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A new exhibit at the McClung Museum explores the evolution of current theories about dinosaurs.

Dinosaur Discoveries: Ancient Fossils, New Ideas opens June 4 and runs through August 28. The exhibit reveals a vivid picture of the prehistoric creatures and introduces how current thinking about dinosaur biology has changed over the past two decades.

Using a combination of data from major fossil finds, computer simulations, and provocative models, the exhibition highlights current research by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and other leading paleontologists around the world.

“This exhibition illustrates how scientists are using new ideas, new discoveries, and new technologies to revolutionize our understanding of dinosaurs,” says Mark A. Norell, curator of Dinosaur Discoveries and chair and curator of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. “Our work reaches across many disciplines to showcase how we go about reconstructing the mysterious life of dinosaurs.”

The exhibition looks at the investigative tools used by modern scientists—from bioengineering computer software to CT scans—to help uncover many of the most persistent and puzzling mysteries of dinosaurs: what they looked like, how they behaved, and how they moved. It also explores the complex and hotly debated theories of why—or even whether—they became extinct.

The McClung Museum is offering several Dinosaur Discoveries public programs over the summer. These include various summer camps: Dino Explorers for ages 4–5 from June 7 to 9, Jurassic Kids for ages 2–3 from June 14 to 15, and Dig It! Fun with Fossils for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders from June 20 to 24. Registration information is available on the museum website.

Children ages 5–11 and their parents are invited to spend an unforgettable night with dinosaurs and explore the exhibition at the Night at the McClung Museum family sleepover June 17–18. Tickets are available online.

Finally, the museum will offer a free Moving Among Dinosaurs Stroller Tour at 10:00 a.m. on June 27 and a free Dinosaurs and Fossils Family Fun Days from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on June 11 and July 9. See the exhibit page for more exhibition and programming details.

The traveling exhibition Dinosaur Discoveries: Ancient Fossils, New Ideas is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, The Field Museum in Chicago, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.

Dinosaur Discoveries is presented by the Nick and Fran Newell Museum Fund, First Tennessee Foundation, and the Keller Group. Additional support is provided by Knox County, the City of Knoxville, and the Arts and Heritage Fund.

The McClung Museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Groups may schedule tours by calling 865-974-2144 or e-mailing museum@utk.edu. Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking information building at the entrance to Circle Park Drive on weekdays by request. Free parking is available on Circle Park Drive on a first-come, first-served basis on weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is also available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)