T. rex: The Ultimate Predator exhibit stomps into Science World this month (PHOTOS)

Feb 8 2022, 9:00 pm

A new Science World exhibition is over 66 million years in the making.

T. rex: The Ultimate Predator, a massive feature exhibit opening under the dome on February 26, introduces visitors to the entire tyrannosaur family through life-sized models, fossil casts, and interactive experiences.

Presented by RBC and White Spot Restaurants, the epic exhibit will bring visitors face-to-face with the most iconic dinosaur in the world while revealing its amazing story.

T. rex The Ultimate Predator

A full-scale cast of the T. rex fossil skeleton on display in the Museum’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs—in a different pose—is the subject of the exhibition’s “shadow theater,” in which the skeleton’s 40-foot shadow will “come to life” and demonstrate to visitors how the animal battled prey—and its own kind. (© AMNH/D. Finnin)

“I enjoyed taking my four kids to Science World when they were growing up and they were always very fascinated by the dinosaur exhibitions,” said Tracy Redies, Science World president and CEO, in a release. “These magnificent creatures inspire awe and wonder in people of all ages and transport our minds to a time long ago.”

“We look forward to bringing T. rex, The Ultimate Predator to Science World so visitors can enjoy facts, visuals and engaging exhibits that will be sure to surprise and delight each person who walks through. There is still so much to learn from these wonderful creatures that walked the earth millions of years ago.”

The main event of T. rex: The Ultimate Predator is a life-sized model of the prehistoric predator, a definitive representation complete with patches of feathers.

T. rex The Ultimate Predator

Visitors to T. rex The Ultimate Predator will encounter a massive life-sized model of T. rex with patches of feathers—the most scientifically accurate representation of T. rex to date. (© AMNH/D. Finnin)

There will be a number of massive tyrannosaur models on display, including the Proceratosaurus bradleyi named after F. Lewis Bradley who discovered the first specimen in Gloucestershire, England in the early 1900s.

Proceratosaurus bradleyi

Although T. rex lived 68 to 66 million years ago, the tyrannosaur group is about a hundred million years older than that. The earliest known tyrannosaur is Proceratosaurus, which lived about 167 million years ago. (© AMNH/R. Mickens)

Visitors will also discover how the Tyrannosaurus rex may have looked and behaved over 66 million years ago. From a young, furry baby, to a massive, fully grown apex predator through its 100 million years of evolution, the enormous reptile comes to life in the exhibit running until January 22, 2023.

“Investigation is an adventure of the imagination,” said Parker McLean, Curator at Science World. “Exploring how extinct dinosaurs may have looked and behaved at different stages of their lives is made by both investigating clues in fossils and inferential reasoning from observing animals alive today.

“T. rex is a pop-culture icon and most of us have preconceptions of how this creature looked and behaved. The continuing process of discovering more fossils and new ways to observe them has advanced our understanding of this magnificent creature’s life from youth into adulthood and we are excited for this to be presented in the exhibition.”

9. Tarbosaurus fossils

These fossil casts show the same species at different ages. The big skull is from an adult Tarbosaurus that weighed six tons—almost as big as its close relative, Tyrannosaurus rex. The small skeleton is from a two-year-old that weighed just 70 pounds (32 kg). Tarbosaurus lived a very different life when young. Lacking in size and strength, it relied on speed and agility to survive, much like its early ancestors. © AMNH/R. Mickens)

Paleontologists of all ages will want to check out the tabletop “Investigation Station” and explore a variety of fossil casts ranging from coprolite (fossilized feces) to a gigantic femur. Visitors will use virtual tools, including a CT scanner, measuring tape, and a microscope, to learn more about what such specimens can reveal to scientists about the biology and behaviour of T. rex. 

T. rex The Ultimate Predator

Very few tyrannosaurs have been found that lived between 125 and 84 million years ago. So in 2009, scientists were excited to announce a new, mid-sized species that helped fill this 40-million-year gap. Xiongguanlong baimoensis offers a rare glimpse of a mid-sized, transitional species between the smaller early tyrannosaurs and the later giants. (© AMNH/D. Finnin)

Other interactive elements of the exhibition include reconstructions of a T. rex hatchling and a four-year-old juvenile T. rex, a “roar mixer” where visitors can imagine what T. rex may have sounded like by blending sounds from other animals, a shadow theatre featuring a floor projection of an adult T. rex skeleton coming to life, and a life-sized animation of T. rex in a Cretaceous environment that responds to visitors’ movements.

T. rex The Ultimate Predator

At the end of the exhibition, visitors will encounter a massive animated projection of a T. rex and its offspring in a Late Cretaceous setting. The huge dinosaur will react to visitors, leaving them to wonder, “Did that T. rex see me?” (© AMNH/R. Mickens)

T. rex: The Ultimate Predator

When: February 26, 2022, to January 22, 2023
Where: Science World – 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Available online

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