Time travel through the dino world

Exhibition Saurier - Success Models of Evolution opened

Dinosaur Model: Lilienstern © State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart / R. Pfisterer
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The dinosaurs are back among us - at least in the large interactive exhibition "Dinosaurs - Success Models of Evolution". Until the end of September 2007, dozens of prehistoric lizards can be discovered in their habitats. Approximately 100 million years of geological history are presented to the visitors in a time travel - with some amazing scientific information. In addition, fossils can be worked on in the hands-on taxidermy or looked over the shoulders of real Dino professionals.

Over 50 models of dinosaurs and other vertebrates, the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart has built in recent years. Many work for several months. From the eight-meter-long Gresslyosaurier to the only lizard-sized rabbit crocodiles Lagosuchus ranges span, each model meticulously researched and designed under scientific direction. Even greater is the number of plants and invertebrates, whether coral, sea lily or ammonite, which shaped the environment of the dinosaurs.

Lifelike and up close

"We are the only museum that has such an extensive collection of fossil finds and scientific expertise to recreate these prehistoric habitats in depth, " Dr. Rainer Schoch, dinosaur researcher and exhibition organizer. He is particularly pleased that "the journey through time has become an extraordinary and authentic experience for the visitors" - the years of work have paid off.

Because as a special feature the fossils are not shown in isolation. Rather, they are embedded in a landscape that takes the visitor as if on a journey through time through 100 million years of the Middle Ages. There are six stations on this trip, each station a lifelike, large, sometimes even walk-in habitat of the past, each going back to a very specific finding situation.

Between Rifftürmen, Seeliliengärten and sea dinosaurs

Visitors to Buntsandstein can learn about the recently solved puzzle of the "handbag" Chirotherium. The Muschelkalkzeit puts the visitor under water, between Rifftürme, Seeliliengärten and sea dinosaur. In the Lower Keuper, on the other hand, the largest amphibious of the earth's history lurks under water, while above Batrachotomus, the "amphibious butcher" trots through the horsetail marshes. display

Dinosaurs in Buntsandstein Landscape State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart / R. Pfisterer

The upper Keuper time takes the visitor to the time of the oldest dinosaurs. Here you can experience the heraldic animal of the museum, the LindSchw bische Lindwurm Plateosaurus, in a completely new scientific reconstruction. In the Jura Sea impress first the mighty marine iguanas of the Black Jura, then the dramatic hunting of the giant crocodile Dakosaurus on his little cousin Geosaurus above the bright, colorful lagoon of Nusplingen in the White Jura.

Success models of evolution?

But how does the title of the exhibition come about? Because the term dinosaur is commonly associated with statements such as "dying because not adaptable" and "large body, small brain". But this is exactly where the exhibition organizers want to convey a better picture. Because: Dinosaurs were the first animals to have perfected the upright bipedal gait; Dinosaurs were the first vertebrates to conquer the airspace; the predatory dinosaurs developed plumage on the way to the birds to protect themselves against heat loss; various sea dinosaurs have given birth to young, long before the mammals already living.

In short, dinosaurs are a prime example of the adaptability of life par excellence and, in fact, "success models of evolution". After all, Dino and other dinosaurs have populated the earth for 170 million years. And contrary to common opinion, they are by no means extinct. You survived! Yes, more than that, they are still the most species-rich group of terrestrial vertebrates the birds. According to its importance, this stunning history of descent is dedicated to a separate exhibition area.

How fossils become dinosaurs again?

Showroom State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart / R. Pfisterer

By the way, on the journey through time many fundamental and practical questions will be answered: How to discover dinosaurs? What does an excavation in the area look like, how is work done there? How do you prepare fossil bones? How do you get from the disorderly and all too often only fragmented and crushed "bone pile" to the skeleton montage and in a further step to a lifelike model?

The dinosaur show also includes a classroom where one can look over the shoulders of the professionals at work and ask any questions that have remained unanswered until then. In the framework of various so-called "workshops", visitors can work out answers themselves, decipher enigmatic traces and reconstruct their own dinosaurs experiencing pal ontology to join in.

Exhibition "Dinosaurs - Success Models of Evolution"

from March 31 to September 30, 2007

Tue - Fri: 9 am - 6 pm; Wed: 9am - 8pm;

Sat, Sun, public holidays: 10am - 7pm

Mon: closed

State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart

Rosenstein 1

70191 Stuttgart

Tel. 0711 - 8936-O

(State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart, 02.05.2007 - AHE)