Are dinosaurs really extinct? Was the T-Rex green? Did the Apatosaurus eat leaves? And how do scientists and paleontologists today form theories about these ancient, massive creatures?

While no short answers to these questions exist, the dinosaur exhibition at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate-Greenville certainly does exist — with fossil finds, computer simulations, and dinosaur models.

T-Rex leg cast. Photo provided.

“Dinosaur Discoveries: Ancient Fossils, New Ideas” explores how current theories and researchers’ thoughts about dinosaur biology have evolved with the use of modern technology. The exhibition gives museum visitors an idea of what the mysterious animals looked like and how they behaved.

TCMU’s vice president of programming, Jessica Hayes, says the inexhaustible topic of dinosaurs continues to fascinate children.

“This one’s really cool because they do get to see models and they get to see casts of what dinosaurs actually looked like,” she says, “and it’s pretty high-tech.”

“Dinosaur Discoveries” includes biomedical studies on dinosaur movement, a diorama of an ancient forest, fossil discovery information, scientists’ new approaches and technology to reinterpret fossil evidence, and evidence for theories of what led to dinosaurs’ extinction.

“I think the sheer size of dinosaurs has always just been so interesting to kids because of the fact that no one’s ever seen a dinosaur,” Hayes says. “So, it really encourages their imagination.”

Hayes hopes the exhibition will spark children’s interest in the many careers involved in dinosaur research.

Dinosaur neck structure. Photo provided.

TCMU is also hosting dinosaur story times, dinosaur digs, and dinosaur crafts to go along with the exhibition.

“Dinosaur Discoveries” is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; The Field Museum, Chicago; the Houston Museum of Natural Science; and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh.

TCMU is the nation’s seventh largest children’s museum and was named a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2014.

Triceratops skull. Photo provided.

‘Dinosaur Discoveries: Ancient Fossils, New Ideas’

When: Now through Sept. 15
Where: 300 College St., Greenville
Tickets: $9-$10
Info: www.tcmupstate.org

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