Monday, July 18, 2011

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County's New Dinosaur Hall Opens to the Public

(L-R) Mateo, Bella, and Israel Rivero look at a T. rex during opening day of the new Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County on July 16, 2011. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging). (PRNewsFoto/The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)
Visitors Inaugurate Dinosaur Hall with Increased Civic Pride for LA
LOS ANGELES, /PRNewswire/ -- On July 16, 2011, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County celebrated the opening of a new source of civic pride for Los Angeles with its new, 14,000-square-foot Dinosaur Hall featuring the debut of Thomas the T. rex along with more than 300 fossils, 20 spectacular dinosaur skeletons and multi-media interactives. Twice the size of the Museum's old dinosaur galleries, the new permanent exhibition rivals the world's leading dinosaur halls for the number of fossils displayed, the size and spectacular character of the major mounts, and the integration of recent scientific discoveries and research into the displays.


Visitors from all over Southern California attended the festive opening day which began with a ribbon cutting with NHM President and Director Jane Pisano and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who called the new Dinosaur Hall a "major gift to Los Angeles and beyond." The opening day celebration also featured gallery tours, paleontological "dig sites," and family activities, including free art workshops and craft tables.


Crowds inside Dinosaur Hall were awestruck by the centerpiece of the exhibition, the T. rex growth series containing an extraordinary fossil trio of the youngest known baby, a rare juvenile, and a recently-discovered young adult (Thomas)—one of the ten most complete T. rex specimens in the world. The Dinosaur Hall's other standout exhibits include an imposing Triceratops; the armor-backed Stegosaurus; the predator Allosaurus; a 68-foot, long-necked Mamenchisaurus; and giant marine reptiles that swam in the oceans covering what is today California.

Using the exhibit's interactive touch screens, guests engaged in simulated paleontological role-play as excavator, prospector or illustrator, and learned about dinosaur senses and how they may have sounded based on a CT scan of a dinosaur brain.

The opening marks the mid-way point of NHM's institutional transformation, as well as a thoughtful reconsideration of what science and the story of our planet means to visitors. The transformation continues with the opening of an exhibition about Southern California's natural and cultural history in 2012, and more than three acres of urban nature experiences and exhibits serving as a new front yard for the Museum and the Otis Booth Pavilion in 2013.

Visit www.nhm.org for more photos and information for planning a visit.

About the Museum
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, near downtown. It is open daily 9:30 am to 5 pm. The Museum was the first dedicated museum building in Los Angeles, opening its doors in 1913. It has amassed one of the world's most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history—with more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. The Natural History Family of Museums includes the NHM, the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits (Hancock Park/Mid-Wilshire), and the William S. Hart Park and Museum (Newhall, California). For more information visit www.nhm.org