The Dinosaurs of Carnegie
Do you ever get that nagging feeling that you've missed your calling? I didn't, not until today... I could have been a Dinosaur Diorama Engineer.
An Apatosaurus rears its head in anger, swinging its tail wildly, determined to prevent the predatory Allosaurus from attacking its baby. From behind, a second Allosaur bounds toward the scene, intent on helping his mate secure a snack.
The scene, played out with enormous skeletons, colorful murals and recreated ecosystems, is part of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's new dinosaur exhibit, a 21st-century attempt to use pictures, fossils and high-tech interactive displays to present a snapshot of life 150 million years ago.
"You might imagine that Allosaurus is probably suicidal going against an animal that is about 80-feet long and weighs about 30 tons," said Matt Lamanna, the museum's dinosaur researcher, as he looked up at the enormous skeleton with the love of a father looking at a child he's coddled for two years.
"But if you look into the mural, there's actually a second Allosaurus that's meant to be sort of charging into the scene to help out ... in this big attack. Chances are he'll lose anyway, but at least he's got friends," Lamanna said, laughing at the display in the museum's new dinosaur hall.
Dinosaur Hall was closed in Spring 2005 and will reopen as Dinosaurs in Their Time on November 21, 2007. The new exhibit will illustrate the incredible diversity of Mesozoic life, placing the dinosaurs in dramatic new, scientifically accurate poses amidst the hundreds of plant and animal species that shared their environments.