;
  • Several recently discovered fossils of prehistoric animals, including Gorgosaurus, Psittacosaurus (cast), Protoceratops, and many other specimens from around the world;
  • Hard evidence for theories on dinosaur extinction, including asteroid impact, global climate change, and massive volcanic eruptions.

Related Museum of Science Exhibits & Programming

Opening June 1: the Museum's 3-D Digital Cinema will show Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue, a film presented by D3D Cinema and The Field Museum. A T. rex named Sue walks again as scientists use fossil clues to re-create her eventful life onscreen -- including a tumultuous battle with a Triceratops. Some scenes may not be suitable for young children. Tickets to the 3-D Digital Cinema are add-ons to Exhibit Halls admission and are $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors 60+, and $4 for children (3-11).

From June 5 through June 25: 2:30 p.m. the Museum will offer a daily live presentation, New Dinosaur Discoveries, on the Museum's Gordon Current Science & Technology stage. The presentation is free with general Museum Exhibit Halls admission.

Dinosaur enthusiasts will also encounter a rare 65.6-million-year-old Triceratops fossil named Cliff, who lived and died in the last age of the dinosaurs. On long-term loan to the Museum, Cliff is one of only four widely known, near-complete Triceratops skeletons on public display in the world. The Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff exhibit, featuring Cliff and interactive stations that guide visitors in their explorations, is included with general Museum Exhibit Halls admission.

Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries will be presented at the Museum of Science from June 5 through August 21, 2011. Dinosaurs was developed and presented by the American Museum of Natural History. This exhibition was organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org), in collaboration with the Houston Museum of Natural Science; the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; The Field Museum, Chicago; and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh. Local Sponsor: Astaro. Admission to Dinosaurs is included with regular Exhibit Halls admission: $21 for adults, $19 for seniors 60+, and $18 for children (3-11). For more information, the public can call 617/723-2500, (TTY) 617/589-0417, or visit mos.org.

About the Museum of Science, Boston

The Museum takes a hands-on approach to science, engineering and technology, attracting about 1.5 million visitors a year via its programs and 700 interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 3-D Digital Cinema and Butterfly Garden. Reaching 25,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. The Museum's "Science Is an Activity" exhibit plan has been awarded many NSF grants and influenced science centers worldwide. Its National Center for Technological Literacy® aims to enhance knowledge of engineering and technology for people of all ages and inspire the next generation of engineers, inventors, and scientists. Visit http://www.mos.org. Follow the Museum of Science on Twitter at @museumofscience, and become a fan of the Museum on Facebook at www.facebook.com/museumofscience.

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Press Contacts

Lauren Crowne: 617.589.0250 or lcrowne@mos.org