Spinosaurus needs to get a new press agent, because Tyrannosaurus Rex gets all the headlines. T-Rex was given the title "King of the Dinosaurs," but Spinosaurus may actually be the rightful heir. Coming in at more than 50 feet long, 20 feet high and over six tons, the Cretaceous-era dinosaur may be the largest predator to ever walk Earth. And it's now in Washington, D.C.
The National Geographic Museum, located at 17th and M Streets, recently opened an exhibit dedicated to this terrifying carnivore. Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous features a full-sized skeletal model, including its crocodile-shaped skull and seven-foot-tall spines, which formed a sail on its back.
A full-sized skeletal model of a Spineosaurus is now on display at the National Geographic Museum — Photo courtesy of National Geographic Museum
The exhibit takes patrons back in time to the early 20th century, when the first Spinosaurus was found. However, one of its discoverers – German paleontologist Ernst Stromer – lost the fossils and his life's research during a 1944 World War II bombing raid in Munich. More than half a century later, paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim and others joined together to put together a new model through discoveries and detective work.
The exhibit, which runs until Sunday, April 12, 2015, is a welcome sight in the nation's capital. This past spring, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's Fossil Hall closed for a five-year, $48 million renovation, leaving dinosaur enthusiasts without a venue to see the large reptiles.
The museum also offers two 3D movie experiences for dinosaur fans, which run until Wednesday, April 1. Flying Monsters 3D takes a closer look at Pterosaurs, the airborne reptiles that ruled the skies during the days of the dinosaurs. Sharks are the main predatory threat in today's oceans, but they are nothing compared to the creatures who lurked underwater when the dinosaurs walked the earth.
In Sea Monsters 3D: A Prehistoric Adventure, filmmakers spotlight terrifying reptiles such as the 40-foot-long Tylosaurus and the giraffe-necked Styxosaurus. Admission for one movie is $7, or you can enjoy a double feature for $12.
Admission to the National Geographic Museum is $7 for children between the ages of five and 12; $9 for military, seniors and members of the museum; and $11 for adults.
Located within walking distance of the White House, the National Geographic Museum recommends allotting two hours to spend on its exhibits. Make sure you take your time because, before you know it, the Spinosaurus exhibit will be gone.