Spectacular dinosaur exhibit, based on Jurassic Park movies, coming to FHSU's Sternberg Museum in February

HAYS, KS -- In a pair of whirlwind media tours today and Wednesday across Kansas, spokesmen for Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History are announcing plans for another dinosaur exhibit that will be far larger and more spectacular than "A T. rex Named Sue," which drew more than 100,000 people to Hays earlier this year.

"Jurassic Park: The Life and Death of Dinosaurs" will open at the Sternberg Museum on Feb. 2 and remain on exhibit through May 5, 2002.

Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, and Greg Liggett, assistant director of the Sternberg Museum, were visiting with media in Overland Park, Topeka, Wichita, Hutchinson and Salina today to provide information about the "Jurassic Park" exhibit. The Wednesday tour will be a series of news conferences on community college campuses in Great Bend, Pratt, Dodge City, Garden City, Liberal and Colby.

"The 'Sue' exhibit in March and April drew 105,713 visitors to the museum," President Hammond said. "The 'Jurassic Park' exhibit has many more displays than 'Sue,' will stay at the Sternberg Museum a month longer, and combines the popular appeal of the movies with fascinating scientific information. We expect huge crowds again."

Tickets for "Jurassic Park: The Life and Death of Dinosaurs" are available by calling, toll free, 1-877-332-1165. A Web site has also been established for information and online ticket purchasing at www.jparkdinos.com. Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $4 for children and senior citizens. Tickets at the door will be $7 and $5.

The exhibit features a full-mount fossil cast of Giganotosaurus (JIG-a-NO-to-SAW-rus), a new species discovered in Patagonia, Argentina, in 1993. It is larger than the largest Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered. The original fossil, more than 80-percent complete, is in the Museo Carmen Funes in Plaza Huincul, Argentina. The cast made from that skeleton made its public debut at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA, in 1997.

The traveling exhibit built around Giganotosaurus is the largest collection of dinosaur skeletons currently traveling in the United States, including several newly found species never before seen in North America. Included are a dozen other mounted skeletons, a dozen "fleshed out sculptures" from the movies Jurassic Park and Lost World. Among the sculptures are Velociraptor (ve-LOS-i-RAP-tor), Dilophosaurus (dye-LOH-fuh-SAW-rus), the spitting dinosaur in the movie, and the 80-foot, long-neck Mamenchisaurus (mah-MEN-kee-SAW-rus).

Another animal, Argentinosaurus (ar-gen-TEEN-o-SAW-rus), may be the largest known dinosaur, but very little of the skeleton has been found. A single vertebra measures more than 6 feet in height and is almost 5 feet wide. The animal is estimated to have been from 115 to 150 feet long.

The exhibit has a lot of animals that people haven't seen before -- new species from South America and China. It includes fossil casts, sculptures, movie props and actual fossils, which include amber specimens, fish, turtles and a clutch of dinosaur eggs excavated in China as well as the fully mounted specimens and others represented by individual bones.

Another attraction of the exhibit is a special effects "extinction theatre" hosted by Jurassic Park/Lost World star Jeff Goldblum.

"Jurassic Park: The Life and Death of Dinosaurs" is a production of Dinosaur Exhibitions under license from Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment. All Universal/Amblin royalties and a portion of ticket revenues are donated to international dinosaur research.

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Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu