The world’s first exhibition showcasing the recently revised tyrannosaur family tree, Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family opens June 19 at the Science Museum of Virginia! Ask anyone to name their favorite dinosaur and they will most likely reply, “T rex.” While Tyrannosaurus rex might be the most famous and feared dinosaur, this colossal giant is actually part of a lineage of over 30 different species of tyrannosaurs.
This new exhibition takes you on a journey back about 66 million years to learn how T rex. and his carnivore relatives looked, lived, and evolved. Come face-to-face with stunning life-sized skeletons, realistic models and rare fossil specimens. There is an incredible amount of variety among tyrannosaurs: some were huge, some small; some lived 168 million years ago, some lived 68 million years ago; and some lived in Asia, while others lived in North America.
With 60 plus razor-sharp teeth, bone-crushing jaws, and starring roles in blockbuster films, T. rex and the gigantic specimen know as Scotty is undoubtably the highlight of the show. Unearthed in 1991, Scotty is the heaviest and oldest T. rex currently on record at almost 20 feet tall, nearly 40 feet long, and tipping the scales at more than 19,000 lb.
Just as genetic characteristics exist among extended human relatives, guests will discover traits specific to tyrannosaurs, such as fused nasal bones, D-shaped teeth in cross section, special hip bones, and longer hind limbs. You’ll see fascinating specimens like Dilong, a creature that was found covered in a coat of feathers, an incredible piece that further provides evidence that modern birds evolved from dinosaurs. Other captivating examples like Daspletosaurus, a smaller, but more formidable beast with heavy bones, a muscular tail, and mean-looking eye crests that actually lived ten million years before T. rex will be sure to amaze you.
New scientific data and computer modelling have allowed scientists to study tyrannosaurs in unparalleled depth like never before. You’ll learn about the latest cutting-edge technology being used by paleontologists, how the Earth has changed over time, and why sudden environmental devastation can cause even the most dominant species to go extinct.
Another main feature of the exhibition are the numerous interactive touch screens that provide both entertaining games and astonishing scientific facts that will ignite imaginations and spark interesting family dinner conversations. There is also an impressive virtual demonstration that puts you into the streets of Richmond, VA as dinosaurs rampage around you.
This rex-traordinary touring exhibition is sure to delight dinosaur fanatics and paleontologists alike. For more dinosaur adventures, the Museum is also showing the giant screen film Dinosaurs Alive in their 76-foot Dome theater. The film can be added to a visit for $5 per person.
During regular Museum operating hours, admission to Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family is available through a combination ticket that includes access to the exhibition as well regular Museum exhibits. The Museum is also offering extended hours on Thursdays and Fridays this summer to allow guests to see Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family at a reduced price. Visit smv.org for additional details and pricing.