Third-Largest Gold Nugget in Existence Returns to Perot Museum
One of the world’s most famous gold nuggets is making its return to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The Ausrox Gold Nugget, a true rock star in the gem and mineral world, was on loan as part of the original collection that debuted in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall when the Museum opened to the public in December 2012. In 2015, the precious mineral headed south to the Houston Museum of Natural Science but is now back in all its glittering glory.
Incredibly, this treasure, found in the Eastern Goldfield of Australia, was discovered by three prospectors using a hand-held metal detector.
Tipping the scales at 23.27 kilos or 51.29 pounds, the Ausrox Nugget is regarded as the third-largest gold nugget still in existence. While the bullion value of the nugget is already substantial, the size and rarity of the Ausrox Nugget combine to make its worth invaluable in the collector market.
Journey to Space
Get as close to space as possible without leaving Earth!
What’s it like to live and work in space? How do astronauts sleep in a weightless environment, go to the bathroom in orbit, and what effect does space travel have on their bodies? Explore the extraordinary conditions, dangers and rewards of human space travel in Journey to Space, the latest traveling exhibition at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Featuring two walk-through, rotating labs that let visitors “climb aboard” the International Space Station (ISS) Destiny module, Journey to Space is a hands-on adventure for all ages that demonstrates the advancements in spacecraft and spacesuit technology that allow people to exist for longer periods of time in a hostile environment. The exhibition runs Oct. 21, 2017-May 6, 2018 with member preview days Oct. 19-20. The exhibition is presented locally by Highland Capital Management and requires a surcharge.
Presented in English and Spanish, Journey to Space explores the astonishing yet forbidding environment of space. From the vacuum of space and radiation to meteoroids and temperature extremes, guests of all ages will learn about the perils that astronauts face during their missions and the adaptations that engineers have developed to help them survive while in space. With 10,000 square feet of interactives, whole-body experiences and authentic artifacts, visitors can launch a rocket, test gravity in a drop tower, control a robotic arm, and experience the sights and sounds (and even smells!) on board an orbiting space station. Even tykes and tots will have a blast at the space station activity area and construction center, complete with dollhouses and space station figurines. Nearby, guests can marvel at Neil Armstrong’s actual helmet and gloves from his Apollo 11 mission along with numerous authentic space travel and exploration relics.
The ultimate space experience continues with Journey to Space 3D (Oct. 19, 2017-May 6, 2018) in The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. Narrated by Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Patrick Stewart, the 20-minute film explains how space exploration didn’t die with the end of the Space Shuttle program. Rather, some of the most exciting missions of our time are ahead – from capturing asteroids to landing astronauts on Mars.
Journey to Space was designed and developed by the Science Museum of Minnesota in partnership with the International Space Station Office of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the California Science Center and partner museums.
- Press release (English- web)
- Press release (English - doc)
- Press release (English - PDF)
- Press release (Spanish - web)
- Press release (Spanish - doc)
- Press release (Spanish PDF)
- Additional resources
Perot Museum of Nature and Science Announces Julie Diaz as New Chief Advancement Officer
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has tapped widely respected nonprofit leader Julie Diaz, best known for her work at Greenhill School and SMU, as its new chief advancement officer. Diaz, who will assume her duties October 16, will guide and oversee the Museum’s development, membership, sales and marketing departments.
Diaz brings an impressive background to the position that includes leading the fundraising, board and alumni relations, marketing and communications efforts in the nonprofit, performing arts and education sectors. In addition, she is intimately familiar with Dallas, having recently served nearly a decade as chief advancement officer at Greenhill where she led a successful $54.5-million capital campaign and unified the school’s branding, among her many accomplishments.
The hiring of Diaz rounds out the Museum’s executive leadership team, which also includes Sally Berven, chief financial officer; Dave Humphries, chief operating officer, Dan Kohl, chief innovation officer; Dr. Anthony Fiorillo, vice president of research and collections and chief curator; and Mary Baerg, who was recently named to the newly created position of chief experience officer. The management team reports to CEO Dr. Silver, an experienced and dynamic leader in the nonprofit science and technology education sector. She joined the Perot Museum in early July from the Government of Abu Dhabi, where she had led science and technology promotion initiatives for the Technology Development Committee (TDC) as associate director since 2011.
