The Dinosaurs In Our Midst

There is a high likelihood that you have encountered a dinosaur at some point over the past few days.

That pigeon asserting its space on your block?  The Laughing Gull of the Rockaways?  New York City’s own House Sparrow?  All three of these birds–and thousands more–share a common ancestor: The dinosaur.  Yes, dinosaurs may be extinct, but their legacy lives on–in modern birds.

This theory is at the heart of “Dinosaurs Among Us,” a new exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History that explores the evolutionary link between ancient dinosaurs and modern birds.

Modern birds belong to a group called the Dinosauria, which includes extinct dinosaurs and all their living descendants.

The exhibition, which runs from March 21, 2016 to January 2, 2017 and is located on the Museum’s 4th floor, features ancient fossils, life-like models of both a tyrannosaur and a dromaeosaur, and fun interactives for the entire family.

“Dinosaurs Among Us” starts off with a brief film in the Transformation theatre featuring an artistic rendition of  dinosaurs’ transformation over evolutionary time.

As visitors walk through the exhibition, they are presented with anatomical evidence in support of the underlying theory. They are invited to explore the evidence–such as the similarities between the legs, feet and claws of non-bird dinosaurs and modern birds–and arrive at their own conclusions.

The varied interactives throughout the exhibition offer children an opportunity to learn while they play.  They can climb into the huge, life-sized Gigantoraptor’s nest, guess the identity of a dinosaur in “Whose Egg Is It Anyway?” or build their own dinosaur in the “Will It Fly?” interactive.

The exhibition opens to the public on Monday, March 21, 2016 and is open daily from 10 am to 5:45 pm.  Admission to the exhibition is included in the Museum’s suggested general admission.

To learn more, visit amnh.org!

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