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Dinosaurs exhibit to make US premiere in Ohio

Monday - 4/22/2013, 9:29am  ET

LISA CORNWELL
Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A Canadian exhibit of bones and fossils from dinosaurs that roamed the southern hemisphere from 250 million to 65 million years ago will make its U.S. premiere at a southwest Ohio museum.

The Cincinnati Museum Center will present the "Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana" exhibit beginning June 13.

The exhibit, produced and circulated by the Royal Ontario Museum of Toronto, consists of artifacts and 17 full-size skeletal casts based on recent excavations in South America, Africa and Madagascar.

The exhibition reveals some bizarre and unusual dinosaurs that evolved in the Southern Hemisphere, while isolated from those that evolved in the Northern Hemisphere.

"This exhibition gives you the extraordinary opportunity to experience dinosaurs you've never seen before, in ways you've never imagined," said Douglass W. McDonald, president and CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Museum officials say the exhibit shows how the continental drift affected the evolution of dinosaurs during the Mesozoic Era.

Scientists say dinosaurs first appeared 250 million years ago on the giant supercontinent Pangaea that later divided into Laurasia in the north and Gondwana in the south before separating into the earth's current continents, museum officials said.

The exhibition surrounded by life-like environmental murals will include some skeletal casts that are replicas, in addition to real fossils and skeletons.

One skeletal cast is of the Giganotosaurus, which museum officials say possibly was the largest land predator that ever lived.

The museum is offering a new twist to the exhibit through the use of augmented reality, which layers virtual experiences over real environments

Through iPads mounted on columns -- similar to periscopes -- the technology will allow visitors to view skeletal casts and see the dinosaurs as they would have looked with flesh and coloring, said museum spokeswoman Elizabeth Pierce.

Pierce said the technology also will allow people to download an app, point their iPads or iPhones at markers such as posters or rugs or even small stickers and see an animated dinosaur appear to pop out of their phone.

"The animated dinosaur appears to walk around and roar at you," Pierce said.

"The size of the marker controls the size of the dinosaur."

Tickets for the exhibit that will run through Jan. 6 go on sale May 1.


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