‘Di­nosaurs: Fos­sils Ex­posed’ new at Dis­cov­ery Place

Texarkana Gazette - - ACCENT - By Aaron Brand

Step in­side Dis­cov­ery Place In­ter­ac­tive Mu­seum down­town now and you may imag­ine the roar of giants as they stomp through the jun­gle.

With “Di­nosaurs: Fos­sils Ex­posed,” the bones and fos­sils of many of the most fas­ci­nat­ing di­nosaurs are on dis­play from Satur­day through Jan. 21, spark­ing the imag­i­na­tion and ed­u­cat­ing vis­i­tors at the same time in this ex­hibit cre­ated for the Arkansas Dis­cov­ery Net­work.

Vis­i­tors can both see and touch di­nosaur skele­tal molds. They in­clude a Ve­loci­rap­tor, Tyran­nosaurus rex and tricer­atops. Kids can step up to one mold and sense the im­pos­si­ble size of these crea­tures with a six­foot, one-inch Apatosaurus fe­mur. They can also ex­am­ine a dig box where pa­le­on­tol­ogy tools help them dis­cover di­nosaur bones.

“It’s pretty straight­for­ward,” said Myles Pick­ett, fa­cil­i­ties and ex­hibits tech­ni­cian at the Lit­tle Rock­based Mu­seum of Dis­cov­ery, about this ex­hibit. Roughly three years ago they be­gan de­vel­op­ing

years ago they be­gan de­vel­op­ing it by build­ing stor­age crates that also act as dis­play stands, and also by buy­ing the fos­sils from a resin and fiber­glass caster.

They aimed for an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal, In­di­ana Jones style to the ex­hibit, the crates look­ing like old ones di­rect from a ship­ping con­tainer. You might imag­ine they’re from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

“We just have a wide range of dif­fer­ent types of di­nosaurs,” Pick­ett said. Most of the ex­hibit is vis­ual in na­ture, but some of it’s hands-on, too. Signs each have a blue­print that com­pares the di­nosaurs to the size of peo­ple, and they also give a brief de­scrip­tion of this par­tic­u­lar di­nosaur.

“Most of the pieces are skulls. We have a full-sized tricer­atops, fiber­glass resin cast, that is a di­rect cast of one that’s in the Smith­so­nian, an ac­tual one,” Pick­ett said. It’s a mas­sive di­nosaur stand­ing right in Dis­cov­ery Place now, part of an ex­hibit that’s trav­eled through Arkansas.

“You just come in and the kids love it. They stare at this stuff for hours,” Pick­ett said.

A fear­some-look­ing, full-sized T-Rex skull is part of the ex­hibit, too. The lower jaw and head fit to­gether to cre­ate the en­tire skull. As a stand-alone piece, it pro­vides the per­fect photo op­por­tu­nity for young di­nosaur ad­mir­ers and their adult coun­ter­parts.

“Most of them are skulls just be­cause it makes it re­ally mod­u­lar,” Pick­ett said. That way, it can fit in­side any space, as needed.

In all, there are about 25 to­tal di­nosaurs in the ex­hibit. The full-size ve­loci­rap­tor doesn’t look quite as big as what “Juras­sic Park” fans may have seen on the big screen, he said. Still, it looks plenty pow­er­ful and ca­pa­ble of do­ing dam­age.

Vis­ually, these di­nosaur bones can stir day­dreams in­side the bud­ding ar­chae­ol­o­gists among us.

“It’s just so neat, and when you’re a kid and your imag­i­na­tion is fly­ing all over the place, this kind of stuff would re­ally throw you into all dif­fer­ent types of di­rec­tions,” Pick­ett said.

Tonight, the mu­seum wel­comes the ex­hibit with a Di­noSNORE Sleep­over for kids and their par­ents. The night in­cludes sto­ries, games, a pre­sen­ta­tion about fos­sil digs and snacks. Dr. Ben Neu­man with Texas A&M Univer­si­tyTexarkana will talk about di­nosaurs.

“He’s go­ing to talk about fos­sils and evo­lu­tion. He’s go­ing to give a talk Fri­day night for the kids who are do­ing the sleep­over, and then Satur­day about 9:30 a.m. he’s go­ing to do a lit­tle ac­tiv­ity and talk on evo­lu­tion us­ing Bra­chiopods,” said Vel­vet Hall Cool, board pres­i­dent for the Texarkana Mu­se­ums Sys­tem.

Also, they’ll watch a movie dur­ing Di­noSNORE and wake up in the morn­ing to eat “scram­bled di­nosaur eggs and some di­nosaur toast,” Cool said. As long as they’re avail­able, tick­ets can be found at EventBrite.com.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to it,” Cool said. Look for more di­nosaur-re­lated pro­gram­ming in the up­com­ing months.

(Gen­eral ad­mis­sion to the mu­seum: $5 per per­son, free for mem­bers and kids un­der 3 years old. Dis­counted group and school tour rates avail­able. Dis­cov­ery Place In­ter­ac­tive Mu­seum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tues­day through Satur­day and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sun­day. More info: 903-793-4831.)

“Most of the pieces are skulls. We have a full-sized tricer­atops, fiber­glass resin cast, that is a di­rect cast of one that’s in the Smith­so­nian, an ac­tual one.” —Myles Pick­ett

Staff photo by Evan Lewis

A tricer­atops is one of the items on dis­play at Dis­cov­ery Place in down­town Texarkana. The ex­hibit opens to the pub­lic Satur­day.

Staff photo by Evan Lewis

Myles Pick­ett, fa­cil­i­ties and ex­hibit tech­ni­cian for the Mu­seum of Dis­cov­ery in Lit­tle Rock, works on one of the di­nosaurs that will be on dis­play at Dis­cov­ery Place in down­town Texarkana. The ex­hibit opens to the pub­lic on Satur­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.