Witness Dinosaur Encounters Saturdays and Sundays in the North American Mammal Hall, Level 2.
The Dinosaur Hall is open! In it, you can get up close and personal with three T. rex specimens, including Thomas the T. rex , an enormous Triceratops, and a long-necked Mamenchisaurus whose body stretches farther than a bus. There are hundreds of real fossils to explore, and upstairs, experience what it's like to find dinosaurs out in the field and study them in the lab. You can become the next great paleontologist — there is still so much to discover!
There are other dinosaur experiences at the Museum too. Don't miss the Dino Lab and our Dinosaur Encounters on Level 2. And be sure to read about what our Dinosaur Insitutute paleontologists are up to right now!
Excursions into the field allow us to grow the Museum’s fossil collection and continue our work as paleontology detectives. Each new fossil we find provides additional clues for understanding dinosaurs and their world. Fossils discovered in the field are removed from the dig site, along with the surrounding rock, and encased in big white plaster “jackets” for transport. Before the fossils can be studied or exhibited, Dinosaur Institute preparators remove the jackets and surrounding rock and then inspect and clean fossils for both research and display.
For a true behind-the-scenes experience, come witness the exciting dinosaur preparation process in the second floor Dino Lab. Watch our staff working on fossils, in a working paleontology lab where everything you see is real.
T. rex and Triceratops, the roaring and roaming life-size dinosaur puppets, finally have official names as voted on by thousands of Dinosaur Encounters fans!
Meet Hunter the T. rex, the life-like version of the juvenile specimen you will see in the T. rex growth series on view in the new Dinosaur Hall. Aptly named because as an apex predator, he's always on the lookout for a good meal.
Dakota the Triceratops, also the actual size of a juvenile specimen, is named after the great state of South Dakota where Triceratops is the state fossil.
The Dinosaur Institute (DI) houses the Museum's collection of Mesozoic tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates), dating from 250 million years ago to 65.5 million years ago. The fossils in our collection have been acquired over nearly a century, and the collection continues to expand rapidly through the Dinosaur Institute's very active field program. The DI runs expeditions several times a year to collect fossils from Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and right here in California. We also participate in international field programs, most recently in China, Kazakhstan, and Argentina