Dinosaurs in Their Time
Plan an expedition to Dinosaurs in their Time—Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s core exhibition featuring real dinosaur fossils.
Dinosaurs in Their Time is home to dozens of original fossils from throughout the Mesozoic Era (the Age of Dinosaurs) displayed in scientifically accurate reconstructions of their ancient habitats.
About 75% of the more than 230 objects on display are original fossils from one of the finest paleontological collections in the world, and most of the exhibition’s dinosaur skeletons are real, not replicas. Several of these skeletons—including those of the iconic dinosaurs Apatosaurus louisae, Diplodocus carnegii, and Tyrannosaurus rex—are holotypes, the original specimens upon which their respective species are based.
In the many decades since the discovery of Diplodocus, scientific interpretations of dinosaurs and their lifestyles have changed dramatically. Dinosaurs in Their Time uses up-to-date paleontological evidence—much of which has been provided by the museum’s own scientists—to accurately reconstruct the appearance and behavior of these colossal creatures.
For instance, we now know that Apatosaurus and Diplodocus did not spend their lives wallowing in swamps and that predatory dinosaurs such as T. rex walked with their tails held off the ground and their backs horizontal. The three-horned Triceratops may have used its famous headgear more for display than for fighting, whereas some theropod dinosaurs (such as Anzu wyliei, the notorious “Chicken from Hell”) would have closely resembled their modern descendants—birds.
Many museum exhibitions group extinct species according to geologic time, but Dinosaurs in Their Time takes this concept several steps further. In this exhibition, dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals are shown in extraordinarily detailed reconstructions of their respective environments. Like the dinosaurs themselves, the habitats in Dinosaurs in Their Time are firmly grounded in scientific evidence.
A panicked Apatosaurus smashes a small tree known from fossils found in the same Jurassic-aged rocks. A sculpted trackway of a hungry T. rex is based directly on the only known footprint of this terrifying meat-eater. The cat-sized Cretaceous mammal Didelphodon angrily confronts a much larger Triceratops. In short, in Dinosaurs in Their Time, when species are exhibited together, they actually lived together—their fossils are found in the same rock formations, and in many cases, the same quarries.
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