Dinosaurs with a southern flair make their debut at Museum Center

Jun 12, 2013

With names like Giganotosaurus, Eoraptor and Pisanosaurus, these are definitely not your parents' dinosaurs.  In fact, the new exhibit that opens Thursday, Ultimate Dinosaurs:  Giants from Gondwana, features dinosaurs most of  us have never heard of before. 

The exhibit is making its U.S. premiere at the Cincinnati Museum Center starting Thursday, and it's billed as a collection of the biggest, strangest and newest dinosaurs discovered in South America, Africa and Madagascar about 20 years ago.

Where they came from

These dinosaurs are from the preshistoric southern continent of Gondwana.  The Museum Center's Vice President of featured exhibits, Dave Duszynski, explains:

"About halfway through the reign of the dinosaurs, the land mass split between the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere, so dinosaurs actually evolved very differently in the southern hemisphere."

Gondwana itself eventually split to form South America, Africa, Australia, Antarctica and Madagascar.

Highlights of the exhibit

Surrounded by life-like environmental murals, the exhibition features real fossils and 20 full-scale skeletal casts.  It also uses augmented reality, layering virtual experiences over real environments, to bring the dinosaurs to life and get visitors to look at them from a new perspective.  It's the first time the Museum Center has used AR technology in an exhibit. 

Also opening Thursday in the Museum Center's OMNIMAX Theater is  Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia.  The film follows Rodolfo Coria, a world-renowned Argentinean paleontologist, to the sites of major dinosaur discoveries in the Patagonia region of South America; and it takes viewers back in time to see dinosaurs such as Giganotosaurus, possibly the largest land predator ever, and Argentinosaurus, possibly the largest dinosaur to have ever lived.