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New pterosaurs exhibit drops in at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Denise LaRosa
January16/ 2016

Millions of years ago, pterosaurs ruled the skies. Beginning Jan. 30, Pittsburgh families can get up close and interactive with these intriguing features when the Carnegie Museum of Natural History unveils the largest pterosaur exhibit in U.S. history.

Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs is an interactive exhibition that introduces visitors to recent developments in understanding pterosaurs, says Becca Shreckengast, director of exhibit experience.

“Now, there is so much more fossil record available and the understanding of what it must have been like in how pterosaurs behaved, moved, what their wing structure was like and whether they had feathers or fur,” Shreckengast says.

Rare fossils, life-sized models and hands-on interactive displays bring pterosaurs to life throughout the exhibit. Visitors can fly like a pterosaur, using motion-sensing technology, experiment with pterosaur aerodynamics in an interactive virtual wind tunnel and take in a gallery display and fossil cast.

The Preondactylus is one species of pterosaurus sweeping into the Carnegie.
Exotic creatures swooping in

“We’re really trying to showcase new research in natural history and how science is increasing our understanding by identifying species,” says Shreckengast. “This is an emerging science. We want visitors to know that pterosaurs are more than pterodactyl; we want visitors to know the diversity of pterosaurs and that there is an evolutionary tree that’s separate from dinosaurs.”

Organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City as a traveling exhibition, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History was eager to bring the new information about pterosaurs to Pittsburgh. The cutting-edge research and multi-media games make Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit fun and educational, Shreckengast says.

Flying the prehistoric skies
Flying the prehistoric skies

“We want people to be intrigued by new research that they may not be aware of, says Shreckengast. “We want to inspire our visitors to walk away with a new understanding of the life and history of pterosaurs.”

Admission to Pterosuars: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs is $3-$5 in addition to the admission price of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The exhibit opens to the public at noon on Jan. 30, with a special members’ preview from 10 a.m. to noon. The exhibit will be in Pittsburgh through May 22 on the R.P. Simmons Family Gallery, third floor.

Denise LaRosa

Denise is a wife and mother of two girls. She graduated from Carlow University in 2008 with a Master of Education degree in elementary education. A former dancer and elementary school teacher, Denise is now a speaker, writer, mommy blogger and host of her own podcast Mom Talk with Denise LaRosa, which airs on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and Blog Talk Radio. The show is designed to motivate, inspire and inform mothers along their journey in motherhood.