CHARLOTTE – “Antarctic Dinosaurs,” a new exhibition arriving at Discovery Place Science on Feb. 8, transports visitors back in time to discover what life was like in Antarctica 200 million years ago.
The traveling exhibition was developed by the Field Museum in Chicago in partnership with Discovery Place, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Natural History Museum of Utah.
The exhibition guides visitors through what was once a lush, green and thriving continent where dinosaurs freely roamed. Guests will discover fossils from four Antarctic dinosaur species, including the 25-foot long Cryolophosaurus, and get hands-on experience with tools used by paleontologists to extract fossils from the now frozen landscape.
“Antarctic Dinosaurs” also focuses on the working conditions of scientists in these expeditions to the continent today.
“Working in Antarctica is like traveling to another world. You go into the mountains and you set up in the middle of nowhere on the ice,” said Nathan Smith, one of the researchers whose work is featured in the exhibition. “Folks going to do remote research in Antarctica have to complete survival training and what we call ‘snow school’ to ensure they are prepared in case they become stuck with no one able to reach them for a while.”
The research and experiences featured in the exhibit also shed new light on the planet’s ever-changing climate and geology.
“The dinosaurs may draw you into the exhibition, but you will quickly discover there is so much more to unearth, including a very real and important look at climate change,” Discovery Place CEO and president Catherine Wilson Horne said. “Discovery Place is proud to provide opportunities for these kinds of conversations in the Charlotte region.”
Discovery Place staff began contributing to the exhibit’s development in 2016. Staff supported the initial development phase then reviewed concepts, direction, prototypes and mock-ups of experiences and other elements of the exhibition.