The Year of the Dinosaur
The Year of the Dinosaur HMNS’ new paleo hall promises “prehistoric safari” for patrons

HOUSTON-2012 is the Year of the Dinosaur at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. We're putting the final touches on our world-class Paleontology Hall-one of the most dynamic in the world and the length of a football field. It's a whole new HMNS, 30-thousand square feet of pure paleontological wonder, baring its fangs this summer. Own It.

"Houstonis a great city, full of remarkable qualities, outstanding institutions, and exceptional people. Houstonians have an unabashed sense of pride and ownership in their city and what it offers," said Joel A. Bartsch, president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. "HMNS is a world-class institution, renowned far and wide for its exceptional collections, exhibits, and programs. And as a Houstonian, you OWN IT-every artifact, every exhibit, every item in the gift shop, every program."

Embark on a Prehistoric Safari

The innovative hall packed with prehistoric beasts will not have displays of ancient skeletons in a row as visitors are accustomed to viewing. The predators and prey in the new paleontology hall will be in action-chasing, eating, and escaping as they struggle for life. Embark on a "prehistoric safari" that also includes the grand saga of human evolution-from tree-climbing australopithecines to courageous mammoth-hunters. Along this journey you will see:

  • More than 60 new, major mounts, featuring more than 30 dinosaurs as well as large mammals - all "in action" poses
  • An all-bone T.rex featuring the best preserved and most complete hands and feet of any T.Rex ever found, as well as patches of original skin - the likes of which have never before been seen
  • Touchable specimens, including real, fossilized dinosaur skin, that allow you to pet a dinosaur
  • A virtual, ancient aquarium, where fossils will come to life
  • A nesting site for a Quetzalcoatlus family - ancient pterosaurs with 30-foot wingspans - bigger than a modern jet fighter
  • Fossils brought to life through original art
  • A 12-foot wide, reconstructed jaw of a Megalodon, a marine monster that was largest shark that ever lived - poised in the act of ambushing a swimming, extinct elephant
  • One of the world's most spectacular collections of gem-quality petrified wood - with some sections up to 8 ft wide
  • A "Left-Behind" display, one of the finest collections of petrified poop - proof positive of prehistoric diets
  • A uniquely well-preserved Triceratops - "mummified" with preserved skin
  • A 10-foot, fleshed-out model of a Dimetrodon presented alongside the Museum's newest Dimetrodon fossil, "Willie"
  • 100+ exquisitely preserved marine Trilobites
  • And much more!

See Progress on the New Wing! Time Lapse Construction Video

Expansion Plan

In addition to a brand new Hall of Paleontology, the expansion plan will also create more than 115,000 square feet of badly needed exhibition, education, and classroom space-effectively doubling the number of classrooms currently available for educational programs; doubling the amount of public exhibition space that will be available for temporary and permanent installations; and tripling the amount of available collections storage space to ensure the conservation and care of our collections for decades to come.

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For more information, visit the museum's website at or call (713) 639-4629.

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