December 15, 2023
At Fernbank, we are always excited to welcome dinosaur fans of all ages! Something that is often fun for Fernbank’s staff members is when we see our guests dressed in their dinosaur attire – and you might suspect a child in a dinosaur shirt, but we see quite a few adults in their favorite dinosaur shirts (retro Jurassic Park tees are popular!). Even if you don’t have a dinosaur-themed wardrobe, there are plenty of ways to seek out dinosaurs on your next Fernbank visit.
The three Lophorothon dinosaurs that greet your arrival at Fernbank are pretty easy to find! They make a background for a great photo opportunity, but they also have important ties to our region. When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, this species of hadrosaur would have lived in the area we today call Georgia. As such, we even named one “Georgia.” Lophorhothon means “crested nose,” and you can easily spot how these dinosaurs got their name.
Giants of the Mesozoic
Dinosaur fans are naturally drawn to this dramatic dinosaur scene in the Great Hall. Wrapping around the atrium and reaching up to the second level, the Argentinosaurus and Giganotosaurus can command a room. It’s a great opportunity to understand just how large dinosaurs could be. In fact, these are among the largest herbivores and carnivores ever discovered. While Giganotosaurus is often confused for a T. rex, it was actually slightly larger.
A Walk Through Time in Georgia
In the center of this exhibit, you'll discover a hall of dinosaurs, dominated by T. rex and a variety of other dinosaur species.
When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, parts of Georgia were underwater. Yet don't despair, dinosaur fossils have been discovered in Georgia north of the “Fall Line,” the geologic boundary that separates the Piedmont region from the Coastal Plain and was the shoreline during the Mesozoic Era. You can see casts of full-sized dinosaurs and other fossils in this gallery, including those native to our state. A paleontologist named Dr. David Schwimmer (yes, really, “Friends” fans!) has studied many of these dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles and is referenced in the exhibit.
Stegosaurus on the Terrace
Another favorite photo op is with “Steggy,” on the back Terrace overlooking WildWoods. This Stegosaurus was modeled after an exhibit of dinosaurs for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. The Sinclair Oil Corporation sponsored “Dinoland,” which featured life-size replicas of nine different dinosaurs, including Stegosaurus.
See for yourself! This historic photo of the dinosaurs being transported down the Hudson River looks like our Steggy’s twin.
You’ll have to do a little investigative work to find the dinosaur bones in this exhibit as you think about how paleontologists search for clues. (Hint: they are often found in layers of earth). Keep your eyes peeled for a skull and other bones as you explore the rock strata near the caves.
Honey, we shrunk the dinosaurs! Check out our Tiny Door art installation along the nature path in WildWoods. It’s small but mighty, especially when you scan the QR code that allows you to explore the special augmented reality component.
Our Favorite Things
This exhibit was co-curated by Fernbank staff members from every department. They each got to take a tour of Collections—where the museum safely stores objections that are not on display—and pick a favorite item to put into the exhibit . Among the cool objects, such as a Mastodon tusk, butterfly specimens and gemstones, you’ll also find a Bellusaurus skeleton, a dinosaur that once roamed what’s today known as China.
We invite you to go on a dinosaur hunt on your next visit to Fernbank. Because we frequently have touring exhibits, Museum Store merchandise and Giant Screen Films that feature dinosaurs, you may just find something you’ve never seen before!