The dinosaur paleontology exhibits are spread between the Nature Building and the Science Building.
The Science Building has a "Dino Pit," where kids can "dig" for dinosaur bones. Looming above the sand boxes is a T.rex and a Quetzalcoatlus.
|Author and pterosaur|
|Author and bird|
|Greg and Deinosuchus skull|
The basement of the Nature Building houses the prep lab, where paleontologists are presently at work preparing a new Alamosaurus for display. It's my understanding that this Alamosaurus is proof that this genus was a lot larger than previously thought...
|Alamosaurus being prepped|
In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Dallas Museum is host to any number of traveling exhibits. Presently, they have "Chinasaurs," an exhibit of some of the extraordinary fossils that have been uncovered from China and Mongolia. The exhibit is arranged chronologically, with a room dedicated to each of the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods.
|The stegosaur Tuojiangosaurus|
|Really small Psittacosaurus|
Perhaps most significant of the recent finds was the discovery in 1995 of Sinosauropteryx, the first dinosaur found to have had feathers. Although hypothesized as early as the 1970s, this was the first definitive proof. Other dinosaurs in the exhibit that have been found to have had feathers include include Caudipteryx and Microraptor.
|Author and Caudipteryx|
|Greg and Velociraptor|
The exhibit is a mix of skeletons and animatronics. I'm not crazy about the animatronics, because they never look quite right to me. With this exhibit, the theropods in particular seemed a bit too large and "thick bodied," and Oviraptor and Velociraptor should have feathers. Still, they're kind of fun and there's something about seeing the creatures with "flesh" that makes you appreciate them as actual animals.
The Chinasaurs exhibit will be there until September 4, 2011. The web site includes some terrific information, as well as a Teacher Guide [pdf].