The world that dinosaurs inhabited millions of years ago has fascinating connections to the world in which we live today. New data show that living birds, mammals and plants have ancestors harking back to the dinosaur era. And many mysteries of the modern world can be explained by looking at the fossil record from the Mezozoic. Be among the first to understand these connections by seeing the exhibit The Age of Dinosaurs Lives On, beginning June 14 in the Museum of Natural History.
You’ll see a scientist extracting real dinosaur bones from rock, and visit a mock dinosaur quarry from 1910. There’s also a rare skeleton of the tiny Chinese dinosaur Psittacosaurus, a reconstruction of one of North America’s oldest dinosaurs, Coelophysis, and much more.
Throughout opening weekend, June 14 and 15, take advantage of special tours and activities for families with children:
* Science on Stage: Dinosaurs. A half-hour theatrical presentation gives children a new perspective on the discoveries made by museum scientists. Sun. 1:30 and 3:00 p.m.
* Take-Home Activities. Sat. 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and Sun. 1:00–4:00 p.m.
* Dinosaur Photo-Op. Have your picture snapped as you “become” Tyrannosaurus or Triceratops. Sat. 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., and Sun. 1:00–4:00 p.m.
In a lecture series related to The Age of Dinosaurs Lives On, renowned paleontologist Paul Sereno and Carnegie scientists present the latest information that they have discovered in their research on dinosaurs. Watch for two additional talks scheduled for August. Call 622-3288 for information or to register for one or more the following lectures:
•“From Scales to Feathers: Evolution of Modern Birds and Flight.” Bradley Livezey, associate curator of birds, explains the recently discovered connection between modern birds and dinosaurs. Session also includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the Section of Birds. Wed., June 25, 10:00 a.m. Continental breakfast included.
•“In the Shadow of Dinosaurs: Early Evolution of Mammals.” A little-known fact is that mammals coexisted with dinosaurs during the Mesozoic Era. Zhexi Luo, assistant curator of vertebrate paleontology, looks at this relationship, plus major evolutionary changes that led to modern mammals. Tues., July 8, 7:00 p.m.
•Paul Sereno speaks opening night, June 14, at 7:00 p.m., about his journeys to far-flung deserts in search of fossils that help chart dinosaur descent and provide clues to their evolution. Sereno’s expeditions have led to the discovery of several new dinosaurs, including Afrovenator, Herrerasaurus and Carcharodontosaurus. He has been a guest on the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour and PBS’s Skeletons in the Sand, and he has been featured in National Geographic Magazine.
Meet up with Carnegie scientists May 30–31 at the North Side’s Riverview Park as they conduct Pittsburgh’s first “BioBlitz.” Museum biologists and other local naturalists will spend 24 hours observing, identifying and recording as many animals, plants and other living things as they can in an effort to increase awareness of biodiversity in the city. The day-long event begins Friday afternoon, May 30, and extends through the night to Saturday afternoon, May 31. The public is invited to a free “BioBazaar” on Saturday, where local conservation and nature groups will have activities and displays, and where “scorekeepers” will keep track of the numbers of plants and animals as the scientists find them.
BioBlitz is organized by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History Council and the Schenley Conservancy, a group that assists with renovations in Pittsburgh city parks. For more information, visit the museum’s web site at http://www.clpgh.org/cmnh/doe/events or call 622-3253.
Pennsylvania Impressions: Photographs by Janyce Erlich-MossCHANGING EXHIBITS GALLERY THROUGH MAY 25
The artist applies watercolor to her photography-based images to capture the soft light she sees on the wildflowers and landscapes of western Pennsylvania.
Artistry in Nature: The Wildlife Paintings of Carl Brenders
NATURAL HISTORY GALLERY THROUGH MAY 18
North American wildlife is the focus of these realistic and exquisitely composed paintings by one of the world’s most accomplished nature painters. Brenders’ works reflect his respect for nature and capture in extreme realism a variety of animals and their habitats.
The Age of Dinosaurs Lives On
CHANGING EXHIBITS GALLERY JUNE 14–JANUARY 4
Okavango: Africa’s Last Eden
NATURAL HISTORY GALLERY JUNE 7–SEPTEMBER 21
Frans Lanting, one of the world’s leading wildlife photographers, has brilliantly recorded the animal life in Okavango, a huge but shallow delta in Botswana. The exhibit is on loan from the National Wildlife Art Museum.