The exhibition opened this March and apparently did very well over the summer. Not surprising. Since I’ve been working the floors, it’s always funny how ecstatic the children get when an adult in the group announces that they’re all going to the third floor to the dinosaurs. Everyone loves dinosaurs, right?
Dinosaurs: The Edge of Extinction
The exhibition focuses on Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops (T-Rex and T-Tops respectively). However, the content incorporates information on other tyrannosaurs and bipedal carnivores (like raptors), and ceratopsians (four-legged herbivores related to Triceratops). Doing so allows the exhibition to provide an ecosystem-level view to the T-Rex and T-Tops.
Dinosaurs: The Edge of Extinction covers a lot of information on how T-Rex and T-Tops might have lived. There is the inevitable discussion of diet and feeding adaptations. (With an adult T-rex’s teeth being as long as a banana, how can you not talk about feeding adaptations?) The exhibition summarizes what paleontologists surmise about the predator-prey relationship between these two and does an excellent job of drawing comparisons between the dinosaurs and animals that are alive today. The exhibition includes info about T-Rex and T-Tops’ brains and perception to give you a better picture of how they experienced their world before the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction. Going through the content gave me a better understanding of what that pre-Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction world was like.
The description of the cultural history of these two behemoths was an interesting inclusion. When were they first discovered and by whom? What was the public reaction to these creatures? That discussion provides context with which to place the newer research.
Be prepared to learn a LOT
For the most part, the exhibition is self-directed. There are a number of television screens featuring Dr. Phil Manning as he speaks with experts about various paleontological topics. Between the signage and the televisions, you can get a wealth of information about the interactive artifacts like fossils casts or teeth, healed over bones and coprolites (the kids love the idea of fossil poo). There was also a neat interactive that allows you to see the world from a T-Rex’s perspective and a T-Tops’ perspective. The kids seem to love it, and I found it eye-opening.
The exhibition is relatively small, but I was exhausted after my complete walkthrough. There’s a lot of information packed into such a tiny space. There have been a lot of advances in our understanding of dinosaurs, and the exhibition doesn’t fail to deliver this new information with life-size replicas of the dinos and their fossil remains.
Dinosaurs: The Edge of Extinction is at THEMUSEUM until January 10th so be sure to see it before they’re gone.
P.S. I found this promotional video for the exhibition on Youtube and I had to share.