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Antarctic Dinosaurs Opens Tomorrow at NHM

Antarctic Dinosaurs make their west coast debut on Wednesday at the Natural History Museum of LA County. Above is a photo of a full-sized replica of the 25-foot-long predator Cryolophosaurus (or “frozen crested lizard,” named for the bony ornamentation on its head) featured in the exhibit.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County invites you along on a journey of discovery on the icy continent of Antarctica with its new exhibition Antarctic Dinosaurs, which opens tomorrow. Believe it or not, Antarctica was once a lush green place teaming with elephant-sized dinosaurs. Of course that was 260 million years ago when all the continents on the earth formed one land mass known as Pangea.

You will learn very cool stuff like this and much more as this exhibition is designed to let you follow in the footsteps of scientists and explorers who have made the journey for centuries, and continue today, in search of rare dinosaurs found only on this icy continent.

“Antarctica holds a place in our imaginations as do dinosaurs,” said Gretchen Baker, NHM Vice President of Exhibitions. “I think it’s a perfect combination of these two topics that resonate with people. But they seem like a very distant place and a very distant time, so we are hoping to bring that alive for all our visitors in this exhibition.”

And, even cooler (no pun intended) the exhibition tells the story of modern day paleontologists – NHM’s very own Dr. Nathan Smith and Dr. Pete Makovicky, Curator of Dinosaurs at Chicago’s Field Museum – who worked closely with Baker during her tenure at the Field, and their 2010-2011 expedition to Antarctica’s Mount Kirkpatrick to excavate fossils beneath the ice and stone. Visitors experience the adventure themselves as they choose protective gear and supplies, drop in on Snow School training, and set up their remote Antarctic field site.

These recently discovered and yet-to-be named Sauropodomorphs are early relatives of the giant long-necked giant herbivores like Brachiosaurus and Titanosaurus. They are the smallest known juvenile specimens, about the size of a a Labrador Retriever.

All the content in the exhibition is presented in both English and Spanish. It was designed in collaboration with the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, the Natural History Museum of Utah, in Salt Lake  City and the Discovery Place in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The exhibition includes hands-on excavation activities, touchable specimens, and media touchscreens that take visitors behind-the-scenes on what these expeditions are really like.

In addition to text, the information panels also have graphics like a comic book, telling the story of expedition, discovery and excavation of these rare fossils. The LA exhibit also features additional information about how Southern California scientists use satellite data in Antarctica for climate change research.

This panel describes how local Southern California scientists use satellite data in Antarctica for climate change research.

The exhibition opens to the public on Wednesday, April 3 and will be on display until January 5, 2020.

Penguins are modern day Antarctic dinosaurs.
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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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