Welcome to Superoceras, a blog about science and natural history, slightly biased towards paleontology and zoology, but inclusive of all sciences. Started in October of 2009, my goal is to communicate scientific knowledge (and the occasional piece of nonsense) in an informative and entertaining manner. Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, concerns, or criticism at superoceras(at)gmail(dot)com, and follow me on Twitter @Superoceras for all that and more in 140 characters or less!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Things I Learned This Semester #4

Today's "thing I learned this semester" is actually a news item I heard about just yesterday.  And boy is it good news. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (SNMNH) is finally going to get a new Dinosaur Hall!  David H. Koch (you may recognize the name from another hall in the museum) has made the largest donation in the history of the SNMNH, and has provided the museum with $35 million to update what is one of the museum's most popular, but ridiculously outdated, halls.

Allosaurus (of course) on display in the center "stage" of the SNMNH's current Dinosaur Hall.
I've been visiting that museum for nearly 30 years now, and with the exception of a few minor changes in exhibit, things in the Dinosaur Hall are all relatively the same.  Anyone that has been there in the last three decades knows exactly what I'm talking about; those dioramas are wonderful in a vintage paleoart kind of way, but they've got to go!  The museum recently (relatively speaking) opened the Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals, the Sant Ocean Hall, and the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, and they are all wonderful, and contain up to date information.  Bringing the existing Dinosaur Hall up to speed in a similar manner will definitely benefit the museum and the public.

The current hall will close to the public in the spring of 2014, so go see it while you can.  It will reopen, new and improved in 2019.  That seems like a long time to wait, but some of the dinosaurs will be on display in other areas of the museum.  And I guarantee the wait will be worth it in the long run.  I just can't wait to see what they do with! Do you have any ideas or suggestions? If you would redesign the Dinosaur Hall, how would you do it?


  1. Replies
    1. According to the reports, heck yeah they did! Koch is providing $35 million of the $45 million needed. After seeing how his donations transformed the AMNH and the SNMNH already, I'm fairly excited about the whole scenario!