by Ben Kinney
Discovery Place’s upcoming exhibit featuring Antarctic Dinosaurs opens Saturday, Feb. 8. The exhibit “guides visitors through what was once a lush, green and thriving continent where dinosaurs freely roamed.” Guests will discover fossils from four Antarctic dinosaur species, including the 25-foot long Cryolophosaurus, and get hands-on experience with real tools used by paleontologists to carefully extract fossils from the now frozen landscape.” Antarctic Dinosaurs runs from Feb. 8 through May 25.
We asked communications director Kristen Swing what to expect.
What makes this dinosaur exhibit different than others?
One of the more unique elements of the exhibition is its focus on the extreme expeditions required to unearth the dinosaur fossils. While the new dinosaur species are definitely a draw to the exhibition, this is special in that it also focuses on the unique working conditions for the scientists who take part in these challenging expeditions to this vast continent today. Visitors will quickly learn that this isn’t your average fossil dig! The research and experiences featured in the exhibition also shed new light on our planet’s ever-changing climate and geology. It provides a very real and important look at climate change.
Which species are featured in this exhibit?
The four species featured in the exhibition are unique to Antarctica. The star of the show is Cryolophosaurus ellioti, meaning “frozen crested lizard.” To give you an idea of how ancient this dinosaur is, T.rex lived closer to our own time than it did to the time Cryolophosaurus lived. At 25 feet and 1,500 pounds, it is currently the largest known Early Jurassic theropod.
How much does it cost?
Tickets for Antarctic Dinosaurs, which includes full-day Museum admission, are $22 for adults; $18 for children (2-13); $20 for seniors (60+); $3 for Museum Members; and $4 for Welcome program participants.
How many people do you expect to attend?
Spring is a popular time for visits to Discovery Place Science and we expect more than 135,000 visitors during the time the exhibition is here. It’s hard to know exactly how many of them will choose to experience the exhibition but dinosaurs are always a big draw at the museum so we anticipate that many folks will brave the extreme expedition.
Anything else visitors should know?
Discovery Place had a hand in the creation of the Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibition, which is exciting for us. As partners in its creation, members of our staff began contributing to its development in 2016. Discovery Place supported the initial development phase then reviewed concepts, direction, prototypes and mock-ups of experiences and other elements of the exhibition.
While Antarctic Dinosaurs is here, Discovery Place Science will also be debuting an accompanying IMAX® film, Dinosaurs of Antarctica. Like the exhibition, the film journeys to the south polar landscapes of Antarctica hundreds of millions of years ago to roam the primitive forests and thick swamps alongside bizarre dinosaurs and colossal amphibians. Ticket cost for the full Antarctic Experience, which includes the exhibition, the film and full-day Museum admission, are $26 for adults: $22 for children (2-13); $24 for seniors (60+); $7 for Museum Members; and $8 for Welcome program participants.