Perot Museum Scientist Co-Authors Paper on Discovery of Japan's Oldest Fossil Bird
During a walk near a reservoir in Hokkaido, Japan, amateur collectors (and brothers) made the discovery of their lives – the first and oldest fossil bird ever identified in their country. The new species has been named Chupkaornis keraorum – Chupka is the Ainu word used by indigenous people from Hokkaido for ‘eastern,’ and keraorum is named after Masatoshi and Yasuji Kera, who discovered the specimen. The bird would have lived during the time when dinosaurs roamed the land. The scientific paper describing the find has been posted by the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. Perot Museum VP of Research and Collections and Chief Curator Anthony R. Fiorillo, Ph.D. is a co-author on the paper and works with several of the Japanese co-authors in his Alaska field work. The discovery has broader importance beyond Asia. “This study not only tells important new information about the evolution of this unusual group of birds, it also helps further our understanding of life in the ancient northern Pacific region, more specifically what was going on in the ocean while dinosaurs walked the land,” Dr. Fiorillo explained.
See and read more about the discovery below.
- Scientific reconstruction of Chupkaornis keraorum by Japanese paleo-artist Masato Hattori
- Press Release (doc)
- Press Release (web)
- Press Release (PDF)
- Research paper in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (PDF)
2017-2018 Season at the Perot Museum
Astronauts and dinosaurs and one-of-a-kind minerals! Demonstrating that science spans all dimensions, the Perot Museum of Nature of Science unveils its lineup for 2017-2018. Headlining the season are two traveling exhibitions – Journey to Space (Oct. 21, 2017-May 6, 2018), which includes a full-size simulated International Space Station, and Ultimate Dinosaurs (June 23, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019), which brings to life a new menagerie of dinosaurs discovered in the Southern Hemisphere. The 2017-2018 season also offers up a score of offerings to appease all ages and interests – from a brilliant cast of National Geographic speakers, architecture tours of the building and adults-only nights, to new 3D films, family-fun Discovery Days, seasonal Discovery Camps and more.
The Eyes of Africa
Ten years after a spectacular “alien eye” mineral was unearthed by a miner in Namibia, the enormous and intensely beautiful specimen – dubbed The Eyes of Africa – makes its debut at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall. An unprecedented discovery that has garnered a cult-like following in the mineral-collecting community, 2-foot-tall The Eyes of Africa is not only rare, mesmerizing, and the largest known specimen, but the story – and 10-year journey – behind its discovery is unusual and intriguing.
Perot Museum Appoints Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver as the Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer
The Board of Directors of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas announced that Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver, an experienced and dynamic leader in the nonprofit science and technology education sector, has been named the Museum's Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer. She will assume her duties July 1, 2017.
National Conversation on Educational Access and Equity
The National Archives Foundation, in partnership with the Perot Museum, presented A National Conversation on Educational Access and Equity Tuesday, March 7 in the Museum’s Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. The event began with a keynote conversation with veteran journalist and commentator Cokie Roberts and Gregg Fleisher, president of the National Math and Science Initiative, followed by remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. Roberts then moderated a panel discussion about the most critical educational issues in front of our nation today. The impressive lineup of panelists included National LULAC President Hector Flores, Commit! Executive Director Todd Williams, Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell, and early education expert Sharon Shaffer.
- National Archives Foundation press release (doc)
- National Archives Foundation press release (PDF)
Spring Break at the Perot Museum
With the largest, most comprehensive Maya exhibition ever to tour the U.S., gripping 3D films, spring break camps, Discovery Days, special programming, sleepovers, extended hours and more,
the Perot Museum is anything but a garden-variety destination this spring.
Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed
A jewel-studded royal tomb, hidden languages, human sacrifice, sports and extraordinary architecture. All define the fascinating Maya civilization that is the bedrock of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s traveling exhibition, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed. The largest traveling Maya exhibition ever to tour the U.S., the 10,000-foot display brings together more than 200 authentic artifacts and immersive environments to explore the astonishing accomplishments of one of the most powerful indigenous Mesoamerican civilizations, which still has millions of living descendants today. Visitors will learn how the Maya built towering temples and created an intricate calendar system while discovering what archaeologists have uncovered about the once-hidden ancient Maya and the unresolved questions about why their cities were abandoned. Through hands-on activity stations complete with video and simulations, guests can decipher hieroglyphs, learn cultural and architectural techniques, and explore an underworld cave, ancient burial site, mural room and more. The bilingual exhibition, presented in English and Spanish, requires a surcharge for members and non-members. Presented by Highland Capital Management, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed will run through Sept. 4, 2017, at the Perot Museum. Member preview days are Feb. 9-10.
