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A New Breed of Dinosaurs

© 2011 Royal Ontario Museum

These aren’t your average dinosaurs.

On March 1, unfamiliar specimens are roaring (well, sort of) into town, as the Science Museum of Minnesota’s latest exhibit, Ultimate Dinosaurs, opens.

The exhibit will feature 20 fully articulated dinosaur specimens, foreign to many in the United States because they evolved in isolation in the southern hemisphere. In fact, until just 30 years ago, many of these species were unknown even to scientists. You’ll learn about the Massospondylus, a dinosaur from South America that started its life on four legs but later became a bipedal, the sometimes cannibalistic Majungosaurus from Madagascar, the Suchomimus, which lived in the Sahara Desert and grew to be 33 feet long and weigh 6,600 pounds, and the head honcho of the bunch, the Gigantosaurus, perhaps the largest land predator ever.

What’s even cooler, these dinos have local ties. Macalester College professors Kristi Curry Rogers and Ray Rogers did extensive research on these species. Curry Rogers, who is also a former Science Museum paleontologist, and colleagues even named the Rapetosaurus, a titanosaur that reached 60 feet in length.

Not only will you get up close to these ancient specimens, but you’ll learn about the adaptions that made them unique, including how their geographical location promoted their evolution, use augmented reality technology to bring them to life, participate in hands-on activities, and explore their physical characteristics, like crests, frills and stride patterns. Plus you can check out Dinosaurs Alive! on the Omnitheater screen, a film that follows preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendants of dinosaurs still walk, or fly, among us.

The exhibit runs through August 24.

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