Red Dirt Dinos Return to Science Museum Oklahoma, Oct. 3
Following a journey around the state and across the world, the dinosaurs that once roamed over Oklahoma’s red dirt landscape are returning to Science Museum Oklahoma.
The region’s largest Cretaceous carnivore and an herbivore that called southeastern Oklahoma’s Atoka County home are among the animatronic dinosaurs at the center of “Red Dirt Dinos: An Oklahoma Dinosaur Adventure,” opening Oct. 3 at SMO.
“Red Dirt Dinos” was created exclusively for the Science Museum Oklahoma-based Oklahoma Museum Network. The exhibit features three interactive, lifelike robotic dinosaurs and a variety of hands-on components that help visitors explore Oklahoma’s dinosaurs, said Eileen Castle, Oklahoma Museum Network director.
The dinosaurs are returning to Oklahoma City after stops at each of the museums in the statewide Oklahoma Museum Network and the completion of a two-month refurbishment in Japan.
“The Red Dirt Dinos operate using interactive technology,” Castle said. “It enables the dinosaurs to react to their environment and respond to different stimuli — creating a unique experience for visitors each time they come.”
“Red Dirt Dinos” features three dinosaurs: Acrocanthosaurus, a carnivore and the official dinosaur of the state of Oklahoma; Tenontosaurus, a long-tailed herbivore; and one of its predators, Deinonychus, a carnivore with sickle-shaped, switchblade-like claws.
The dinosaurs operate using an infrared technology that enables them to detect movement of people in the exhibit and even to distinguish between children and adults. The dinosaurs not only react to exhibit visitors but also to other dinosaurs within the exhibit, creating a fully immersive experience.
In addition to the dinosaurs, “Red Dirt Dinos” features a hands-on dinosaur excavation site, a paleontologist’s tent and archaeology tools, a dinosaur egg scanner, a giant crawl-through log, and life-size replica skulls and skeletons of the Tyrannosaurus, Acrocanthosaurus and Velociraptor.
The exhibit was made possible through a $3 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation that extended the Oklahoma Museum Network’s programming and exhibit development.
“Red Dirt Dinos: An Oklahoma Dinosaur Adventure” will be on display at SMO through March. The exhibit is included with general admission.
Science Museum Oklahoma is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Daily general admission is $15.95 for adults (ages 13 to 64) and $12.95 for children (ages 3 to 12) and seniors (65 and older). Annual memberships begin at $95.
For more information about Science Museum Oklahoma, call (405) 602-6664 or visit www.sciencemuseumok.org.