- Press release (English - web)
- Press release (English - doc)
- Press release (English - pdf)
- Press release (Spanish - web)
- Press release (Spanish - doc)
- Press release (Spanish - pdf)
- Maya promotional video
- Maya exhibition photos
Mars Bus Experience
In partnership with Lockheed Martin’s Generation Beyond program, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will host the high-tech Mars Experience Bus on Saturday, Jan. 7, in the Museum’s front parking lot. The approximately four-minute “journey” on the 30-passenger bus is free with general admission to the Museum.
The bus, which took 100 people five months to create, uses mobile virtual reality to show visitors what it’s like to drive on Mars’ surface. Created by Lockheed Martin, it features four 85-inch high-definition 4K monitors – and the film and animation run the Unreal 4 game engine, the same technology that powers the biggest hit video games. Family-friendly activity stations around the bus include stomp rockets, a “Mars photo” opportunity and an interactive model of the International Space Station.
While not mapped to specific features of Mars, the images bus visitors see are based on raw NASA image files from the planet. The animation includes a few manmade objects on Mars today, such as the Curiosity Rover, and passes through what the first base camp on Mars might look like. The Lockheed Martin team mapped more than 200 square miles of Mars for riders to virtually travel through.
Holidays at the Perot Museum
Football-sized gems, show-stopping birds, dry ice, liquid nitrogen, acorn dissecting, dancing corn and “blubber” gloves are among the Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s festive lineup of holiday happenings. At the pinnacle is the groundbreaking Birds of Paradise exhibition, where the adventures and stories behind the first survey of all 39 birds-of-paradise are documented and brilliantly displayed. Also adding sparkle to the season are 29 magnificent gems, never before seen together, in Giant Gems of the Smithsonian. Other holiday happenings include extreme 3D films, a “winter wonderland” sleepover, free cocoa with any dessert purchase in the Café (Dec. 1-31), Discovery Camps, special activities and family programming, plus extended hours during the Thanksgiving and winter breaks (at select times). Visit perotmuseum.org/holiday for additional details.
- Holiday press release (web)
- Holiday press release (doc)
- Holiday press release (pdf)
- Birds of Paradise press release
- Photos of 2016 holiday blogger event
2017 National Geographic Speaker Series
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has announced the lineup for its 2017 National Geographic Live! Speaker Series. The series kicks off Jan. 5, in conjunction with the Museum’s First Thursday Late Night, with record-breaking mountaineer Hilaree O’Neill, the first female to climb the world’s first- and fourth-tallest mountains in under 24 hours. The three-part series also will feature National Geographic Fellow and aquatic ecologist Zeb Hogan, host of Nat Geo’s Monster Fish TV show. Then Mireya Mayor will discuss her surprising transition from NFL cheerleader to National Geographic Emerging Explorer and wildlife expert. All three lectures will take place at 7 p.m. in The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. Season and individual tickets are on sale now at perotmuseum.org.
Birds of Paradise
Found only in the rainforests of New Guinea, the stunning birds-of-paradise are among nature’s most beautifully bizarre flying creatures. Making its only Texas stop at the Perot Museum, Birds of Paradise, developed by National Geographic and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology reveals all 39 species of these elusive birds for the first time. The exhibition will take visitors on an exotic journey throughout a virtual rainforest in New Guinea to witness the spectacular plumage, shape-shifting and dazzling dance moves of these sassy and bodacious birds. A science exhibition, art show and natural history display in one, Birds of Paradise follows the adventures of photographer Tim Laman and Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientist Edwin Scholes – who made 18 trips to New Guinea over eight years. The exhibition, born out of the duo’s important scientific achievement, highlights their groundbreaking research with new information about each of the 39 birds-of-paradise species, all photographed for the first time in history. Interactive stations such as “Dance, Dance Evolution” will let visitors groove along with the birds to learn their signature moves. Presented by Highland Capital Management, Birds of Paradise is featured at the Perot Museum from Oct. 8, 2016- Jan. 8, 2017 (with member preview Oct. 7).
