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Get Whipped Up "Into a Frenzy" at Top Spot for Dinosaurs

Children's Museum of Indianapolis ranked above many other museums as a best place for dinosaurs

INDIANAPOLIS--The "Dinoshpere" at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis is one of the top places in the world to see dinosaur fossils. That's from Fodor's travel publications. They list the Museum as number three, behind only the American Museum of National History and the Dinosaur National Monument, and behind Dinosaur Ridge in Colorado and the Natural History Museum in London.

"The Children's Museum deserves its number three ranking," said Dr. Phil Manning, scientist-in-residence, and paleontologist at the Museum. "I just want to see it gently getting into second or first in the future because when you walk into that remarkable Dinosphere where they have t-rex, triceratops, gorgosaurus-a whole menagerie of dinosaurs-kids get totally immersed in the prehistoric world. It's absolutely wonderful."

The head of the Museum agreed.

Paleo Discovery

“I couldn’t be more proud of our dedicated team of paleontologists, museum staff and volunteers who work hard every day to ensure our Dinosphere visitors are immersed in the world of real fossils and paleo discovery,” said Dr. Jeffrey Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum.

"Looking at these bones is awe-inspiring. But, then to have someone whip you up into a frenzy of excitement is precisely what the staff do at the Children's Museum," said Manning, who also teaches at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Victoria Egerton, also a paleontologist, also serves as a scientist-in-residence at the Museum. 

The Big Kids

In addition to their scientific research, Manning and Egerton spin a tale that makes listeners feel like they are actually sitting around a Cretaceous watering hole watching the giant creatures approach, said a news release from the Museum. Manning has starred in several National Geographic documentaries about dinosaurs.

He said his role at the Children's Museum helps him stay excited about his job.

"Basically, most paleontologists, if they're being really honest with you, we're big kids," he said. "We are the biggest kids on the planet. It is a Peter Pan subject."

He's also quite proud of the way the Museum's displays are presented.

"It's not the rubber, burping, moving sort of dinosaurs, which are total rubbish. What you have are fantastic, real bones, the actual animals that would have stalked the Earth over 66 million years ago," said Manning.

Current fossils on display at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis also have fascinating stories to tell. They include Leonardo, the Mummified Dinosaur (listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as one of the most complete dinosaur specimens ever discovered), Dracorex hogwartsia, which looks like a dragon and is named after the school in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series and is the first discovered of its genus and species, along with a Gorgosaur with a brain tumor, said the Museum.


PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis

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