T. rex: The Ultimate Predator
From fluffy hatchling to massive killing machine, AMNH's new exhibition explores the life history, remarkable abilities, and ancient relatives of tyrannosaurus rex.
The full tyrannosaur story includes dozens of different species and spans over 100 million years of evolution, with T. rex appearing only at the very end of that period. Most tyrannosaurs were not giants like T. rex, which, fully grown, weighed between 6 and 9 tons. Early species were small and fast, likely avoiding confrontations with larger dinosaurs.
So how did mega-predators like T. rex evolve from such humble origins? How did T. rex grow so quickly in adolescence, ballooning from the size of a chicken to the size of a truck in just 21 years, gaining up to 4.6 pounds per day? And what kind of super sensory skills and traits did it use to become such an efficient killer?
T. rex: The Ultimate Predator addresses these questions and more with life-sized reconstructions of tyrannosaurs at various life stages, real fossils and casts, large-scale video projections, hands-on interactives, and an exhilarating virtual reality experience that lets visitors work in a group to assemble a T. rex skeleton.
- Visitors encounter a massive life-sized model of a T. rex with patches of feathers—which, as scientists now know, were likely present on nearly all non-avian dinosaurs (all dinosaurs other than birds)—as well as reconstructions of a fluffy, helpless T. rex hatchling and a four-year-old juvenile T. rex;
- a “roar mixer” where visitors can imagine what T. rex might have sounded like by blending sounds from other animals;
- a shadow theater where a floor projection of an adult T. rex skeleton comes to life;
- a magnetic wall where visitors are tasked with placing various tyrannosaur family members in the correct time period;
- a life-sized animation of T.rex in the Cretaceous and real data from fossil specimens, CT scans, and microscope images at a tabletop Investigation Station.
In collaboration with HTC VIVE, the Museum also presents V. rex (working title), its first interactive, multi-player virtual reality experience. Visitors team up to build a T. rex skeleton bone by bone and then watch as it comes to life in what is now Montana, as it was 66 million years ago.