- Press release (web)
- Press release (doc)
- Link to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds-of-Paradise Project
- Link to bird audio and video recordings from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macauley Library
- Birds of Paradise photos
- Exhibition photos (coming soon)
- Birds of Paradise promotional video (Note:The live birds stayed in Papua New Guinea but their story is here for you to see.)
Giant Gems of the Smithsonian
Never before seen together, nearly 30 enormous and spectacular gems from the Smithsonian’s world-renowned National Gem Collection will be on display in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall on Level 3 of the Perot Museum. The mineral masterpieces, many weighing over 1,000-plus carats, include an “American Golden” topaz that tips the scales at almost 23,000 carats (more than 10 pounds), a blue topaz “football” of nearly 7,000 carats, kunzite Tiffany necklace, a Mogul emerald diamond necklace and more. This temporary installation will mark the first time such a large collection of Smithsonian gems, some of which have never been displayed in any museum, will be on exhibit outside the famed Washington museum complex. Giant Gems of the Smithsonian is free with Museum general admission and on display Sept. 9, 2016-Jan. 17, 2017.
In the Field: Alaska
For 20 years, Perot Museum vice president of research and collections and chief curator Dr. Tony Fiorillo has escaped the Texas summer heat to head for Alaska where he’s made local and global headlines for his paleontological discoveries. He, along with Dr. Ron Tykoski who did the intricate fossil preparatory work, discovered two new dinosaur species in the last 10 years – one of which, the Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, was listed as one of the top 100 stories of 2014 by Discover Magazine. August 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the duo’s other new species discovery, Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum. Dr. Fiorillo made two treks for In the Field: Alaska 2016; a 10-day trip to Aniakchak National Monument in southwestern Alaska and a two-week expedition to northwest Alaska near the Brooks Range.
- Highlight reel of In the Field: Alaska 2016 (Aniakchak National Monument)
- Highlight reel of the discovery of Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum (August 2006)
- News release (2011): Discovery of Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum
- News release (2014): Discovery of hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) tracksite
- Photos from the expedition
Perot Museum announces blockbuster lineup for 2016-2017 season
Breathtaking birds with wonderfully weird dances, stunning Maya artifacts, supersized gems and extraordinary explorers. Heart-pounding and wondrous 3D missions through space, the skies, Africa and more. These are just a sampling of highlights as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science unveils its line-up for the 2016-2017 season.
- Press release
- Birds of Paradise promo video (from National Geographic Museum)
- Birds of Paradise promo video (5:38 extended version)
Perot Museum Scientists offer new perspective on crowd-favorite Texas sauropod, Alamosaurus
A discovery nearly two decades ago by Perot Museum paleontologists at Big Bend National Park sheds new light on a 66 million-year-old dinosaur native to Texas and the North American southwest called Alamosaurus sanjuanensis.Research about the nine beautifully articulated vertebrae of Alamosaurus in a new scientific paper by Ronald Tykoski, Ph.D. and Anthony Fiorillo, Ph.D. of the Perot Museum, detail a new perspective on the relationships of North America's last giant sauropod.
Summer 2016 at the Perot Museum
This summer, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will brim with discovery, delights and discounts! Highlights include Eye of the Collector, the Museum’s first fully self-curated exhibition; new 3D films including the Robert Redford-narrated National Parks Adventure 3D and Flying Monsters; extended hours daily May 27-Sept. 5; military and Community Partners discounts; First Thursday Late Nights; second-Saturday Discovery Days; the adults-only Social Science; holiday weekend activities; and more.
Eye of the Collector Exhibition
Where else can one find PEZ dispensers, Dallas Cowboys memorabilia, Star Wars mementos, Ballet Folklórico costumes, African-American dolls, wearable works of art and fascinating relics from Nancy and Randy Best all in one place? The Perot Museum of Nature and Science presents its first full-scale, self-curated exhibition called Eye of the Collector – offering everything from historical and valuable items to quirky, crafty and pop-culture pieces – from April 16 - Sept. 5, 2016 (member preview days on April 14-15). Presented by Highland Capital Management, the exhibition invites visitors to explore the reasons why people and museums collect – ranging from curiosity, connection and the thrill of the hunt, to nostalgia and creating a legacy.
