Jurassic Times Call for Jurassic Measures: World’s Largest Children’s Museum Builds New Lab for Giant DInosaur Beasts

The Mission Jurassic expedition team uncovered nearly 500 new dinosaur fossils weighing in at more than 15 tons from the Jurassic Mile dinosaur dig site this summer. Now, visitors to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis can see and touch them at a new paleo preparation laboratory.

A graveyard of Jurassic bones is waiting for dinosaur detectives to follow the clues they expect will tell some amazing stories. A new lab designed to help scientists do just that opened 
this week at what may seem like a surprising place–The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. And the new lab is as big as the beasts being researched.

The new Jurassic Paleo Prep Lab alongside the existing Polly H. Hix Paleo Prep Lab within the Dinosphere exhibit opens with a huge variety of specimens to display. The museum led research expedition team uncovered nearly 500 new fossils weighing in at more than 15 tons from the Jurassic Mile dinosaur dig site over a period of 92 days this summer. “The sheer size and breadth of fossils being discovered at the Jurassic Mile is incredible. Our international team of scientists will now spend the next few years preparing and studying these extraordinary fossils to help us understand more about life 150 million years ago,” said Dr. Victoria Egerton, co-lead paleontologist, Mission Jurassic.

Some of the bones are so large that the museum made massive changes to accommodate them in the newly built Jurassic Paleo Prep Lab.

“We are so excited to have an expanded lab so we can now prepare the huge, multi-ton jackets of multiple Jurassic dinosaur bones we excavated this summer at the Jurassic Mile dig site,” said Jennifer Pace Robinson, vice president of experience development and Family Learning. “We cannot wait to have our team of scientists/paleontologists clean and prep these new fossils right in front of families. Visitors will be able to not only peer in the window, but they can also ask questions about the dinosaurs, where we found them and how we uncovered them. And, they will be able to touch specimens that are hundreds of centuries old.”

The fossils that are being cleaned and prepped in the new lab were discovered as scientists from The Children’s Museum set out on an adventure called Mission Jurassic in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. There, they discovered an unusually large amount of bones that are approximately 150 million years old from the Jurassic Period. Fossilized plant life, trackways and an ancient seabed make the site even more rare. There is so much material that The Children’s Museum invited the University of Manchester, Naturalis Museum of Biodiversity and The Natural History Museum of London to join the project.

“We wanted to expand our existing lab such that children and families can witness the scientific process in real time from beginning to end,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “As visitors touch actual fossils, they can ask questions that are important to them to discover answers to clues that tell the stories of these ancient animals. Paleontology is often the first foray into science for young people and we are dedicated to making that science accessible to everyone, regardless of age or background.”

High resolution video b-roll and interviews can be found here: 
Excavation of Jurassic Period dinosaur fossils at the dig site in Wyoming and subsequent hauling of fossils to Indiana: https://vimeo.com/childrensmuseum/review/349959881/5c2ffbafe8
Password: tcmdigsdinos


Prep and research at the new Paleo Prep Labs:https://vimeo.com/childrensmuseum/review/359134799/4bedf8631b

Subject matter expert interviews: 
Professor Phil Manning, Mission Jurassic Lead Scientist, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis 

  •     Dinosaur by the tail


  •     Femur size


  •     Layers & layers of fossils


  •     World-class site


  •     Comprehensive view of the Jurassic Period

Dr. Victoria Egerton, Mission Jurassic Co-lead Scientist, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis 

  •     Jurassic Period plants

Dr. Anne Schulp, Naturalis Biodiversity Center Paleontologist (Netherlands) 
Importance of articulation 

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Board of Trustees is proud to partner with Riley Children’s at Indiana University Health, Old National Bank and Ice Miller LLP.

About The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis 
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about The Children’s Museum, visit http://www.childrensmuseum.org, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, Instagram@childrensmuseum, YouTube.com/IndyTCM, and Facebook. 

The 2019 dig season has concluded at The Jurassic Mile and has produced more than 15 tons of more than 500 fossils. Most of the 150 million year old fossils are being prepared at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

Multiple Jurassic fossil lab stations open up at new Paleo Prep Lab at world’s largest children’s Museum.

As visitors touch actual 150 million year old fossils, they can ask paleontologists questions that are important to them to help discover and understand clues that tell the stories of these ancient animals.