The World of Jurassic Dinosaurs
The Prehistoric Museum completed its upgrade of the “Dinosaur Pit”, the central arena of dinosaur skeletons from the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. Among the additions are two 3-D printed juvenile Allosaurus skeletons. The use of 3-D printing is slowly coming into use in museums and the Prehistoric Museum is in the forefront of incorporating the technology in exhibits. Juvenile skeletons are rare as fossils, but enough is known for us to attempt the reconstructions based on 7 inch and 12 inch thighbones from Cleveland-Lloyd. A whole growth series of Allosaurus thigh bones in an exhibit shows incremental growth to adult size.
Several exhibits and exhibit cases were also installed on the barrier around the “Dino Pit.” These include a large color-coded map that shows the distribution of dinosaur bones excavated from the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry. An associated game invites the visitor to play dinosaur detective to solve the mystery of why so many individuals of the meat-eater Allosaurus are found there. One exhibit case of dinosaur injuries shows that life was not easy, especially for Allosaurus. Even the largest dinosaur started small as can be seen in the case featuring a juvenile dinosaur skeleton and skulls. Another exhibit compares brain casts of various dinosaurs with that of a human. The term “dumb as dirt” is appropriate for these beasts! Skulls and teeth are featured in another case, along with touchable replicas.
A large mural shows what the habitat looked like in eastern Utah 150 million years ago. The mural features dinosaurs, flying reptiles, a crocodile and a small rodent-sized early mammal. Evidence for the mural is presented with fossils and casts, as well as touchable rocks that are used to infer the environment.
The upgrades are part of the museum’s permanent exhibits. Watch this space for more!