Grand Junction Free Press Staff Report

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July 7, 2011
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It's the 'Summer of T-Rex' at Dinosaur Journey

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, Dinosaur Journey in Fruita is playing host to "The Summer of Tyrannosaurus Rex," a temporary exhibit all about the tyrant king.

The highlight of the exhibit is a full-sized robotic model of a T-Rex that has been designed and critiqued by nationally known paleontologists to be the most life-like and accurate reconstruction to date.

At nearly 50 feet long and 18 feet high, it is believed to be the world's largest robotic dinosaur and was created by Wonderworks Exhibits Company.

In addition to the colossal centerpiece there will be another robotic of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus.

Real fossilized T-Rex bones from the museum's collection from are also on display including leg and hip bones and teeth and claws.

For curator of paleontology Dr. John Foster, the exhibit is an opportunity to not only answer questions but also raise new ones.

"I hope that folks will come away with plenty of questions. For example, why did such a gargantuan predator evolve at a time when the largest prey dinosaurs at the time were so much smaller? Why was the next largest carnivore in the environment nearly 70 times smaller than Tyrannosaurus? There is a lot to wonder about with an animal like this and we believe a moving, life-sized reconstruction will inspire much curiosity," Foster said.

The T-Rex display is just one part of the museum's upcoming annual Dinosaur Days festivities. Events will include a special lecture celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in western Colorado's Rabbit Valley on the evening of July 29. The quarry is the museum's main source for Jurassic paleontological material and is one of the most scientifically important worksites in the world. Also on the 29th will be the Old Fossil Golf Classic at Adobe Creek. Finally, Dinosaur Journey Museum will be open with special activities on July 30.

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The Post Independent Updated Jul 7, 2011 10:43PM Published Jul 7, 2011 10:42PM Copyright 2011 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.