Monday, September 5, 2011

Totally Texas -- Chinasaurs' last roar

Museum of Nature and Science, Fair Park

3535 Grand Avenue, Dallas


Today is your last chance to see the exhibit of dinosaur fossils from China at the Museum of Nature and Science in Fair Park. The museum will be open today until 6 p.m. for the final day of its extended summer hours. The exhibit -- labeled “Chinasaurs” -- includes twenty of the most recently-discovered fossils as well as fossilized dinosaur nests and eggs and five animatronic reconstructions. One of the animated dinosaurs is Velociraptor, who’s had a makeover since the movie Jurassic Park made him famous.

If you're not too unnerved after all that, include a showing of the museum’s IMAX film Sea Rex in your visit. All this is in addition to the museum’s regular fossils and plenty of other family-friendly exhibits. My grandsons were thrilled to see a simulated tornado on a recent visit. As they said, now they know what the thing they had to hide in the closet from last spring actually looks like. For more information and IMAX show times, see

In all, 2011 has been a great year for dinosaur lovers in North Texas. The Museum of Nature and Science had hardly moved its exhibit of life-size animatronic dinosaurs out the door this spring before welcoming the Chinese dinosaur fossils. This summer saw the announcement of a locally-found sea crocodile fossil named Terminonaris. Okay, it wasn’t a dinosaur, but the twenty-five foot long croc probably ran into a few dinosaurs while hanging around Texas 96 million years ago.

And despite the devastation of this year’s drought, low waters on the Paluxy River should make for good viewing of the fossil tracks at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose. See or my “Tracking the wild sauropod” post from April 4 in the blog archives for more information.

Those who still can’t get enough of dinosaurs will be glad to know the Heard Natural History Museum in McKinney plans to open its outdoor exhibit of animatronics in October. For information and directions to the Heard, see


Already planning your next weekend? The 49th Annual National Championship Indian Pow Wow meets this Friday through Sunday, September 9-11 at Traders Village in Grand Prairie. For directions and a schedule of events, see


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