Oct. 7, 2023-April 21, 2024
$10 adults | $9 FL. residents, seniors & non-UF college students | $7 ages 3-17 | FREE for ages 0-2, UF students & Museum members
Step back in time and discover life beneath the ice in Antarctic Dinosaurs. Today, Antarctica is a forbidding land of snow and ice, but 200 million years ago it was a lush, wooded habitat where dinosaurs thrived. Uncover the history of the world’s southernmost continent and the unique species that have called it home in this interactive, family-friendly experience!
Rare fossils, touchable casts and interactive models bring the past to life while showcasing Antarctica’s distinctive dinosaur species. Examine a reconstructed forest and encounter the early plants and animals that flourished in the once-green environment. Experience the extraordinary work that goes into digging for fossils with real equipment and a re-created quarry. Learn about the important research taking place in this frigid landscape and how it can predict future changes to the world’s climate.
This is a bilingual exhibit available in English and Spanish. Esta es una exhibición bilingüe disponible en inglés y español.
Rare fossils, giant skeletons, touchable bone casts and interactive models bring Antarctica’s unique dinosaurs to life! Meet species like Cryolophosaurus and Glacialisaurus and become immersed in the past with more than 60 fossils and striking art depicting Jurassic life.
Step into the shoes of a paleontologist in Antarctica and see how fossils are excavated and prepared with interactive equipment and real gear. Experience the work that goes into being a researcher in this frigid land and the exhausting but exhilarating effort that it takes to dig for fossils.
Discover the origins of this continent and the early plants and animals that inhabited its lush forests before it was covered in ice and snow. See Antarctica transform into today’s polar environment along with the fauna and flora that now call it home.
Learn about current research taking place on the continent by scientists from all over the world and how its drastic transformation from forest to ice can teach us about past, present and future climate change.
- The coldest temperature ever recorded was at the Vostok research station in Antarctica on July 21, 1983: minus 128.56 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While known to be very icy, Antarctica is also very windy. The continent is the windiest on average, and the most extreme gusts can reach up to 200 mph.
- While Antarctica is one of the smaller continents, its ice sheet is the largest block of ice on Earth. It encompasses 5.4 million square miles and is 1.2 miles thick.
- Paleoclimatologists spend a lot of their time in the field on ice sheets extracting tubes of ice using a drill. The chemicals present in the ice specimens allow scientists to figure out weather patterns during different time periods.
- Due to the heaviness of ice sheets, the land beneath them sinks lower over time. The Gamburtsev mountain range in Antarctica spans 750 miles and is 9,000 feet high but is obscured by 2,000 feet of ice.
- Antarctica has some of the coldest and densest seawater and is an important component in the global ocean circulation.
- During the Cretaceous Period, which took place between 145 million and 66 million years ago, Antarctica did not have any ice at all and was instead covered in expansive forests.
- Amphibians and reptiles were the first land animals to inhabit Antarctica, appearing about 250 million years ago.
- Fossils belonging to an Elasmosaurus, an aquatic reptile from the Cretaceous Period, were discovered on a remote island in Antarctica. Scientists were able to determine the reptile had weighed around 15 tons and was about 40 feet long.
- One of the oldest known specimens of Glacialisaurus was discovered on Mount Kirkpatrick in Antarctica at an elevation of about 13,000 ft. These herbivores weighed between 4 to 6 tons and were 20 to 25 feet in length.
Antarctic Dinosaurs was developed by the Field Museum, Chicago in partnership with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Discovery Place – Charlotte, NC, and the Natural History Museum of Utah. Generous support was provided by Kenneth C. Griffin.
Promotional images provided by the Field Museum and Bria Woods for the Witte Museum. This exhibit’s run is sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville/Alachua County, University of Florida Student Government and the Florida Division of Arts and Culture.