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Museum of Idaho announces newest traveling exhibit

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - The Museum of Idaho announced the grand opening of its newest special exhibit, Dinos of the Deep.

MOI is transforming into an underwater experience, surrounded by some of the largest prehistoric predators of the western seas.

The exhibit will feature 36 species, including: monstrous carnivorous marine reptiles, flying reptiles with the wingspan of a small plane, and giant flesh-eating fish who could swallow an entire adult human.

“Dinos of the Deep is perfect for anyone who loves a little prehistoric drama,” MOI senior director of programs and engagement Chloe Doucette said. “Battling mosasaurs? Check. Nine-foot megalodon jaws? Check. This exhibit will give visitors a chance to explore our ancient environment, get their hands on real fossils, and dive into the process of paleontology.”

While dinosaurs were roaming the land, marine reptiles were lurking off the coast of the Western Interior Seaway, which divided North America in half.

“Dinos of the Deep sheds remarkable light on the Cretaceous period,” director Rod Hanson said. “We have explored the giant T. Rex roaming in what is now Montana and Wyoming, but now the Museum of Idaho is sharing more about the giants swimming in what is now Kansas!”

MOI executive director Jeff Carr said he gets excited to see members of the community already itching to dive into this new exhibit.

“I think Dinos of the Deep delivers perfectly on our aim to bring East Idaho experiences that are fun, massive, and real, helping us all explore a new part of our universe.”

Experience the magnitude and magnificence of these prehistoric marine reptiles in person through one of the museum’s most cinematic exhibits.

Dinos of the Deep is the only traveling exhibit featuring the marine fossil world of the late cretaceous period.

Although Pserosauria, Mosasaur, Ichthyosauria, and Plesiosaur all carry the “saur” in their names, they are technically not dinosaurs.

Their names merely describe their relationship with lizards (“sauros” in Greek means “lizard”).

Dinosaurs can walk upright on their limbs, but marine reptiles cannot. Some, such as the Mosasaur, needed to surface on land occasionally (similar to a turtle), but that still does not mean he’s a dinosaur.

On the other hand, most dinosaurs are reptiles, but scientists say they just took a different evolutionary path.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, MOI will celebrate its 20 year anniversary. Two decades ago, the museum opened its first traveling exhibit to the public with "A T.Rex Named Sue” and the rest is history. We will be opening our 20 Year Anniversary exhibit in March to celebrate 20 years of excellence and leadership in education within the community. MOI will announce those details as we get closer to the exhibit’s opening.

Important exhibit opening dates:

  • Saturday, February 18: MOI celebrates 20 year anniversary
  • Saturday, February 25: Dinos of the Deep opens to the public
  • Friday, February 24: Evening VIP event
  • Thursday, February 23: Member Preview Day
Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Linda Larsen

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