The Perot Museum of Nature and Science revealed a new logo and website on Thursday. The museum doesn’t open in Victory Park until early 2013. But it’s already begun piecing together some of the dinosaurs that will roam its fourth floor gallery:
KERA Radio story:
Visitors to the museum will get a chance to see something no one else in the world has seen before – a full-size Alamosaurus. And there will be plenty to look at – all 85 feet of it. The dinosaur is so big that the support pillars in the museum’s fourth floor gallery had to be specially positioned just to accommodate it.
It will allow us the chance to see for the first time the biggest animal to walk the land 70 million years ago in its entirety,” says Anthony Fiorillo, the museum’s chief curator and director of research.
The Alamosaurus is actually a composite of three animals owned in part by the Perot museum, the Smithsonian and the University of Texas. A laser scan was made of the bones in the three collections, which was then sent to a 3D printer to create the life-size cast.
The Perot bones were found near Big Bend National Park. To give you a sense of how long ago 70 million years ago was, Dallas was still under the ocean when Alamosaurus roamed West Texas.
When the bones were discovered in 2001, some of them contained unexpected markings. And that led scientists to a breakthrough.
“Those tooth marks appear to be tooth marks of a Tyranasaur – much like a dog chewing on a bone – it appears that a Tyranasaur was chewing on the neck bones of this Alamosaurus,” Fiorillo said.
The discovery was the first bit of concrete evidence that suggested that the two animals lived during the same time period. And it prompted Fiorillo to place the museum’s Tyrannosaurus right alongside the Alamosaurus. Just as the scene might have looked 70 million years ago.