From Discovery to Exhibition
Right next to Diplodocus and Iguanodon, a small exhibition area is located: “Dinosaur excavation: from discovery to exhibition”. In the Mesozoic, 225 to 66 million years ago, dinosaurs populated our planet. How the extinct terrestrial vertebrates lived and looked like can be reconstructed by scientists from fossilized skeletons and other fossil records. In the new exhibition area, young museum visitors learn which steps have to be taken until a found fossil can be exhibited in a museum. Discovery sites and the tools employed in an excavation are presented as well as the preparation of fossils, the final exhibition and the different ways of reconstructing the findings. The highlight of the new area is a simulated excavation situation. This is hands-on science: booked workshops with expert guidance offer kids the experience of finding, collecting and identifying fossil casts.
In the new exhibition area, science becomes visible and tangible. It is shown that scientific knowledge is constantly developing with each new discovery. For example, three Diplodocus models in the exhibition illustrate the varying phases of the scientific depiction of this long-necked dinosaur. Some theories supposed him to have lived in the water, while others attributed him a lizard-like gait. The reconstruction of the Diplodocus, in the way his original can be admired today in the museum, was only made possible through the interplay of different scientific disciplines.
In the simulated excavation site, casts of different fossilized bones of the carnivore T.rex and the duck-billed dinosaur Maiasaura are hidden. In bookable workshops, children starting from third grade can slip into the role of paleontologists and search for fossils with the guidance of experts. To this end, they use excavation tools and learn to operate like scientists – they divide the excavation site into quadrants and sketch the position of their findings. The excavation case is modeled on a real ‘bonebed’. In it, the casts of unsorted individual bones are hidden which have to be uncovered and can then be attributed to a dinosaur in the museum.
The excavation site can only be used in a bookable workshop. In addition, birthday parties for children including the dinosaur excavation are on offer. Booking and information here or via phone under +4969/7542-1357 (Monday – Thursday from 9 – 12 a.m. and 1 – 4 p.m.).
The accompanying exhibition can be visited any time. There is no additional entrance fee.
Supported by Doris and Claus Wisser.