Leigh Kish, Media Relations Manager
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213
412.622.3361
kishl@carnegiemnh.org


For Immediate Release
Contact: Leigh Kish 412.622.3361

April 11, 2002

BACKGROUNDER:
About Dinosaur Hall

Recently named the "Sixth Best Place in the World to See Dinosaurs" by Discovery.com and "One of the Best Dinosaur Collections in the United States" by Forbes.com, Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Dinosaur Hall features 15 dinosaur skeletons of the following species: Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Camptosaurus, Coelophysis, Corythosaurus, Diplodocus carnegii, Dryosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Protoceratops, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus rex, and the flying reptile Quetzalcoatlus northropi (the largest flying animal ever)

What makes the hall truly unique is that the majority of its dinosaur specimens are the genuine article-actual dinosaur fossils. Most dinosaurs viewed at museums around the world are casts constructed out of plastic or metal.

Adjacent to the hall, visitors can watch as museum specialists work in PaleoLab, where fossils that are millions of years old are prepared for scientific research and public display. In another adjacent area, visitors of all ages can unearth fossil casts of dinosaur and prehistoric mammals in the popular Bonehunters Quarry.

Skeletons from the Jurassic period (150 years ago) are situated at the entrance of Dinosaur Hall. The first dinosaurs that visitors encounter upon entering the hall are Allosaurus, a large meat-eater with a huge mouth, strong sharp teeth, short arms and clawed fingers, and Stegosaurus, well-known for the distinctive triangular plates along its back.

Along the right side of the wall are two plant eaters still partly in the rock matrix in which they were found. Dryosaurus and Camptosaurus are examples of ornithischians, the bird-hipped dinosaurs.

The next dinosaur that visitors encounter is the museum's most famous sauropod, Diplodocus carnegii (Dippy), which was named for Andrew Carnegie and for which Carnegie built Dinosaur Hall. Once considered the longest animal ever to walk the Earth, it was the first dinosaur collected by the museum in 1899 and is the "type specimen" by which all other dinosaurs of its species are evaluated. Casts of this animal were sent to 12 museums in Europe, North America, and South America, making it one of the most famous dinosaurs in the world.

Standing across from Dippy is a very similar-looking dinosaur called Apatosaurus louisae (formerly called Brontosaurus), a species named for Andrew Carnegie's wife, Louise, and the "type specimen" by which all dinosaurs of its species are evaluated. More massive than its contemporary Diplodocus, it may have weighed 30 to 35 tons when alive.

Another specimen of sauropod is on the right wall. Still partially in its rock matrix, the juvenile Camarasaurus is about two-fifths the size of an adult and is the most complete sauropod ever unearthed.

Dominating the hall is Tyrannosaurus rex. Many visitors are surprised to learn that this specimen is the first T. rex ever discovered and is the "type specimen" for the species by which all other T. rex dinosaurs are evaluated. This specimen was discovered in 1902.

Situated on the same platform with T. rex is a Triceratops skull, a dinosaur that was widespread throughout western North America, and Protoceratops, a smaller dinosaur that was discovered in Outer Mongolia in 1922. Protoceratops is the only dinosaur in the museum's collection that was found outside North America.

Flanking T. rex is Corythosaurus, a crested contemporary of the "Tyrant Lizard King." This animal was a plant-eater and belongs to the group of dinosaurs known as "duckbilled." In addition, there is another duckbill called Edmontosaurus on exhibit in the hall.

On the hall's balcony is the newest dinosaur added to the collection and one of the earliest dinosaurs. Coelophysis was a small carnivorous dinosaur. It was about 7 feet (2.5m) long and was very light, weighing between 40 and 50 pounds (18 to 23 kg). Coelophysis had a long, slender neck, tail and hind legs, and a long narrow head. It had many sharp teeth used to capture and eat other small reptiles. Coelophysis could run very fast on its hind legs.

Dinosaurs are not the only animals represented in the hall. On the left side and rear wall of the hall are Mesozoic fossils from the museum's Bayet Collection. Purchased in 1903 from a private collector, these are spectacular specimens of other animals, vertebrates, and invertebrates that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs, including several pterosaurs, the flying reptiles, and large sea creatures.

Click here to access images related to this press release.

# # #

Back to News | Home