A sneak-peek at American Museum of Natural History’s brand new AWESOME exhibit!
by Waverly Winchester, 10 years old
I thought I knew everything there was to know about Mr. T. rex from watching Jurassic Park, and it was probably all the things you thought YOU knew, too — huge, ferocious, and DEADLY…and all of that is still true, but guess what? There’s so much more to discover about this dino-mite dinosaur! And who better to discover it all, than American Museum of Natural History?
T. rex: The Ultimate Predator, is the first major exhibition of the American Museum of Natural History’s 150th anniversary celebration – they obviously wanted to celebrate their big birthday with something….big, and they sure did do that with this exhibit! I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak before it opens to the public, and let me tell you, it will make you ROAR! My morning started out with an awesome presentation/conversation with Michael Novacek, Senior VP of AMNH, Mark Norell, Chair and Macaulay Curator, Division of Paleontology, Gregory Erickson, Paleobiologist, and Jasmina Wiemann, Molecular Paleobioloist.
They talked about how the enormous T. rex actually began as an “adorable hatchling” that actually had feathers, and how he (or she!) only lived to be about 28 years old! I also learned that one of the biggest mysteries about T. rex is how he got to be so big! Nobody really knows…but they do know that he has the “highest biteforce,” and that was not a surprise to me!
I could not wait to check out the exhibit! When we went in, it was dark and mysterious, and very suspenseful…I immediately saw a really cool fossil that was the first ever confirmed T. rex discovery!
Then I “met the family” and discovered for myself what T. rex and its relatives have in common, and what makes them different. I investigated how it got SO BIG, and also explored its vision, hearing, and sense of smell.
One of the coolest parts of the exhibit was the life-sized T. rex skeleton in the middle of the room….and his shadow came to life! I watched its shadow actually fight off an attack from another T. rex. This was definitely better than some of the dinosaur movies I’ve seen!
There was so much to do and explore there, I felt like I was a real Paleontologist! I got to touch and measure a thigh bone made from a cast of an actual thigh that was almost as big as I am!
At the Interactive Projection Wall, I came face to face with this guy…
How cool is that? *As long as it’s not real!! LOL. Speaking of “real,” there’s also a Virtual Reality Station where you can assemble a T. rex skeleton and watch it come to life. That’s for ages 12 and over so I’ll have to wait a bit to check that out. The Projection Wall was real enough for me right now, though….
There was lots more to do, see, and explore! I liked looking at the tooth, claw and jaw fossils – and I even saw fossilized T. rex poop! *AKA Coprolite, that sounds better, I know.
Like I said, T. rex: The Ultimate Predator is THE ULTIMATE EXHIBIT – it will definitely make you ROAR! And you’ll see things you’ve never seen, and learn things you never know. Go check it out for yourself, and make sure you say Happy (150th) Birthday to AMNH while you’re at it!