American Museum of Natural History Barosaurus/Allosaurus Exhibit Gets Makeover

One of the most spectacular dinosaur exhibits at the world famous American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), is to undergo a makeover.  Dominating the front entrance of this museum dedicated to natural history, is a battle scene between a rearing Barosaurus and an Allosaurus.  The Barosaurus is defending a baby from the attentions of the fearsome Jurassic meat-eater.  Nineteen years after this exhibit was first erected on a platform in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, the centrepiece to the entrance of the museum will be separated into distinct display mounts.

The Spectacular Barosaurus and Allosaurus Display

Picture Credit: AMNH/Gothamist

The company responsible for separating these two duelling Jurassic dinosaurs is Research Casting International.  They will be getting to meet three old friends as it was Research Casting International who first erected the exhibit back in 1991.  The work is planned to take the next six weeks, and for much of this time the Barosaurus, the baby Barosaurus and the attacking Allosaurus will not be fully on display, but once the new exhibit is completed, visitors will be able to walk between the Sauropods and the Theropod for the first time in the museum’s history.

Walking between the mounted skeletons of such creatures will be a new thrill for the five million or so annual visitors.  The American Museum of Natural History will be the only museum in the world to offer such an experience.

The walkway will permit onlookers to gaze up at these leviathans and to get much closer than ever before to parts of the skeletons.

Mark Norell, chairman of the Palaeontology Division stated:

“We’re not a museum of a museum.  We’ve got to change once in a while.”

The decision to separate these two dinosaurs was taken last year, when damage was noticed on the existing display and with increasing concerns over visitor congestion at the front of the museum.

We at Everything Dinosaur have fond memories of our visits to the American Museum of Natural History it was always exciting to walk around these prehistoric monsters, the Barosaurus rearing up onto its hind legs and flailing its forelimbs as a threat gesture to the approaching Allosaurus.  The Barosaurus is the highest mounted skeleton in the world, taller than the recently reconstructed Humboldt Museum Brachiosaurus (Berlin) – we think?

Saying Hello to the Rearing Barosaurus

Barosaurus

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This exhibit is based on the anatomical evidence preserved in the fossilised bones of some Sauropods that indicates that these huge animals could rear up onto their hind legs.  Using their tails to help balance them, animals like Barosaurus could reach branches higher up trees or defend themselves using their large front claw (one enlarged claw on each front foot), against attacks from predators.

This display is one of our all time favourites and it was seeing the amazed expressions of young people coming into the museum that inspired us to set up Everything Dinosaur.  We will be sad to see the original exhibit changed but the science of palaeontology is constantly evolving and changing so it seems very appropriate to change iconic displays such as this from time to time.

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