DIG INTO DINOLABS & DINODIG
Who knew you could find dinosaurs in your own backyard? DinoLabs and DinoDig® bring the fascinating story of dinosaurs discovered in North Texas to life with full articulations of dinosaur skeletons native to the region and a dig site replicating a local paleontological field site.
Dinosaurs captivate the imagination like little else. Artifacts, fossils and DNA are the elements scientists use to reconstruct what dinosaurs and the earth were like 200 million years ago.
Inside DinoLabs you can explore that world in ways you never imagined. From bone to stone, ancient fossils reveal how dinosaurs roamed and fought, how they lived and died. Fossils are the preserved remains of plants or animals more than 10,000 years old.
As much as DinoLabs allows you to dig into the past, this is an interactive digital world where your creativity is unleashed! Movement and technology create an immersive space where anything is possible! It is the seamless integration of cutting-edge technology with dinosaur specimens and artifacts. DinoLand provides an opportunity to develop spatial intelligence, logical thinking and the power of expression.
DinoDig®, an outdoor experience, began with the Museum in 1993. An historical all-time favorite for young guests to the Museum, this updated exhibition invites guests to “become a paleontologist,” as they discover the skills needed to uncover and excavate fossils in a reproduction of the Jones Ranch where the Paluxysaursus jonesi was discovered in 1982. DinoDig® features rock formations embedded with fossils based on the actual dig site.
“It was important for us to bring DinoDig® back to our patrons,” said Museum of Science and History President Van A. Romans. “However, we wanted to bring it back in a contemporary, interactive fashion. The updated version enhances the learning experience by allowing our guests to understand the science and physics involved in fossil excavation and preservation.”
As museum guests explore the sandy ground of DinoDig®, they will discover authentic local fossils of clams, snails, sea biscuits, and ammonites dispersed throughout the exhibit.
“In addition to the fun of discovering and digging up fossils, DinoDig® offers field guides that allow guests to experience the methodology behind fossil excavation,” said Romans. “It’s important that guests understand the science paleontologists use, so we incorporated an additional science overlay into DinoDig®.
“DinoDig and DinoLabs provide our guests with two important aspects of paleontology,” said Museum of Science and History Curator of Science Dr. Aaron Pan. “DinoDig gives one a taste of the exhilaration and joy of fieldwork and discovery, while DinoLabs allows our guests to see how scientists prepare and study fossils to determine how these amazing animals lived and interacted with their environment.”
FACTS: PALUXYSAURUS JONESI STATE DINOSAUR OF TEXAS
Paluxysaurus jonesi lived around 112 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period and was common to North Texas, based on fossils from Hood County and dinosaur footprints from near Glen Rose, Texas. It measured close to 12 feet high at the shoulder, was approximately 60 feet in length, and weighed roughly 20 tons. The species in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and The History was discovered at the Jones Ranch in Hood County.
The dinosaur was originally identified as the Pleurocelus. However, in 2006, based on years of research, the massive sauropod was re-identified by then Southern Methodist University Geology Master’s student Peter Rose, as belonging to a different species and was named Paluxysaurus jonesi.
North Texas is home to at least six species of dinosaurs including Acrocanthosaurus, Paluxysaurus, Pawpawsaurus, Protohadros, Tenontosaurus, and an (as yet) unnamed small ornithopod dinosaur.
Right outside DinoLabs on the north end of the Museum is yet another large dinosaur. A 62-foot-long dinosaur topiary, to be exact! Learn about this unique addition to the Museum's dinosaur collection.