New Exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana (WCIA)

The biggest animals that have EVER walked the Earth will greet visitors to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis when the NEW Dinosphere reopens on March 19, 2022, just in time for road trips from Spring Break to Indy. Two HUGE sauropod dinosaurs (one 80 feet long and one 65 feet and approximately 150 million years old) were unearthed in Wyoming by the museum, and are now settled! And that’s not all, wild and ferocious underwater fossils also unearthed by our paleontologists are also on display in a new “underwater” prehistoric marine space. It took over five years in the making.

Jurassic giants, Mesozoic sea monsters and Cretaceous creatures come to life in the NEW Dinosphere at
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Imagine life 150 million years ago. The Earth was rocked with every step by massive dinosaurs (stretching 60 to 80 feet from nose to tail) as they pounded the ground and foraged for plants to satisfy their enormous appetites. Listen to the crackle of small creatures scurrying for cover as theropods scavenged the area for their next meal. Listen to the splashing and gurgling of the ocean waves as you discover a treasure trove of sea life, from massive monsters to miniature seashells. With Every Step in the NEW Dinosphere®: You are now in their world at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, children and families come face to face, and in some cases face to knee, with magnificent dinosaurs and marine reptiles. that once ruled the world.

Visitors are completely immersed in a bygone era with magnificent sound and light shows, performances by actor-performers and gallery performers who answer questions visitors didn’t even know they had.

The museum has introduced incredible new dinosaurs, including Jurassic Giants™ and Mesozoic Sea Monsters™, which will join long-time favorites in Cretaceous Creatures™ to create this extraordinary new exhibit. Together with international partners from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Netherlands) and the University of Manchester (UK), paleontologists from the Children’s Museum unearthed some of these fossils at its Wyoming excavation site known as The Jurassic Mile™.

“If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I’m not sure I would believe it,” said Jennifer Pace Robinson, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “The Jurassic Mile site is extremely unique because it is a fossil-rich patch of land that contains hundreds of bones as well as footprints or tracks that tell us more about dinosaur behavior. plus, it contains fossilized plants that help us better understand the environment, all next to an ancient seabed. Having everything in one place helps us paint a more complete picture of what that moment was really like in time, and it helps us bring real science to life for our visitors.

“Rather than a story, I think of the fossil record as a giant library,” said Dr. Phil Manning, Scholar Extraordinary in Residence at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “As you enter the library, the new and latest books are shiny and full on the shelves, as you go deeper into the library, and over time, the books start to get a little tired – it’s missing key information. By the time you are in the abyss that is geologic time (the age of the dinosaurs), only the occasional word or paragraph remains on the shelves of the fossil record library. This is from these disjointed sentences – fossils – that we can piece together the lost Jurassic world.

Jurassic Giants™
Visitors will have to crane their necks back to see the top of the first giant sauropod, which is posed as if standing on its hindquarters. He is followed by another sauropod which seems to be grazing behind him. An equally compelling find from the dig site that visitors will learn about is the discovery of hundreds of theropod teeth. “There are a few hypotheses as to why we found so many theropod teeth. One is [that] it was a big animal, which made it quite an assortment for other animals to discover on the plains,” said Dr Jenn Anné, chief paleontologist, The Children’s Museum. “So a few theropods could nibble on it and have enough space between them that they wouldn’t have to fight for it. Another hypothesis could be that this animal stayed there long enough. Several people came and took a snack over time. It could also be that some of the teeth could have been taken from other areas.

And then there are the tracks that tell you more about animal movement and behavior. “When you find a fossil footprint, nothing is more exciting than finding the next step on the same trail. Then you’re really ‘walking with the dinosaurs,'” Manning said. living beings.

Mesozoic Monsters™
The atmosphere in this ocean-themed section makes families feel like they’re swimming beneath the waves alongside a sea creature reminiscent of the Loch Ness Monster. The Elasmosaurus, with its sharp, pointed fang-like teeth and 23-foot-long neck, looks like it is diving into the water alongside visitors. A 20-foot-long Baptanodon had incredibly large eye sockets the size of dinner plates. The Sundance Sea, where Baptanodon once lived, was not deep enough to get very dark, so its huge eyes were probably more useful for hunting prey at night. Plioplatecarpus (a type of mosasaur) was one of the top predators in the ocean. They ate just about anything they could catch, including other mosasaurs. They used their double-hinged jaws and flexible skull to open their mouths wide.

Cretaceous Creatures™
Cretaceous Creatures features dinosaurs that visitors to the Children’s Museum have come to know and love, including a pair of T. rex, a Gorgosaurus, and a mummified duck-billed dinosaur. The old Cinedome sets the perfect scene with brilliantly colored skies changing from dawn to dusk to midnight (complete with meteor showers), immersing families in the sights and sounds of the Cretaceous. Dracorex hogwartsia will remain on level 2 near the main elevators.

Paleo Prep Labs
Museum scientists continue to work in the RB Annis Mission’s Paleo-Jurassic Prep Lab and the H. Hix Paleo-Polly Prep Lab, preparing the fossils they brought back from the Jurassic Mile™ dig site. Visitors can watch them open giant field jackets that weigh 1-2 tons in one lab or put together the tiny pieces of a fossil puzzle in the other lab. Our scientists enjoy answering questions about bones and what the different marks mean.

Dinosaur Art Lab
Paleo art combines science and art to bring the daily activities of dinosaurs to life. This area will help spark creativity and spark imaginative play as visitors are invited to design their own dinosaur and scan the design. Then they watch their animated dinosaur “hatch” from an egg and virtually join other dinosaurs roaming the Earth on a giant projection screen. Trace a dinosaur track or touch the two faces of a diplodocid sculpture (one fleshed out with scales and details of its bone structure). Or simply let yourself be inspired by the paintings, sculptures and comics on display.

Dinosphere® is made possible with the support of Principal Gifts from Lilly Endowment Inc., The Scott A. Jones Foundation, The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, The Children’s Museum Enid Goodrich Educational Initiatives Fund, Polly H. Hix, by Yvonne H. Shaheen, of The Elliott Sogard Family, and Bob and Carol Reynolds, with major support provided by the RB Annis Educational Foundation, Bowen Engineering Corporation, the Dan Family and Rhonda Hall, and Seymour and Rheta Holt. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is proud to partner with Riley Children’s of Indiana University Health, Old National Bank, and Ice Miller LLP.

About the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary learning experiences in the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about the Children’s Museum, visit, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, [email protected], and Facebook.

About Carlos V. Mitchell

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