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

 

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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The New York Times reported that researchers at an excavation in the Ischigualasto Formation of Argentina discovered a new type of dinosaur named Eodromaeus. You might call this new dino pint sized, weighing in at only 10 -14 pounds and about 4 feet in length. Paul Serano, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago who works on this study, stated,  “It was very cute; you’d want it as a pet.” Before you decided to swap an Eodrmaeus for you Chihuahua beware, this cute little guy is a carnivore and has the long canines and a future ancestor to prove it.

Dino2

Dr. Sereno and his colleagues believe the Eodrmaous to be one of the first relatives of theropod dinsosaurs, which include the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex. How could this tiny dinosaur be related to the T-rex? The Eodraeus has long canines perfect for meet eating, a sleek, agile body shape, and was quick on its feet. The excavation in Argentina where the Eodromaeus was unearthed is a site where some of the oldest remains of dinosaur have been found. The Eodromaeus found lived 230 million years ago, which places it in the Triassic period when dinosaurs first began to emerge. Dr. Serano believes that this discovery, “ gives us the earliest snapshot of dinosaurs.”

Dino1


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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: [email protected]
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