The young and the prehistoric
January 20, 2011
They grow up so fast, don’t they? But by this summer, the growth stages of the Tyrannosaurus rex—from the terrible twos of dinosaur toddlerhood to the menacing stance of the strapping young adult—will be on permanent display in the Natural History Museum’s new Dinosaur Hall.
Like some kind of prehistoric “My Three Sons,” the exhibit will showcase the life and times of a spectacular trio of T. rexes who once roamed what is now Montana. On display will be the fossil remains of the youngest T. rex ever discovered, a 66-pound, two-year-old dubbed Baby T. Rex; a rare 14-year-old 4,000-pounder known as Juvenile T. Rex; and 18-year-old “Thomas,” weighing in at 7,200 pounds and 33.5 feet long and boasting one of the most complete skeletons ever collected.
Officials at the Los Angeles County museum, who hosted a media preview of the “T. Rex Growth Series” exhibit this week, say it will be a “showstopper” that aims to surprise and enlighten visitors as it provides a fresh, imagination-stirring glimpse of dinosaur life back in the (Late Cretaceous) day.
The new hall, set to open in July, will double the museum’s dinosaur display space. It is part of an ambitious expansion and modernization plan for the museum as it heads into its centennial in 2013. The museum’s groundbreaking new “Age of Mammals” exhibition opened last year.