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T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall

Clues and insights from the fossil record

Discover how studying the bodies and behaviors of modern-day animals can give scientists a glimpse of dinosaur life.

Towering dinosaurs, rare fossils and virtual paleo-habitats are just a few of the features that make the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall a must-go destination for dinosaur lovers, fossil collectors or just about anyone who has ever wondered what life was like when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Here inside the 11,000-square-foot exhibition space, you’ll discover awe-inspiring fossil finds like the infamous predator Tyrannosaurus rex or the plant-eating Alamosaurus. And with the push of a button, you can launch a video interview with the scientist who discovered parts of this gargantuan fossil skeleton. You’ll also discover how plants and animals have adapted to changing conditions over the millennia — and you’ll have the chance to introduce beneficial adaptations of your own as you create a virtual animal to do battle in our videogame challenge.

Other highlights in this hall include:

Digging for Clues

How are fossils discovered? And how can scientists learn so much about adaptation using only the “bare bones” of a fossil discovery? This is your chance to explore:

  • The advanced paleo methods and tools currently in use in the field and lab
  • Behind-the-scenes footage of our own Perot Museum paleontologists
  • How a land-dwelling animal evolved into a giant marine predator called the Mosasaurus 
  • The transition of Dallas from underwater to Ice Age to present day
  • The “megafauna” of the Ice Age and why they became extinct
  • Our hands-on Fossil Lab, where you can examine and manipulate fossil replicas to solve ancient mysteries

Dinosaur Behavior

How did ancient animals move, eat and interact with each other? How did they survive in extreme conditions? The answers to these and other questions are yours to discover as you:

  • Compare the jaws and teeth of meat eaters with those of plant eaters
  • Explore predator-prey adaptations of then and now
  • Learn what ancient animal tracks can tell us about family group structure and behavior 
  • Examine the winter survival strategies of modern mammals for clues that could explain how northern dinosaurs might have endured the cold season

Kids 5 and younger?