DENVER—Meet T. rex’s biggest, baddest, newest members of the family! The temporary exhibition Ultimate Dinosaurs—opening at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Friday, October 6—goes beyond familiar dinosaurs to showcase some of the most spectacular fossils unearthed in recent years. Evolving in isolation, the discoveries from Africa, South America, and Madagascar are among the strangest creatures you have ever met.
Who were these great beasts? Why are they so unusual? And why is one named after a rock ʼnʼ roll star? The answer to these and other questions await, as guests become immersed in a prehistoric wonderland and let their inner eight-year-olds (or their actual eight-year-olds) come out and play. From the tiny Eoraptor to the massive Giganotosaurus, you will see why curiosity about these prehistoric legends will never go extinct.
Groundbreaking research from scientists around the world is revealing this menagerie of new dinosaurs. The exhibition experience is vivid as guests wander among life-size articulated skeletons, and use animation and augmented reality to watch dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals in lifelike settings. Activities for all ages explore how Earth’s landmasses changed over millions of years and influenced dinosaur evolution, how fossils form, the scientific processes that lead to new discoveries, and how fossils are prepped for study and display.
The story begins with the supercontinent Pangaea and how it gradually broke apart and eventually formed the continents we know today. This rifting affected the evolution of dinosaurs 250–66 million years ago. As Pangaea divided into Laurasia in the north and Gondwana in the south, dinosaurs were passengers on these drifting continental rafts. As a result of this geographic phenomenon, dinosaurs evolved into an amazing array of unusual forms. The southern hemisphere has become the most exciting locale for dinosaur hunters over the last two decades, including for two of the Museum’s own paleontologists, Joe Sertich and David Krause.
- Seventeen fully articulated skeletons and dozens of fossils and casts, including dinosaurs discovered by scientists from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
- Stunning video projections and life-size murals that take you back to prehistoric time.
- Video projection of sauropods that gives you an opportunity to walk (and run!) alongside life-size dinosaurs.
- Augmented reality (AR) viewers that guests look through to examine the skeleton of Carnotaurus, laying skin over the bones and showing what it looked like in real life.
- Fossil Prep Lab activities to try out fossil preparation techniques on fossil casts and let kids imagine and explore with some tools of the trade.
- Stations with projection microscopes, touchable specimens, puzzles, games, and more.
- Microfossil sifter that demonstrates how paleontologists search for tiny microfossils.
- 3D printer creating models of real fossils.
“My passion for dinosaurs began when I was a kid wandering the halls of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science,” said Sertich, curator of dinosaurs and curatorial advisor for the exhibition. “So to bring these amazing prehistoric beasts—some of which I discovered myself—to the Museum is a dream come true. I hope the experience will inspire a new generation of dinosaur hunters.”
The exhibition is included with general admission. An audio guide is available in English and Spanish. Find out more @ dmns.org/ultimatedinos.
Ultimate Dinosaurs was created and produced by the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. Toured by the Science Museum of Minnesota.