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

 

National Geographic reported that a new dinosaur species, Brontomerus mcintoshi, was discovered. This new dino is a type of sauropod, four-legged plant-eater, and is beginning to be known as the Thunder Thighs thanks to its immense hipbone blades. The blades on its hips suggest that very large muscles were attached there; these muscles could have been used for maneuvering over hilly land or giving its predators a swift kick.

In 2007 Mathew Wedel, professor of anatomy at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, and his team were examining bones from a fossil quarry in Utah when they discovered that the bones weren’t from any known species. Since the shape of the thighbones suggested that this dino had the largest leg muscles of any sauropod, it was named accordingly since Brontomerus means "thunder thighs" in Greek. Wedel and his team have studied the bones and done artist concepts of what this dinosaur might look like close up. Although he thinks it’s probably safer that we never came in contact with b.mcintoshi. Wedel explains that this dino had a little brain, was constantly paranoid about all the meat-eaters around, always on the lookout to protect it’s young, and was not afraid to use its enormous legs to do so. He adds that the, “ sauropods were probably beautiful animals if you were a long way away with binoculars.”

Thunder_Thighs_Brontomerus


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The earliest horned dinosaur fossil-skull can now found at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman, Oklahoma, and has been coined Titanoceratop ouranos. The new species of dinosaurs is uniquely known for the size of its head, estimated at 8-feet long, and its overall weight, estimated at 6,550 kilograms.

The fossil skull was discovered in 1941 in New Mexico, and spent fifty-four years in museum storage before it was pieced together and ready to be displayed. Paleontologists are currently facing some difficulties placing the species into a family tree; arguing if it resembles the Pentaceratops or the Triceratops. Until recently, the beast was considered to be related to the Pentaceratops, but new inclinations regarding its physical face structure suggest relations to the Triceratops. This theory would place its evolution 5 million years earlier than originally considered and would propose that there are a lot of other horned dinosaurs yet to be discovered.

On the flip side, there are some paleontologists that still believe the Titanoceratops is part of the Pentaceratops family. They are claiming that although the fossils bones are oversized compared to the “not-so-titanic” species, it may be in its growth stage.  The debate still continues, but either way the Titanoceratop is a colossal dinosaur with an oddly enormous skull.

Pentaceratops


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It has long been believed that all non-avian dinosaurs were made extinct 65.5 to 66 million years ago when debris from a giant meteorite impact blocked out the sun from the Earth’s atmosphere. The meteorite impact changed the climate of Earth and killed its vegetation and was thought to have killed off most dinosaurs. A new discovery, reported by geology journal, may prove otherwise.

A team of researches from the University of Alberta, led by Larry Heaman from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, used Uranium Lead dating (a newer form of dinosaur dating) to determine the age of a hadrosaur femur bone to be 700,000 year after the supposed mass extinction. Heaman has a few different explanations as to how this dino could have escaped extinction; vegetation may not have been killed in all areas of the earth and this species of hadrosaur survived or the eggs of the hadrosaur may have been able to survive the extreme climate change. Heaman and his team plan to test more bones with uranium-lead dating and believe the end date of dinosaurs may have to be revised in the future.

Larry

Larry Heaman with the hadrosaur femur bone fossil

 


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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.
This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Privacy Policy • Accessibility

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