Monday, November 12, 2007

November 6, 2007

The work never stops. The Allosaurus project, which staff and volunteers have been working on for approximately two years, has been installed on the floor. Hundreds of museum visitors were able to view the assembly as it happened earlier this summer in our "Bone by Bone" exhibit, but the full skeleton is now in its permanent home on the Lower Level of the Museum of Natural History and Science at Cincinnati Museum Center.

The skeleton is approximately 50% authentic fossil and 50% replica bones cast from other Allosaurus fossils borrowed from the Yale Peabody Museum. Originally unearthed in Utah, the Allosaurus had remained in storage until it was decided to resurrect the large carnivore and allow it to "prowl" the halls of Union Terminal. Dr. Glenn Storrs, Withrow Farny Curator of Vertebrate Paleontogy and Assistant Vice President of Natural History and Science, commented that "major league cities are often defined by their baseball or football teams. I believe that every major city also deserves its own dinosaur."

While there are several fleshed out dinosaurs in the exhibits at Cincinnati Museum Center, this is the first complete dinosaur skeleton on display for the public. As visitors round the corner, they are greeted by the Allosaurus staring back at them at eye level. The exhibit utilizes the latest scientific interpretations to place the fierce predator in a head-down stance, using it's hips as a fulcrum and balancing its tail in a horizontal position.

Another unique feature of the skeleton is that individual bones may be quickly removed by museum staff for research without having to dismantle a large portion of the skeleton. This construction project was made possible in part to the financial support of local schools and individuals who wanted to see the skeleton on display.

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