Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


A dino geek in the making

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

I was never much for natural history museums, even though my fiance would much prefer we go to those rather than art institutions, but at the opening preview for the Natural History Museum's new 14,000-square foot Dinosaur Hall, I found myself revising my opinion.

The Natural History Museum is going through some major changes right now.

The new hall is packed full of information, but arranged in an engaging way. There's enough there to fill at least four or five hours of wandering. There were multiple touch screens, but more importantly, a lot of bones to comb through.

I was told we were the very first people to walk across this newly built bridge.

As I wandered the new hall, I realized how much a museum goer's experience is really crafted by the exhibition. At the Dinosaur Hall, the exhibit designers took care to express a more scientific stance. Instead of spelling out what visitors are seeing, the text also pose questions, give a few answers, but raise a few more questions as well.

Just like the many paleontologists who helped unearth these ancient dinosaur bones, we too are taken down the rabbit hole of questioning that lasts a lifetime. If you haven't stopped by the museum, you should, especially if you love mysteries. There are lots here to solve.
He works for the Natural History Museum, but I don't know what position exactly. I have seen him in other NHM events. Who can forget that moustache! I imagine he's doing something for the construction of the exhibition. Any guesses?

As soon as you enter the new Dinosaur Hall, you get a whole lot of dinosaur. This one's a longneck that stretches from one end to the other of this gallery. The Triceratops is the first in the world to be mounted in the proper posture. I'm told the feet turn a little outward instead of straight-ahead as was previously thought.

Action-packed is the word. This scene shows an Allosaurus going for the Stegosaurus. Paleontologists matched the teeth marks on the Stegosaurus's "fin" to the Allosaurus thousands of years after the fact.

These massive marine creatures roamed the seas where California now sits. I wouldn't want to swim with them, I think.

This slab from the Mojave desert shows dino tracks made thousands of years ago. You can compare your footprint to theirs.

It's pretty cool to see the textures in the fossils themselves.

This isn't a real dinosaur egg, but for a second, I could pretend it was. The real egg is under a glass case beside it.

This is a real Triceratops frill though and, best of all, I can touch it. There's also a part of a toe that visitors can touch.

Visit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. I'm pretty sure I'll be going back with a few friends in tow as well. See you there!


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