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Dinosaurs from Smithsonian come to life again at the Museum of the Earth

Dinosaurs+from+Smithsonian+come+to+life+again+at+the+Museum+of+the+Earth

By Mary Ford and Rachel Wolfgang

Families went to the Museum of the Earth in Trumansburg Sept. 24 to take part in Museum Day Live!, a national event hosted by the Smithsonian through which local museums offer free admission to visitors. The Museum of the Earth featured its newly acquired Stegosaurus and Quetzalcoatlus models as well as dioramas and tree models, all given to the museum by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Beth Stricker, director of exhibitions at the Paleontological Research Institution, was involved in acquiring the artifacts from the Smithsonian and designing the exhibit as the Museum of the Earth.

“There are the scientists and the paleontology department at the Smithsonian who of course professionally know our scientists,” Stricker said. “They’ve collaborated before, so when the exhibits department there was planning on renovating their exhibit hall … they called us, and they offered them to us.”

Kids like Elias, a 7-year-old dinosaur fan, visited the exhibits to learn more about some of his favorite dinos. As the exhibit is interactive, kids dug for fossils, touched glacial ice and walked through a time when dinosaurs inhabited the Earth. Elias was drawn to the Stegosaurus.

“It says ‘Please touch,’ and it’s a Stegosaurus spike,” he said. “They have plates running down their back, and they have a brain the size of a walnut!”

Elias’ mom said they frequently visit the museum because her son is so interested in dinosaurs, and Elias immediately noticed the Quetzalcoatlus model.

“The Quetzalcoatlus — we’ve named her Amelia — might be the most fun. We’ve hung her from the ceiling so you kind of turn around in the museum and there she is looking down at you,” Stricker said.
All of the new acquisitions will be integrated into the museum’s permanent collection within the year.

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