Jul
31

Take a sneak peek into Deep Time–and get a glimpse of our future

Life and the Earth have always evolved together.

When it opens on June 8, 2019, the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils—Deep Time will take visitors on a journey through the epic story of our planet and the life that has both shaped and been shaped by it.

Deep Time starts at the very beginning—4.6-billion-years ago. But it ends in the future. Along the way, visitors will travel through ancient ecosystems, experience the evolution of plant and animal life, and get up close with some 700 specimens, including an Alaskan palm tree, early insects, reptiles and mammals, and dramatically posed giants like Tyrannosaurus rex, Diplodocus and the woolly mammoth.

The massive, 31,000-square-foot exhibition will inspire a new generation of dinosaur lovers and scientists. It will also prompt individuals to think about their own impact on the planet.

Unlike past extinction and warming events, human activities are driving Earth’s rapidly changing climate today. The exhibition will give visitors tools to interpret the past, present, and future and see how the choices they make today will live far beyond them, in deep time.

The Nation’s T. rex has returned to the museum where it will be the centerpiece of the new fossil hall alongside more than 700 specimens, including dinosaurs, plants, animals and insects, some never before displayed at the National Museum of Natural History.

Stacked crates labeled T rex

When the fossil hall at the National Museum of natural history closed in 2014 for renovations, all specimens on display were removed for conservation and study by Smithsonian scientists. Several spectacular dinosaur fossils from the hall were disassembled and taken to Research Casting International in Ontario, Canada, where they were repositioned into dramatic, new and more scientifically accurate poses. Those fossils, including the T. rex, are being transported back to the museum for permanent installation in the new hall slated to open June 8, 2019. (Photo by Mike Gaudaur – Quinte Studios)

T rex skeleton in crate

When the fossil hall closed in 2014 for renovations, all specimens on display were removed for conservation and study by Smithsonian scientists. Several spectacular dinosaur fossils from the hall were disassembled and taken to Research Casting International in Ontario, Canada, where they were repositioned into dramatic, new and more scientifically accurate poses. Those fossils, including the T. rex, are being transported back to the museum for permanent installation in the new hall slated to open June 8, 2019. (Photo by Mike Gaudaur – Quinte Studios)

T rex skeleton in crate

When the fossil hall closed in 2014 for renovations, all specimens on display were removed for conservation and study by Smithsonian scientists. Several spectacular dinosaur fossils from the hall were disassembled and taken to Research Casting International in Ontario, Canada, where they were repositioned into dramatic, new and more scientifically accurate poses. Those fossils, including the T. rex, are being transported back to the museum for permanent installation in the new hall slated to open June 8, 2019. (Photo by Mike Gaudaur – Quinte Studios)

Two fossil dinosaurs posed in combat

In its time, Tyrannosaurus was the largest meat eater in western North America. It feasted on dinosaurs large and small, including plant eaters like the Triceratops. Few—if any—animals could take down a healthy, adult Tyrannosaurus.
As the apex predator, the “tyrant king” affected the entire community. Each meal Tyrannosaurus killed or scavenged helped keep populations of some species in check and provided leftovers for others.
In its new pose devouring a Triceratops, the Nation’s T. rex will be the centerpiece of the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils—Deep Time, a 31,000-square-foot dinosaur and fossil hall slated to open June 8, 2019.
Smithsonian Institution

Two fossil dinosaurs posed in combat

In its time, Tyrannosaurus was the largest meat eater in western North America. It feasted on dinosaurs large and small, including plant eaters like the Triceratops. Few—if any—animals could take down a healthy, adult Tyrannosaurus.
As the apex predator, the “tyrant king” affected the entire community. Each meal Tyrannosaurus killed or scavenged helped keep populations of some species in check and provided leftovers for others.
In its new pose devouring a Triceratops, the Nation’s T. rex will be the centerpiece of the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils—Deep Time, a 31,000-square-foot dinosaur and fossil hall slated to open June 8, 2019. (Smithsonian Institution)

Close up of fossil specimens

In its time, Tyrannosaurus was the largest meat eater in western North America. It feasted on dinosaurs large and small, including plant eaters like the Triceratops. Few—if any—animals could take down a healthy, adult Tyrannosaurus.
As the apex predator, the “tyrant king” affected the entire community. Each meal Tyrannosaurus killed or scavenged helped keep populations of some species in check and provided leftovers for others.
In its new pose devouring a Triceratops, the Nation’s T. rex will be the centerpiece of the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils—Deep Time, a 31,000-square-foot dinosaur and fossil hall slated to open June 8, 2019. (Smithsonian Institution)


Posted: 31 July 2018
About the Author:

The Torch editor is fired with a burning desire to ignite the flames of enthusiasm among her Smithsonian colleagues while brandishing the Torch of knowledge. She also likes puns.