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Discover the Biology of the Most Colossal Animals to Walk the Earth in the New Traveling Exhibition
ATLANTA, August 4, 2016 – Incredible new perspectives of some of the largest and most successful creatures to ever walk the earth will be discovered in a special exhibition at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. On view from September 17, 2016, through January 2, 2017, The World’s Largest Dinosaurs takes visitors beyond the bones and into the bodies of some of the largest known dinosaurs. The exhibition explores how these long-tailed and long-necked sauropods were able to thrive for approximately 140 million years.
Through innovative galleries and displays—including a life-sized, detailed model of a 60-foot-long Mamenchisaurus—The World’s Largest Dinosaurs sheds light on how heart rate, respiration, metabolism and reproduction are linked to size. Drawing on cutting-edge paleo-biological research and recent advancements in technology, the exhibition makes inferences about how these giants that could grow to be longer than three standard city buses survived and prospered.
Distinguished by their colossal size, sauropods included animals of diverse shape and ornamentation. Focusing on the biology and behavior of these diverse creatures, The World’s Largest Dinosaurs builds on a growing body of research that examines dinosaurs as living animals, primarily through comparisons with animals both huge and tiny, living and extinct.
“For 15 years, Fernbank has been proud to showcase two of the largest land animals to ever exist—Argentinosaurus and Giganotosaurus – in the Giants of the Mesozoic exhibit,” said Bobbi Hohmann, Vice President of Education, Collections and Research. “Through these new interactive displays, recent scientific discoveries and life-sized models, The World’s Largest Dinosaurs will allow us to expand upon the excitement and passion for dinosaurs that Fernbank has instilled in the Atlanta community for years.”
Standing 11 feet tall at the shoulders and measuring 60 feet long—approximately the size of a tractor-trailer—the centerpiece of The World’s Largest Dinosaurs is a life-sized, fleshed-out model of an 18-year-old female Mamenchisaurus. This dinosaur is known for its remarkable 30-foot-long neck, which accounts for half of its body size. Yet, despite its immense size, it is only half as big as the largest full-grown sauropods. Textured skin on one side of the model gives visitors a sense of this enormous animal’s appearance; on the other side the animal appears to be dissected, with key organs, including the heart and lung, isolated and modeled at life size. A video projected on the animal’s midsection enables visitors to see how its respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems contributed to the enormous size of Mamenchisaurus.
As visitors delve into The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, they will discover how these massive creatures ate, reacted, reached, breathed and traveled. A 5 1/2 foot cube of foliage shows visitors just how much plant matter—approximately 1,000 pounds—a Mamenchisaurus ate in a single day. An hour’s worth of food is encased in a smaller display, while an interactive invites visitors to “feed” a hungry sauropod. Visitors will get an in-depth look at part of a Diplodocus braincase, which provided scientists with important clues about the large-scale brain structure of this extinct species. Additionally, an interactive display will allow visitors to observe two adult and two juvenile Mamenchisaurus as they travel as a group.
The World’s Largest Dinosaurs offers an array of engaging opportunities for visitors to compare sauropods with today’s living animals. Visitors of all ages can differentiate sauropod teeth from those of modern plant-eaters and carnivores, or use a hand pump to discover how much pressure would have been needed to distribute blood through a sauropod’s long neck to its head. Also featured are specimens from the American Museum of Natural History’s world-renowned fossil collection, including sauropod vertebrae, skin impressions, a gigantic femur and a variety of other ancient specimens.
The World’s Largest Dinosaurs comes to Fernbank 15 years after the grand opening of the permanent exhibit, Giants of the Mesozoic. The exhibition was the first time the world saw the full skeletons of two of the largest dinosaurs to ever walk the Earth—the 123-foot-long Argentinosaurus and the 47-foot-long Giganotosaurus.
The World’s Largest Dinosaurs is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org) in collaboration with Coolture Marketing, Bogotá, Colombia. The World’s Largest Dinosaurs is on view at Fernbank Museum from September 17, 2016, through January 2, 2017.
SPECIAL PROGRAMMING: The World’s Largest Dinosaurs Opening Day Celebration will take place on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This family event will feature hands-on activities, including games, crafts and opportunities to come face to face with some of the largest dinosaurs to ever walk the earth.
Visitors can also explore the science of paleontology and see massive dinosaurs come to life on Fernbank’s giant IMAX® screen with showings of the film Dinosaurs Alive! from August 19, 2016 through December 15, 2016 (requires separate IMAX® ticket).
Additionally, guests can enjoy The World’s Largest Dinosaurs during Fernbank’s Martinis & IMAX® event, one of the most unique “culture and cocktail” opportunities in Atlanta. The night includes special cocktail menus, small plates, live entertainment, dancing and a chance to see a film in Fernbank’s IMAX® Theatre. This popular event is held Fridays through November 18 (excluding holiday weekends) from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Live entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m.
HOURS AND TICKETS: The World’s Largest Dinosaurs is included with Museum admission. Tickets are $18 for adults, $17 for seniors, $16 for children ages 3-12, free for children 2 and under, and free for Fernbank members.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. The Museum is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Tickets and visitor information are available at fernbankmuseum.org or 404.929.6400.