Carnegie Museum of Natural History

For more information, contact: Leigh Kish
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
412.622.3361 (office), 412.526.8587 (mobile)

September 10, 2010


DIG IT! October is Paleontology Month at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Pittsburgh, PA….During the month of October, Carnegie Museum of Natural History celebrates paleontology—the study of fossils and what they reveal about plants and animals of the past—with public programs that engage visitors of all ages. Programs and activities, presented by museum staff and scientists from around the world, explore the many facets of paleontology including field research, excavation, scientific illustration, fossil preparation, and much more. Many of this month’s programs highlight the world-renowned work of Carnegie Museum of Natural History staff who are at the forefront of scientific research and discovery. All activities take place at Carnegie Museum of Natural History and are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted.

Why October 2010 is Paleontology Month at Carnegie Museum 

The museum’s month-long focus on paleontology coincides with the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s 70th annual conference (October 10–13, 2010), which brings more than 1,000 of the world’s leading paleontologists to Pittsburgh. October 13 is also the National Park Service’s first-ever National Fossil Day. The American Geological Institute also celebrates Earth Science Week (October 10–16).

Featured Presenters  

Program presenters include Carnegie Museum of Natural History Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Matthew Lamanna, PhD, and Collection Manager of Invertebrate Paleontology Albert Kollar, as well as experts C. Owen Lovejoy, University Professor of Biological Anthropology at Kent State University, and Gregory S. Paul, independent scientist, author, and paleo-artist.



Paleontology Discovery Day
Saturday, October 9

The whole family can enjoy this special day full of paleontological adventure! Choose one or both dinosaur-themed Saturday Family Workshops for science lovers of all ages. Then, stick around for a free family-oriented lecture on the Carnegie Collection of toy dinosaurs.  

Saturday Family Workshops
Travel back in time with the whole family and discover the prehistoric world of dinosaurs.  

Registration required. Contact Program Registration at 412.622.3288 or

Members: $12 per adult/child pair, $10 each additional child
Non-Members: $17 per adult/child pair, $15 each additional child
Payment is due at time of registration. Sign up for one or both dinosaur workshops.

  • Sauropods around the World
    10:30–11:30 a.m.
    This hands-on workshop takes a close look at adaptations made by long-necked, long-tailed dinosaurs that lived all over the world during the Jurassic and Cretaceous time periods.
  • Color Adaptations in Dinosaurs
    12:30–1:30 p.m.
    Explore the reasons for color variations in the animal world in this hands-on workshop that asks the question: What color were dinosaurs?

The Carnegie Collection Dinosaurs: Science Meets Sculpture
Saturday, October 9

Matthew C. Lamanna, PhD
2 p.m., Carnegie Lecture Hall
Free with museum admission; geared toward children and families

Carnegie Museum dinosaur paleontologist Matt Lamanna and his guest, sculptor Forest Rodgers, discuss the newest models in the Carnegie Collection toy series from Safari, LTD. Find out why these species were chosen to be immortalized as Carnegie toys, why some models have been retired or changed, and how a toy is created from start to finish. This is a family-friendly talk featuring a prize raffle for children, autographs by Matt Lamanna, and museum store shopping discounts.

Lucy, Ardi, and the Evolution of Human Walking—New Perspectives from Old Evidence
Saturday, October 9
C. Owen Lovejoy, PhD
7 p.m., Carnegie Lecture Hall
Free, seating is extremely limited; geared toward adults

How did humans begin to walk on two legs, and why? By studying the famous 3-million-year-old human ancestor “Lucy “(Australopithecus afarensis), and the 4.4-million-year-old hominid specimen “Ardi” (Ardipithecus ramidus), paleoanthropologists including C. Owen Lovejoy, University Professor of Biological Anthropology at Kent State University, have come to some surprising conclusions. In this one-hour, adult-oriented lecture, Lovejoy discusses his groundbreaking work on the evolution of human limbs and explains how this work has changed scientists’ understanding of human locomotion.

This event is free thanks to sponsorship from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.  

The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, with Gregory S. Paul  

Sunday, October 10
Gregory S. Paul
2 p.m., Carnegie Lecture Hall
Free with museum admission

Gregory S. Paul is an independent scientist, author, and paleo-artist whose distinctive illustrations are recognized for their unequalled accuracy. He helped establish the "new look" of dinosaurs seen in contemporary documentaries and movies, including Jurassic Park, for which he served as a consultant. In this talk, Paul discusses his publication The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs. This incomparable guide is both scientifically accurate and beautifully illustrated with over 600 drawings and life studies.

