Exhibit Hall

Now Open on Level 4

Meet the ancient rulers of our planet as you examine fossil replicas of dinosaurs and prehistoric sea creatures. Orlando Science Center showcases the dinosaurs in their disparate land and aquatic settings as guests become part of a paleontological excavation site.

  • Uncover 'fossils' in the dig pit and examine fossilized dino eggs
  • Explore displays that feature ancient land and marine reptiles
  • Compare reptiles and dinosaurs to see similarities and differences
  • Discover denizens of the ancient oceans such as Elasmosaurus and Tylosaurus

 

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a dinosaur! LiveScience.com reports that a small adult dinosaur fossil has been found in the southern U.K. At roughly 15.7 inches long, the new fossil could belong to the world’s tiniest dinosaur.

Many of us think dinosaurs were all large creatures that roamed the Earth. But there were actually many smaller groups of dinos that existed as well millions of years ago. University of Portsmouth paleozoologist Darren Naish explained the tiny neck bone belonged to a creature from the maniraptoran group that lived in the Cretaceous period 145 million to 100 million years ago. It is this group that is thought to have led to modern day birds. Because only one vertebra has been found, researchers are unable to say what the dino ate and how long it truly was.

Two techniques were used to estimate the size of the maniraptoran. One method involved fitting a digital model of the dinosaur's neck into a body of a generic maniraptoran. The other method used neck-to-body ratios of other related dinosaurs to estimate the maniraptoran's length. Both methods estimated the size of the dino to be 13 to 15.7 inches.

The new dinosaur has not been named yet, but it’s being referred to as the “Ashdown dino,” based on the location where it was found. If the Ashdown dino is found to be the smallest on record, it will beat out Anchiornis, another birdlike dinosaur that lived in what is now China 160 million to 155 million years ago. It would also be smaller than North America's smallest known dinosaur, Hesperonychus elizabethae, a velociraptor-like predator that was about a foot and a half (50 cm) tall and weighed 4 pounds (2 kilograms).

Dino

A newly-discovered maniraptoran dinosaur may have looked like the feathered dinosaur seen here, about to become a snack for the larger Darwinopterus modularis.
CREDIT: Mark Witton/University of Portsmouth


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By: Liz Rosenberg

This book is great for your child to give dad for father’s day! It’s a perfect blend of tender and funny. Tobias’s father is a lot like other fathers - he likes corny jokes, and doing magic tricks, and works really hard at the office. But there the resemblance ends. He has teeth as sharp as steak knives, is forty feet high, and weighs as much as a locomotive. He is, in fact, a tyrannosaurus.

Come check out our DinoDigs exhibit where you can uncover fossils in the dig pit with dad!

Tyrannosaurus Dad


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Tyrannosaurus rex is one the most popular dinosaurs around, which means we study him a lot. There has been a lot of talk about all aspects of his life; how he hunted, how he moved, etc. Click here for an article about T-rex’s tail and how it helped him not only to keep balance, but also to be a better runner.

This will be one of the first in a small series I’ll do about the star of DinoDigs, Mr. T-rex. Make sure to tune in during the following weeks for more information and discoveries about our favorite carnivorous Cretaceous dino.

T_Rex_-_Field

Painting courtesy of Field Museum

Stephanie is a Science Interpreter at the Science Center and often is found in Dino Digs or Careers for Life. Paleontology, Anthropology and Anatomy are her passion and jumps at every opportunity to talk about it. Stop in and say Hello!


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777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: gservices@osc.org
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
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