Exhibit Hall

Now Open on Level 4

Meet the ancient rulers of our planet as you examine fossil replicas of dinosaurs and prehistoric sea creatures. Orlando Science Center showcases the dinosaurs in their disparate land and aquatic settings as guests become part of a paleontological excavation site.

  • Uncover 'fossils' in the dig pit and examine fossilized dino eggs
  • Explore displays that feature ancient land and marine reptiles
  • Compare reptiles and dinosaurs to see similarities and differences
  • Discover denizens of the ancient oceans such as Elasmosaurus and Tylosaurus

 

Have you ever heard of Dr. Linda Webster? We hadn't either, but it turns out, she's the newest addition to the DinoDigs team. Dr. Webster is actually a fictional character who is adding a new take on the exhibit signs in DinoDigs. Recently, each sign panel was taken out and replaced by  Dr. Webster's field journals, notes and memos.

The signs give guests a new way of looking at the exhibits and include interesting facts about each dinosaurs such as where they lived and what they ate. More importantly, they provide an opportunity for critical thinking, asking guests questions that require them to use the knowledge they gained to form their own hypotheses.

According to Kim Hunter, Senior Director of Exhibit Development here at the Science Center, the new signs help play an important role in the visitor experience. "The new interpretations in DinoDigs allow guests to pretend they are an actual paleontologist," Kim noted. "Along with some interesting information about each dinosaur, you can see what the field of paleontology is like and the processes these professionals use through the eyes of a fictitious scientist."

So, the next time you're in DinoDigs, make sure you meet Dr. Webster. You'll be glad you did!

T_Rex_Photo


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FoxNews.com asks the question, “Is there a little Fred Flintstone in you?” Genetic analysis over the past decade suggests the answer is yes. In 2010, researchers were able to sequence the Neanderthal genome, as well as to the DNA of existing humans who are not from sub-Saharan Africa (including Australia). What the scientists found was evidence that the Neanderthals are to thank for part of our X chromosome, haplotype. Scientists were able to trace our DNA back about 80,000 to 50,000 years ago, the period when modern humans reportedly left Africa. Neanderthals left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 years ago and evolved mostly in what are now France, Spain, Germany and Russia. Neanderthals went “extinct” about 30,000 years ago when they were absorbed by modern human population. Despite the time gap, genetic material from Neanderthals means the two populations interbred.

DiscoveryNews.com explained, “Neanderthals possessed the gene for language and had sophisticated music, art and tool craftsmanship skills, so they must have not been all that unattractive to modern humans at the time.” The research, published in the July issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution, is the result of work by an international team of researchers led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal, and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center. The group is continuing their research on the Neanderthal and human connection, but for now, their findings have them saying, “yabba-dabba-do!” Here are some interesting facts about Neanderthals.

X-relative


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A discovery from Montana’s Hell Creek Formation leads researchers to believe the Triceratops may have been the last dinosaur standing. At 65 million years old, the rhinoceros-like, three-horned Triceratops would be the youngest dinosaur known to man. The dino’s age falls into the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) period where scientists believe all non-avian, or non bird-like, dinos became extinct. This finding could prove the “3-meter gap” theory false.

The 3-meter gap theory suggests dinosaurs gradually died out before the K-T event 65 million years ago. Those who support this theory believe a meteor couldn’t have killed all the dinosaurs at once because there is a segment free from any fossils. The recent discovery at Hell Creek seems to prove that theory wrong. According to the article on Discovery News, The Hell Creek Triceratops “was not only found within that 3-meter region, but it also exists at the upper reaches of it, proving that at least one dinosaur and presumably more were still alive when the meteorite blasted into Chicxulub, Mexico.” Thus, the opposing theory to the 3-meter gap suggests dinosaurs went extinct in masses because a meteor struck their homeland.

Researchers are still discovering fossils of small mammals that lived after the KT event in the Montana area. The mammals, including hoofed condylarths and rodent like multiuberculates, had to adapt and relocate after the dinosaurs went extinct. Why certain creatures survived the K-T extinction may never be known but science suggests their diet had something to do with it. Dinosaur extinction is a mystery waiting to be solved. Archeologists and researchers are continually looking to solve the case, so discoveries like the Triceratops in Montana are helpful pieces added to the puzzle.

Triceratops


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Orlando Science Center • 777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: gservices@osc.org
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Privacy Policy