A book signing with Gregory Paul follows the lecture.

Family Activities at the Museum 

Dinosaurs in Their Time Tours 

October 2–31, Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 and 3 p.m.
Free with museum admission; meet at PaleoLab 

Travel back to the Mesozoic with museum staff as your guide! See highlights of Dinosaurs in Their Time, including two colossal Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons poised in battle, a mother Apatosaurus protecting her baby, and Diplodocus carnegii, the first of Carnegie’s world famous dinosaurs, presented alongside the many diverse plants and animals that shared their environments.

Virtual OvirapTour 

October 2–31, Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
Free with museum admission

Immerse yourself in the dinosaur-bird connection! A museum interpreter will guide you through a virtual tour that investigates the compelling evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs. OvirapTour is based on a videogame platform, surrounding the audience with real-time graphics. Compare an oviraptorosaur and a modern bird up close and explore the differences and similarities.

Paleontology Hands-on Carts & Exploration Stations
October 2–31, Saturday 1–3 p.m. and Sunday, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Free with museum admission, check TODAY sheet for details

Get up close to paleontology by investigating real and replica specimens and artifacts in Museum of Natural History galleries. Let museum educators and experts answer your questions about dinosaurs, fossils, the field of paleontology, and more!

Discovery Room
Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sunday, 1–4 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 1–3 p.m.; Thursday, 1–7 p.m.*
* May also be open weekdays from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. when not in use by groups.

Free with museum admission; check TODAY sheet for details

Calling dinosaur lovers of all ages! Investigate our world, past and present, through hands-on activities, real and replica specimens, and other exciting adventures for children and adults. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. When the Discovery Room is reserved for groups, hands-on materials may be checked out at the information desk, first floor, Grand Staircase. The Discovery Room provides Braille materials for many of its activities. Call Rhonda Kelly at 412.622.1950 for information.

The Discovery Room is sponsored by's Agora Charter School.  

Bonehunters Quarry
Saturday, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon–4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 1–3 p.m.; Thursday, 1–7 p.m. *
* May also be open weekdays from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. when not in use by groups. 

Experience the thrill of hands-on excavation at Bonehunters Quarry, Carnegie Museum of Natural History's interactive fossil dig! Children are issued real equipment, including goggles, chisels, and brushes. Using these tools just like paleontologists do in the field, kids scrape away the simulated earth and rock to reveal realistic fossil mammal or dinosaur casts. For children 10 and under. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must wear protective goggles.  

Overnight Adventures 

Select Fridays beginning at 6:30 p.m. until Saturday at 9:45 a.m. Campers must be at least 6 years old. One adult for every five children required. 

$40 per person; fee is for all participants, including chaperones

Contact Group Visits at 412.622.3289 or for more information or to book private overnights.

Families, school and homeschool groups, scout troops, and youth groups—bring your sleeping bags for a "camping" experience inside Carnegie Museum of Natural History! Experience what it would have been like to live in the Mesozoic Era as you explore the world of dinosaurs! Each overnight includes hands-on projects, museum tours, games, and visits to the Discovery Room and Bonehunters Quarry. Overnight Adventures also include an evening snack, a continental breakfast, and an embroidered patch. Theme-based adventures may include a Science on Stage performance, an Earth Theater show, or special guest appearances. Upcoming topics include Night of the Living Carnegie, Dino-ROAR, CSI, Rock around the Clock, and American Indian Night.  

Pajama Nights 

Select Saturdays, 5:30 to 9 p.m.; for children ages 3–6 only.
$25 per person; fee applies to all participants, including chaperones.
Contact Group Visits at 412.622.3289 or for more information.

Wear your pajamas and join us for a party at the museum! Children 3–6 years old and their caregivers have the opportunity to experience the activities and excitement of an overnight adventure without actually spending the night. Pajama Nights include a variety of activities and a snack. Upcoming themes include Dino-rific, Pajama Safari, and Operation Cookie.

Celebrate paleontology all year long!

Science enthusiasts can learn about paleontology at the museum all year long in the permanent exhibition Dinosaurs in Their Time, where visitors can walk among dinosaurs and re-created environments from the Mesozoic and ongoing activities provide a close-up look. These include Bonehunters Quarry, where children can dig for replica fossils, the Discovery Room, where visitors learn through hands-on discovery, PaleoLab, where visitors can see first-hand what it’s like to be a paleontologist, and weekend Discover Carts, where visitors interact with museum educators. These permanent exhibitions and ongoing activities are free with museum admission and are appropriate for visitors of all ages.


Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website,