Dinosaurs Take Over Houston this Summer
|A T-Rex scull, part of the collection at the Houston Museum of Natural Science's new Paleontology Hall|
From a towering animatronic Brachiosaurus to one of the best preserved and most complete skeletons of a Tyrannosaurus Rex ever unearthed, 50 dinosaurs are invading the Houston Museum District this summer.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science debuted its state-of-the-art Paleontology Hall on June 2. With more than 60 major mounts of fossilized, ancient creatures, the new hall represents the largest expansion in HMNS history and marks a major addition in the District. The 30,000-square-foot hall stretches the length of a football field and is being touted as one of the most dynamic collections in the world.
Instead of stagnant dinosaurs lined up in rows, the creatures at HMNS are in action--chasing, eating and doing everything they can to survive. The museum's team of paleontologists have spent years organizing the right collection and researching how the dinosaurs and other beasts would have interacted with one another when they roamed Earth millions of years ago.
Set up like a prehistoric safari, the hall at HMNS also features touchable specimens including real dinosaur skin, a virtual "ancient aquarium", a nesting site for a quetzalcoatlus family, a 12-foot wide megalodon jaw, a mummified triceratops and a lot more.
Dr. Robert Bakker, the museum's curator of paleontology, told the Associated Press that the safari is designed to teach visitors about evolution. Individuals will experience the Cambrian explosion, when life went from "literally slime" into "beautiful, elegantly sculptured things, the trilobites, which are gorgeous."
Just across the street from the museum, the Houston Zoo is also bringing dinosaurs back to life this season. The zoo's summer-long exhibit, Dinosaurs!, features 19 big guys representing 12 different species. From dilophosaurus to stegosaurus, these animatronic giants actually move and roar (some even spit, so watch out!) This installation is the second time the zoo has featured dinosaurs for a summer--and in 2012 more creatures have infiltrated the campus.
So if someone in your group has a real dino-fascination, come discover a one-of-a-kind experience this summer in Houston.
See a video interview with HMNS Paleontologist Dr. Bakker and a photo-essay of installations inside the hall from the AP.