The timing of the National Geographic Museum’s newest exhibit, Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous, is rather auspicious — for them and for us. Just months after the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum began their five-year hiatus for major renovations, Nat Geo debuted this exhibition, and it’s sure to satisfy dino enthusiasts, young and old, jones-ing for a prehistoric beast fix.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is a life-sized skeletal model of Spinosaurus, the first truly semiaquatic dinosaur and the largest predatory dinosaur known to have roamed the Earth. At more than 50 feet long and 20 feet high, Spinosaurus measured more than nine feet longer than the world’s largest T-Rex. Little museum-goers will undoubtedly be enthralled by the colossal installation along with other reproductions of Cretaceous creatures on display.
For those with larger attention spans, the fascinating backstory of Spinosaurus is told through a series of interactive displays. Literally windows into history, they feature panels with “vistas” of various locations in places that were significant in the Spino’s discovery — the office of the paleontologist with the the first findings, a Moroccan fossil market, Milan’s Musuem of Natural History. Multimedia elements such as video from World War II when key artifacts were destroyed and the discovery of Spinosaurus bones in Morocco offer further insight. And real dinosaur fossils, a replica of the cave where most of Spino’s remains were found, and sketches of its first unearthed bones (that were later lost in the war) help complete the narrative.
There’s more beyond the exhibit hall. Don’t miss the life-size “in the flesh” replica of Spinosaurus in the courtyard next to M Street. And if you really want to score big with your dino obsessed child, the museum is offering Young Explorer birthday parties with a Discover Dinosaurs! theme.
Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous will be on display at the National Geographic Museum through April 12, 2015. Admission is $11/adult, $9/senior, $7/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under. Museum hours are 10am – 6pm.