• © Larry Ralph

  • © Nicolaus Czarnecki

  • © Ashley McCabe


Dinosaurs: Modeling the Mesozoic

Permanent Exhibit

The evidence collected through fossil records tells a tantalizingly incomplete and still evolving tale. Here, through fossils and life-size models, learn how paleontologists continue to compile evidence and change the way we view extinct animals.

Emblematic of this changing view is our full-size Tyrannosaurus rex model. The Museum’s first T. rex, created in the 1960s, was based on the existing evidence: three very incomplete skeletons. Today, over 30 skeletons have been discovered, so in 2001, a new, more accurate model was created and is now displayed.

In addition to models, explore fossil clues — such as bones, footprints, and even dinosaur dung! Compare the bones of a bird, an iguana, and a dinosaur, and see how at least one branch of dinosaurs is more closely related to birds than we ever imagined.

At our "Who's in the Family?" mural, figure out what separates dinosaurs from other ancient and modern animals. Examine "bone dictionaries" to explore mystery skeletons and play with scale models of Coelophysis. (Note that the Mesozoic murals kiosks have been removed). Finally, imagine what future dinosaur models might look like.


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  • Multisensory Interactives
  • Tactile Illustrations
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Open Captioning
  • For information about accessibility in the Museum: mos.org/accessibility. For questions or accommodation requests: 617-723-2500, accessibility@mos.org. Please request ASL interpeters at least two weeks in advance.