Ultimate Dinosaurs Opens at Denver Museum of Nature and Science
posted by: Julie Bielenberg
Temporary exhibition Ultimate Dinosaurs is now open at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It’s definitely going to be one of the most popular attractions to come through the 116-year-old museum. Dinosaur exhibits are always extremely well attended, so plan accordingly during the holiday season and do not miss this one, it’s special and quite different!
Ultimate Dinosaurs runs October 6, 2017, through January 15, 2018, at the museum, and price is included with regular entry. The exhibit showcases the lesser-known members of the T. rex family and others from the southern hemisphere. Here in Colorado we are blessed with oodles of fossils; however, Ultimate Dinosaurs focuses on fossils from Africa, South America and Madagascar that we do not have, might have never seen, or even heard of!
The phenomenal display of fossil, interactive items, team tech games, bone digs, and more, truly makes this the interpretation of dinosaurs for the next generation. The movies playing throughout the exhibit are the most up-to-date realizations of these very colorful creatures. The huge fossil displays are mind blowing, especially when children can stand next to the mere femur of some of these giant creatures and still look like ants. There is a five-player video game, 17 fossil displays, augmented reality viewers and a dozen more stations.
There is something else that makes this exhibit one of the most special to come to DMNS. Dr. Joe Sertich, a vertebrate paleontologist, and resident at DMNS, was highly involved even though it’s not our own permanent collection. Ultimate Dinosaurs was created and produced by the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and is being toured by the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Videos and photos of Dr. Sertich on digs across the globe are on display throughout Ultimate Dinosaurs. In other words, this is a personal exhibit for Denver, one of our own dug up the actual bones and recreated this landscape. What’s more amazing is to imagine Dr. Sertich unearthing these incredible specimens only to be able to reassemble them in his home.
Dr. Sertich looks at the effects of global changes, like climate and shifting continents, on the evolution of dinosaurs and crocodiles. He has been part of new fossil discoveries in western North America, Madagascar, and Africa. And, he was tasked with giving Mile High Mamas a behind the scenes tour of the exhibition just hours before the member preview.
We only got in about 10,000 questions within the hour, but Dr. Sertich could answer each, and every one. From dinosaur food consumed to temperatures to lifespan, nothing the kids questioned, could stump him. And, that’s the fun of this exhibit; it gives so much insight into newly discovered dinosaurs and makes the mind wander about what you did know, and can possibly find out in the future.
Of course, the mother in me, wanted to know what “Dr. Joe” is eating when on his 4-month digs in Madagascar every other year, what the overnight temperatures are, and if there is anything poisonous. The doctor didn’t disappoint—they use local cooks and consume lots of rice, beans, poultry, oranges, and incredible spices. As for living conditions, it’s tents and the cooler season, so only eighties during the sunniest of days. Oh, the mom in all of us.
- 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.