Things 2 Do

See, interact with dinosaurs like never before at Fernbank’s newest exhibit

Witness dinosaurs roaming through Centennial Olympic Park, see if you’re as strong as a Tyrannosaurs Rex and check out some of the first Tyrannosaurus Rex remains ever found at Fernbank’s newest exhibit ”Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family.”

“I think Dinosaurs are still enduringly popular with the public first of all because they kind of represent these ancient monsters and kind of like things of myth,” paleontologist Dr. Anthony J. Martin from Emory told WSB-TV’s Nelson Hicks. “That’s why they’ve inspired so many comic books, movies, novels and so on. So we connect with that I think more on a mythic level. But then, I think they’re also really fascinating once we learn about dinosaurs as living animals.”

Visitors to Fernbank have always been able to connect with dinosaurs at the Atlanta area attraction, but this exhibit cranks up the interaction.

“Something that the Tyrannosaurs exhibit offers is an interactive experience,” Jena Allison from Fernbank Museum said. “There are real fossils here, there’s a life-size (Tyrannosaurs Rex) skeleton, and it’s a whole family line, from the Dilong which was small and feathered, all the way up to the Tyrannosaurs Rex that is in modern media. That coupled with the virtual reality really offers a unique experiences that museum goers might not have seen previously.”

Check out dinosaurs roaming through Centennial Olympic Park and outside Fernbank through virtual reality. Learn how to spot a Tyrannosaurs Rex, see where dinosaurs lived and how they spread across all the continents and uncover more little known facts about the tyrant lizard king and its evolution on a visit.

“The very first dinosaurs or the transitional species leading to what we call dinosaurs were pretty small critters,” Dr. Martin said. “They were 2-legged, they were (a couple feet long) and then they went off into these evolutionary branches about 200 million years ago.”

What else will visitors encounter on a visit to Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family? The exhibit features real dinosaur fossils, eggs, a lineup of skulls and a massive Tyrannosaurs Rex skeleton.

“My favorite part of this exhibit is the life-size Tyrannosaurs Rex skeleton,” Allison said. “It’s so big, it barely fits, inches from the ceiling but it’s wild to walk underneath it, and see what it would be like if you were walking amongst these creatures in real time.”

What is known about dinosaurs today comes from two components - the fossils from the dinosaurs themselves, things like bones and skin fossils, and trace fossils, those are fossils from dinosaurs’ tracks, nests and more. And with new fossil discoveries happening even today, despite dinosaurs living millions of years ago, what is known about them is constantly changing.

“There’s been this huge revolution in how we view dinosaurs,” Dr. Martin said. “It started in the 1960s when more evidence came about that dinosaurs were related to birds. Now we can actually say birds are dinosaurs. That was a huge revelation, knowing that dinosaurs didn’t really go extinct because we still have birds today as their living descendants.”

“Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” is on display at Fernbank through Sept. 5.

This story is sponsored by Fernbank Museum of Natural History.