- Press release (web)
- Press release (doc)
- Collector bios (doc)
- Video – Watch and Download
- Photos from Press Event
Eye of the Collector Contest
It’s time to cast a vote to select the final collector for the Perot Museum’s first full-scale, self-curated exhibition, Eye of the Collector. After entries poured in over the last month, an impressive group of judges stepped in to narrow the contestant pool down to 15 finalists – five collectors from each of the three categories of “Best Youth” (17 and under), “Most Unique” and “Most Visually Stunning.” Their collections range from vintage Texas and pop-culture curiosities, to connections with the past and simple objects gathered over family vacations. Now through March 25, it’s up to the public to decide the People’s Choice winner, whose collection will be featured in the much-anticipated Eye of the Collector exhibition, which runs April 16 - Sept. 5, 2016. In addition, the three finalists’ collections (one from each category) will be displayed. To view and vote, go to perotmuseum.org/vote.
Perot Museum fossil is new species
A 90-million-year-old fossil fish, which has been on display at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, turns out to be a new species. Research conducted by Kenshu Shimada, Ph.D., professor at DePaul University in Chicago and research associate of the Sternberg Museum in Kansas, reveals the 5.5-foot-long fossil fish to possess a tuna-like body with a unique 'hook-shaped sail' on its back. The fish has been given a new species name, Pentanogmius fritschi, in honor of Joseph Fritsch, a local amateur collector who discovered the fossil, dug it up with the help of another avid fossil collector, Kris Howe, and donated it to the Perot Museum.
Eye of the Collector
In advance of its first full-scale, self-curated exhibition, the Perot Museum is challenging collectors to submit their possessions for a chance to become the “People’s Choice” and earn a spot as the final collector in the Eye of the Collector exhibition. Eye of the Collector, which will open April 16, will bring together the amazing personal collections of very different people – from the exquisite to the quirky, from historical artifacts to pop culture. The deadline to submit collections for the Eye of the Collector contest is February 21.
Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence
Bioluminescence – the ability to generate light through a chemical reaction – is one of nature’s most beautiful phenomena that a variety of creatures use to fight for survival. Opening Oct. 31, Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence will take guests on a mesmerizing stroll through the world of living light at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
- Press Release (web)
- Press Release (doc)
- Learn more about the exhibition here
- Announcement photos
- Exhibition photos
2016 Inaugural National Geographic Speaker Series
Behind every great National Geographic story is a great storyteller. From great white sharks to ferocious lions to Amazonian culture, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will bring some of those stories to life as it kicks off its inaugural National Geographic speaker series in 2016 with three featured speakers.
- Learn more about the series here
- February 2016: Coal, Fire and Ice: Exploring Secret Underwater Worlds with David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes
- April 2016: I Bought a Rainforest: Charlie Hamilton James
On October 1, 2015, Perot Museum and Dell announced a new mobile innovation, TECH Truck, to expand youth access to “Tinker, Engineer, Create and Hack” in science, technology and arts.
- Press Release
- Dell Services Information Sheet
- Announcement event photos
Photo credit: Jason Janik, Perot Museum of Nature and Science
- B-roll footage
Dr. Lee Berger Visits Perot Museum
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Lee Berger visits the Perot Museum on September 29, 2015 – his first engagement after his groundbreaking discovery of a new species of human relative, Homo naledi.
On Dr. Berger's visit to the Perot Museum—
On Homo naledi—
- Cover story in October issue of National Geographic magazine
- NOVA/National Geographic special “Dawn of Humanity”
- Expedition photos
- Scientific papers published in journal eLife
2015-2016 Season at the Perot Museum
- 2015-2016 Season News Release
- Creatures of Light Traveling Exhibition Photos
Photo credit: American Museum of Natural History
- Fall Films in The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience
Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3DWatch Trailer
Wildest Weather in the Solar System 3D
Opens Sept. 11Watch Trailer
Opens Sept. 11Watch Trailer
Wonders of the Arctic 3D
Opens Sept. 11Watch Trailer
For a more detailed description of these films and showtimes, please see our Theater page!
Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute
Announcing the Perot Museum of Nature and Science Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute!
- News Release: Perot Museum announces Kosmos STEM program
- Kosmos Energy Corporate Responsibility Report 2014
- Photo credit: Jason Janik