The scientists who prep dinosaur discoveries for display at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science are now putting themselves on display. The museum's new Paleo Lab, opening Labor Day weekend, will allow guests to view paleontologists as they prepare and process fossils fresh from the field.
The glass-encased permanent exhibit will have cameras in the lab projecting close-up shots of live fossil preparation, while museum "Brainiacs" explain and demonstrate things like tools, techniques, and how the paleontologists' work connects to the specimens displayed in the exhibit hall. There's science behind those skeletons, kids!
"Guests just might witness the unearthing of a new prehistoric species," the museum says in a release.
They note that the museum’s paleo researchers have already made several big discoveries, including Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, the polar tyrannosaur that will welcome guests from atop the Paleo Lab. "A pint-sized cousin of the T. rex, Nanuqsaurus was discovered and named by the Perot Museum’s renowned paleontologists, Dr. Tony Fiorillo and Dr. Ron Tykoski, in 2014," the museum says. "The new skeletal reconstruction of Nanuqsaurus for the Paleo Lab is the first ever on display."
The lab will sit on Level 4 in the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall.
It will open with a roar at a big event called Dino Fest, September 1-2. The dinosaur extravaganza will include hands-on fossil digs, live music, and a beer garden on the plaza, live bird (aka modern-day dinosaur) interactions, T. rex sports challenges, trivia games, “paleo talk” lectures, take-home pterosaur gliders, and more. Young guests will be able to act as junior paleontologists and learn about Arctic dinosaurs, while the young at heart can engage with paleontologists Dr. Fiorillo and Dr. Tykoski.
Dino Fest hours will be Saturday, 10 am-6 pm (members get in at 9 am); Sunday, 11 am-4 pm (members get in at 10 am). General admission museum tickets are required.
The museum's "Ultimate Dinosaurs" exhibition, which spotlights 17 rarely seen, exotic species from the southern hemisphere, remains open through January 6, 2019.