The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has reopened its popular Dinosphere exhibit with new and enhanced attractions. The exhibit features some of the fossils found on “The Jurassic Mile,” a paleontological excavation in Wyoming that began five years ago and was the subject of a $27 million project known as Mission Jurassic announced in 2019. Museum Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Pace Robinson says the origins of the updated exhibit date back even further.
Pace Robinson gave a preview of the exhibit on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“After we opened in 2004, we brought our advisors from around the world back 10 years later to have a meeting to really show them how it was going,” Pace Robinson said. “We talked about how popular it was and we asked them, ‘What should we do next to make it even better?'” And, so they suggested that we need to move into the Jurassic time period and make sure to bring in those giant long neck dinosaurs that you see in movies like Jurassic Park and also work to create an ancient ocean scene, and so we’ve done both.”
The NEW Dinosphere: Now You’re in Their World exhibit features the new Giants of the Jurassic and Monsters of the Mesozoic Seas attractions, along with the popular Creatures of the Cretaceous.
Pace Robinson says it was a long process to bring everything together. The Mission Jurassic project involved partners from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands and the University of Manchester in England.
“It was five years with a team of international advisors but also our own paleontologist and I think one of the first bones we dug up was a femur, which is almost as tall as me, so we knew we had some pretty massive specimens,” she said. “And then the work that it took to pull them out of the ground, prepare them, ship them to Canada to be mounted to these giant steel armatures, and at the same time, our design and exhibit group were building this Jurassic environment.”
Pace Robinson says the renewed exhibit is expected to drive a lot of business for the museum. She says 90% of the museum’s visitors go through Dinosphere and they wanted to give a new reason to come back and grow membership.
In this week’s edition of the IBJ Podcast, Pace Robinson talks more about the exhibit and what’s ahead for the museum. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.