Monday, July 11, 2011

Dinosaur Hall Preview

Dinosaur Hall

Natural History Museum 900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90007


Starts July 16, the member's preview has already begun.


 Simply put by the walking baby dinosaur that approached me and scared children at the press preview for the exquisite new Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum.  After a short presentation by the museum we were off to the new exhibit. You could tell the staff was buzzing with excitement and nervous. They were nerding out at all the hard work they had put in the exhibit, which is only part of plans to fully transform the museum by 2013.

 What I walked away from the presentation about the exhibit was the care for the people coming to see it, the visitor experience is what mattered most to these people. The design of the exhibit isn't by age or discovery, but by the scientific processes, why did this happen? How did that evolve. What the exhibit leads to is asking more questions and that's the best experience to get out of a trip, to wonder more.

 As you enter you"re greeted by a Triceratops and Mamenchisaurus. I didn't even know what a Mamenchisaurus was, I guessed it was a Brontosaurus at first, but being 68 feet long it well out of their league. That's another point, I was amazed at how much had changed since I was a kid in the field. Discoveries of how a Dinosaur looked and acted are still being found. Take example the dinosaur baby suit at the start of the article, I didn''t know they were born with feathers? Did you?

 Back to the Mamenchisaurus, this long necked monster I previewed here stretches nearly to the end of the first hall of the exhibit. Below this massive brute the smallest dinosaur in the exhibit the Fruitadens haagarorum , the only one of it's kind in the world on exhibit.

Then we have the fossil wall with interactive displays which explain each object in a  detail without picking them up. It's a nice way to catalog and get the most information for each fossil without a cumbersome plaque. It's easy to use and I'm sure kid will have a easier time using it than adults.

Marine based dinosaurs show up just as you leave the hall, right above your head or to the side. They've bee articulated to look like they're still swimming.

 The light shines in throughout the exhibit, instead of giving the crowded, dark uncomfortable feel of old museums the exhibit is very open with multiple windows and a skylight roof.

 Everything seems so easy to get close to, not everything is behind glass, and you can even touch a 65 million year old fossil.

  The T. Rex growth series exhibit might be the most spectacular part of the Dinosaur Hall featuring a baby T. Rex skeleton, a teenager and adult all the together. They've been positioned as though they've been eating another yummy dinosaur for dinner.

There's a second level to the exhibit with even more features to get lost in.. Hear what a Corythosaurus sounds like or see the tools used to collect fossils.

 They way there outline it's almost like icons to click on a computer or a game hud selection screen.

 Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Carnotaurus they all are here waiting to be studied and thought of. To be feared and remembered, admired and thought of. There's so many other sections to look at and get lost in. You can spend hours and with lines you might looking over all these beautiful fossils and skeletons. Interacting and learning more. I've only shown you a portion of what's there.

I have to include the other sections you shouldn't miss while there, the Rotunda room. This classic and elegant room, with marble pillars is something to jsut get lost in. Hopefully, Irrational Games sees pictures of it and put the Bioshock Infinite Launch Party here.

  The Dino Lab upstairs where you can see archeologist cleaning fossils.
 The brand new Mammals section
 The Insect Zoo and the Butterfly Pavilion right outside

It easily can be a full day at the museum and once your done, you could just head to the California Science Center walking distance from the museum.