Photos courtesy of The Franklin Institute
One of the world’s largest collections highlighting the biggest dinosaurs ever stampeded into The Franklin Institute Saturday, December 10th for the world premiere exhibition Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs. This exclusive exhibition gets visitors up-close-and-personal with gigantic dinosaurs, as long as 70 feet, excavated from such remote regions as Argentina and the Gobi Desert of Inner Mongolia. Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs will be in The Franklin Institute’s Mandell Center with special extended holiday hours December 26-January 1, 2012. Plus, The Franklin Institute will offer free parking on New Year’s Day to all special exhibition ticket-buyers (Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs, CSI: The Exhibition) and Franklin Institute members.
Highlights include the world premiere of a cast skeleton of the never-before-displayed Mapusaurus, 65 million year-old dinosaur eggs, and the latest scientific evidence of how dinosaurs grew so large. Dozens of exotic giant skeletons and intricate robotics reveal new discoveries of dinosaur origins and behavior, while casting light on the unfamiliar international ancestors of familiar North American dinosaurs. The exhibit gathers two dozen humongous skeletons, dinosaur recreations and full-sized robotics. Visitors can also get hands-on by going on a dino dig and examining fossils and bone replicas in the interactive Dinosaur Cart, which will be staffed by museum science interpreters during daytime exhibit hours.
The spectacular collection belongs to the world’s leading dinosaur collector and popularizer, Don Lessem. “Dino” Don, a Philadelphia area resident, has excavated and re-created dinosaurs from Argentina to Mongolia, including the world’s largest meat-eater and plant-eater. He was an advisor to the movie Jurassic Park, a host and writer of NOVA and Discovery Channel documentaries, and has written more than 50 books for children.
The exhibition highlights recent cutting-edge research that answers one of the bigger mysteries about large dinosaurs – how on earth did they get so big? Turns out, the big plant-eaters required thousands of kilograms of food daily to survive – so they sped up the process by swallowing their meals whole. If you thought you knew dinosaurs, Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs will open your eyes. Nearly half of all dinosaurs known have been found in the last two decades – many from the farthest reaches of the globe. And along with these recent findings come new insights into how dinosaurs grew, behaved, communicated, and, after 163 million years of domination, came to a crashing end.
Many of these enormous dinosaurs have rarely been displayed in North America. The exhibit runs through April 15, 2012, and was created by Don Lessem and ExhibitsRex and produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc.
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Individual daytime tickets for Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs (which include general admission to the museum) are $25.00 for adults and $18.50 for children, with free admission for Franklin Institute Members. Tickets are timed and dated, and admission is 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday (last entry at 3:30 p.m.); and 9:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (last entry at 7 p.m.). The evening ticket price ($10 adult; $6 children) does not include museum admission, and begins with the 5:00 p.m. exhibition admission. Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Information, holiday hours, and tickets (including discounted combination tickets with CSI: The Experience) are available at 1-877-TFI-TIXS, www.fi.edu. Groups of 15 or more save up to 20 percent on tickets with advanced reservations by calling 1-800-285-0684.