Chicago's Field Museum to unveil flying reptiles and world's largest dinosaur

Chicago's Field Museum to unveil flying reptiles and world's largest dinosaur

First “Jurassic World,” now the real world

Last August, Chicago’s Field Museum made a really big announcement that a new resident dinosaur –the world’s largest– would be installed in the museum in spring of 2018. 

The 122-foot Patagotitan mayorum (pat-uh-go-tie-tan my-or-um) who we will call ‘Pat’ until the museum gives it an official name will be the centerpiece in the Museum’s main entry, Stanley Field Hall, replacing SUE the T Rex (who will be moved to a special room of her own in the museum).

Last summer’s announcement was made on the heels of  the museum’s popular “Jurassic World,” exhibit based on the movie of the same name, that opened in spring 2017 in a very large tent adjacent the museum.

Further details were released this week on the upcoming installation which is scheduled to open in early June (2018).

The main attraction, Pat, the titanosaur, who’s about to become the ‘rock’ star of the dino world–will take up a third of the Museum’s main Stanley Field Hall, with its head peeking over the 28-foot balcony to the second floor.

But that’s not all.

fieldmuseumdino1Pat will be joined by life-size, detailed replicas of giant flying reptiles, as well as state-of-the-art hanging gardens.

‘These additions, says Field Museum president Richard Lariviere,  “mark the beginning of a transformation of the iconic hall for the Museum’s 125th anniversary this year. Our goal,” he continues, “as an institution is to offer visitors the best possible dinosaur experiences, and we want that to start right when visitors first enter Stanley Field Hall. The new hanging gardens and the flock of pterosaurs will take our visitors back to the age of the dinosaurs and will complement the new titanosaur.”

The gardens, pterosaurs, titanosaur, and renovations to SUE are all made possible by Citadel CEO Kenneth C. Griffin, who’s recently been in the news for purchasing Chicago’s most expensive home ever.

Griffin’s gift of $16.5 million signals the beginning of groundbreaking changes coming to the Museum in its 125th year. “Visiting The Field Museum has brought tremendous joy and wonder to my children and me over the years,” says Griffin. “I am proud to support such an outstanding institution so that children and families can better understand and appreciate dinosaurs and their history.”

The flock of pterosaurs (flying reptiles, NOT dinosaurs) will give visitors a lifelike look at the animals that shared the planet with the dinosaurs.

The pterosaur replicas include nine hawk-sized Rhamphorhynchus (ram-foh-RINK-us), two Pteranodon (teh-RAN-oh-don) with 18-foot-wingspans, and two giant Quetzalcoatlus (ket-zal-co-AHT-lus), whose spread wings stretch 35 feet. For context, 35 feet is about the length of a bus.

In addition to the pterosaurs, Stanley Field Hall will also be home to new state-of-the-art hanging gardens. The gardens, which will be made of 3D-printed plastic and were co-designed by architect Daniel Pouzet and Field Museum Design Director Àlvaro Amat, will contain over 1,000 live plants, as well as additional lighting for the space. The four garden structures, the largest of which is 35 feet across, will be suspended from the hall’s ceiling and can be lowered to the ground during special events. The plants themselves will be hydroponic, growing in inert volcanic rock and receiving water and fertilizer from the ceiling.

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