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ROM's New Age of Dinosaurs and Age of Mammals Galleries Open
View of James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs during installation, Level 2. The marine reptiles: Platecarpus coryphaeus (above), and Trinacromerum kirki (below); Xiphactinus audax (far top), and the giant sea turtle Archelon audax (far bottom). Image: © Royal Ontario Museum, 2007. All rights reserved.


TORONTO, CA.- Dinosaurs are back at the ROM! The James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs are now open, which along with the Gallery of the Age of Mammals, will be the first two permanent galleries to open in the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) spectacular new addition, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal.

The prism-shaped galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs and Age of Mammals boast 1,450 sq. metres (15,600 sq. feet) of space and 5.4-metre (18-foot) high ceilings to accommodate the Museum’s tallest specimens. The galleries are home to over 750 specimens, including 50 dinosaur specimens, of which 25 are fully-mounted skeletons, as well as 30 fossil mammal skeletons representing the diversity of life during the Age of Dinosaurs and the Age of Mammals.

“It is a pleasure to celebrate the opening of these two magnificent galleries, among the Museum’s most popular and scientifically prominent,” says ROM Director and CEO William Thorsell. “I am particularly delighted with the architecture and design of these spaces; leaning out over Bloor Street, their glass walls offer enticing outside glimpses of the hundreds of rare fossil specimens on view inside. These unique galleries are unlike any dinosaur exhibits you’ve ever seen before - at the ROM, or anywhere in the world.”

The large angular expanse of windows overlooking Bloor Street West will put on public display such beasts as “Gordo”, the ROM’s massive 27-metre (90-foot) Barosaurus skeleton, the largest dinosaur on permanent display in Canada and one of only two Barosaurus skeletons on display in the world. Other highlights include the ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex, and large display of the ROM’s rich hadrosaur collection, one of the best in the world. In both new galleries, a vast array of plant and animal specimens drawn from the ROM’s impressive collections, including several recent acquisitions, are installed in engaging displays that illuminate not only the creatures themselves, but also the natural environments they inhabited.

"We are delighted to present the first in a series of Michael Lee-Chin Crystal galleries," said Gerry McCaughey, President and Chief Executive Officer of CIBC, the Inaugural Season Sponsor of the new ROM. "The opening of the Temerty Dinosaur Galleries along with the Gallery of the Age of Mammals is a tremendous milestone for the Museum and CIBC is pleased to play a role in bringing these exciting exhibits to the public."

James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs: Approximately 350 specimens, including 50 dinosaur specimens, of which 25 of which are fully-mounted skeletons, will be featured in the Temerty Dinosaur Galleries. Divided into two general themes, Life on Land and Life in the Sea, the Galleries display fossils from the Jurassic (200 to 145 million years old) and Cretaceous (145 to 65 million years old) Periods. (Triassic Period fossils, 250 to 200 million years old, will be displayed in an adjacent gallery on Level 2 of the historic Queen’s Park building, opening in 2009.)

“After nearly five years of planning and preparing, it is so exciting to see the new galleries take shape,” says Coordinating Curator, Janet Waddington. “I also love that the galleries are not just about dinosaurs - there are plants, insects, marine life and more, giving a much fuller picture of life in the age of dinosaurs.”

The Galleries include a selection of the ROM’s most important specimens, including its most famous dinosaur, the rare and spectacular Parasaurolophus, a hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) known for its tubular head crest that measures over one metre (three feet) long. Another is Gryposaurus, the first dinosaur ever to be acquired by the ROM. An entire wall will be dedicated to a variety of hadrosaurs, with a series of skulls tracking the growth of these extraordinary creatures.

A new highlight of the Temerty Dinosaur Galleries is the mounted skeleton of one of the largest known dinosaurs, a Barosaurus, which was recently rediscovered in the ROM’s own collections. Stretching the width of the east Crystal, the ROM’s Barosaurus is Canada’s only mounted sauropod skeleton consisting largely of real fossil bone and the largest dinosaur skeleton on permanent display in the country. The entire assembled skeleton is approximately 27 metres (90 feet) in length, and when alive would have weighed as much as 15,000 kilograms (15 tonnes). In recognition of Dr. Gordon Edmund, who acquired the specimen, the Museum has nicknamed the dinosaur “Gordo.” (See Massive Barosaurus Skeleton Discovered at the ROM news release in the Newsroom at www.rom.on.ca).

“When fully mounted, the Barosaurus will be an amazing addition to the gallery,” says Dr. David Evans, Associate Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology. “We have more original fossil material on display than ever before. The new gallery includes 25 fully-mounted dinosaur skeletons, which look stunning in their new space.”

With the closing of the old Dinosaur Gallery in 2005, the Museum was afforded the opportunity to remount nine specimens in accordance with the most current scientific thought. The hadrosaur Corythosaurus has changed the most from old to new Dinosaur gallery. Collected by Levi Sternberg in 1919, the skeleton was originally mounted in a bipedal upright pose, but it has been repositioned to show the scientifically accepted horizontal posture. Chasmosaurus, a relative of Triceratops, has also been reposed in a more dynamic, charging posture. (See ROM Dinosaurs Strike New Poses news release in the Newsroom at www.rom.on.ca).

“Dismantling and remounting the skeletons of the Royal Ontario Museum has been an exciting and rewarding project,” says Peter May, Founder of Research Casting International. “The specimens have been completely cleaned and reconsolidated, old adhesives and preservatives have been removed and new updated materials have been applied to ensure the longevity of the specimens while on public display. New armatures have been made to support the fossils and the skeletons are now in new scientifically accurate postures. Research Casting International is very proud and honoured to have worked on the ROM collections.”

Other highlights of the Temerty Dinosaur Galleries include a full-skeleton cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex, an extremely well preserved Triceratops skull containing a remarkable amount of real, mineralized bone, and the fierce hunter Albertosaurus, which was also recently remounted. There is a selection of horned dinosaurs from Alberta, including the skull of Arrhinoceratops, the best-preserved specimen of its kind and the only complete skull of this rare horned dinosaur, a cousin of Triceratops.

Sections devoted to marine life during the Age of Dinosaurs offer greatly expanded displays including an enormous six-metre (20-foot) dolphin-like ichthyosaur, an acquisition made possible by the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust (see ROM Acquires Outstanding Ichthyosaur release in the Newsroom at www.rom.on.ca). Other marine fossils on display include an ancient crocodile, fish and several invertebrates (including fossil squids), many of which served as food for marine reptiles. Suspended in the atrium above the entrance to the Museum are cast skeletons of the giant sea turtle Archelon ischyodus measuring 15 feet long, and Xiphactinus audax, a 17.5-foot long fish, both of which inhabited a sea that covered parts of present-day North America during the Cretaceous Period, demonstrating that dinosaurs were not the only giants of their time.





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