HAYS, KS -- A larger cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex and a bunch of his extinct relatives are coming to Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History in February 2002.
"The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park," a temporary exhibit, will be on display at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays from Feb. 2 to May 5, 2002.
"We are proud to announce the coming of this fantastic exhibit to the Sternberg Museum of Natural History," said FHSU President Edward H. Hammond at a news conference this morning to announce the exhibit.
"This will be a wonderful way to build on the tremendous success of 'A T. Rex Named Sue,' which drew more than 100,000 visitors to the Sternberg Museum in only two months last year," said Hammond. "This exhibit will be a great opportunity for learning and entertainment and a draw to the community."
The exhibit features a full-mount fossil cast of Giganotosaurus (GIG-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 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" of species and also props and sculptures from the movies Jurassic Park and Lost World.
"When we hosted 'A T. rex Named Sue, I wondered if we would ever be able to exceed this type of exhibit again," said Dr. Jerry Choate, director of the Sternberg Museum.
" 'Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park' has great potential to do just that," he said. "It's much, much bigger than Sue. It really won't be your ordinary walk in the park."
Greg Liggett, assistant director, agreed.
"This is a very big exhibit," he said. "There is a lot more in this one than in 'Sue.' It has a lot of animals that people haven't seen before -- new species from South America and China."
"The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park" is the only exhibit to display the actual dinosaur sculptures used in the making of the movies Jurassic Park and the Lost World series.
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.
Another attraction of the exhibit is a special effects "extinction theatre" hosted by Jurassic Park/Lost World star Jeff Goldblum.
The exhibit 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.
Ticket sales begin Dec. 1, 2001, and are available by calling, toll free, 1-877-332-1165. A Web site, www.jparkdinos.com, will soon be available for ticket sales and information. Pre-sale ticket prices are $6 for adults, $4 for children and senior citizens. At the door it will be $7 adults, $5 children and senior citizens.
"The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park," developed by Don Lessem, is a production of Amblin Entertainment, Universal Studios and MCA/Universal Merchandising Inc.