Discover Dinosaurs Digitally in the ROM’s New Galleries

Four Interactive Stations Highlight Key Specimens

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) offers a dynamic new way of discovering its dinosaur specimens with four interactive audio/visual stations in the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs, opening December 15, 2007. Short and engaging video segments reveal how dinosaurs may have walked and interacted, featuring fascinating overviews of more than 12 dinosaurs and other creatures. Explanations are provided by curatorial staff from the ROM’s Palaeobiology section. Integrated with the surrounding exhibits, touch-screens allow visitors to choose a subject that interests them and discover fun facts on each of these ancient creatures.

“This digital component provides an exciting new dimension to the understanding of the dinosaur specimens and other fossils on view in the new galleries,” said Brian Porter, Senior Director of the ROM’s New Media Resources. “Through these interactive, easy-to-use stations, visitors of all ages can learn how dinosaurs moved and behaved, as well as learn about the ROM’s own curatorial research.”

Each of the four 32-inch touch-screen monitors explores a different theme and can be viewed in any order. One of three stations located on the gallery’s east side features the ROM’s rich collection of the duck-billed hadrosaurs, one of the best in the world. At this station, visitors will learn about the spectacular crested Parasaurolophus and the reasons that palaeontologists now believe that the Corythosaurus stood on four feet, rather than on its two hind legs. Visitors can also listen to Dr. David Evans, ROM Associate Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology, as he describes the function of the fascinating head-crests of duck-billed dinosaurs, and hear the sounds these creatures may have made more than 65 million years ago.

Another station, exploring the Jurassic Period (200 to 145 million years ago), is located next to the Museum’s massive Barosaurus skeleton that stretches approximately 27 metres (90 feet) along the gallery’s north wall. The ROM’s Barosaurus skeleton is Canada’s largest dinosaur on permanent display and one of only two Barosaurus skeletons on display in the world. A series of video segments reveal how this specimen was found and gives a behind-the-scenes look at how it was mounted for the Temerty Dinosaur Galleries.

A third station, situated next to an exhibit exploring Jurassic marine fossils (200 to 145 million years old), takes visitors to a time when oceans were dominated by giant marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs. Nearby, visitors can view one of the Museum’s newest specimens, the six-metre (20-foot) ichthyosaur, Eurhinosaurus longirostris from the early Jurassic period (approximately 180 million years ago), and see a cast of a giant head of the first ichthyosaur ever found (discovered by a 12-year-year girl in the 1830s in England). ROM Assistant Curator Janet Waddington describes marine invertebrates, ancestors of the present-day squids and chambered nautilus, providing a picture of life in the sea during the age of dinosaurs.

Another viewing station on the gallery’s west side highlights ceratopsians, horned dinosaurs from 100 to 65 million years ago. Some of the newest species of dinosaurs being discovered in Canada today are among this group. Visitors can learn about these dinosaurs, such as Chasmosaurus and Centrosaurus, and the last-surviving great giants, Triceratops and the powerful Tyrannosaurus rex.

About the Galleries:

The new James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs and the Gallery of the Age of Mammals, open to the public on the weekend of December 15 and 16, 2007. The new galleries are located on Level 2 of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal and feature 750 different artifacts, including 50 dinosaur specimens and about 60 complete or nearly complete dinosaur and mammal skeletons.