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Climb Inside a Dinosaur's Nest at the Natural History Museum

By Emily Frost | March 16, 2016 3:30pm
 "Dinosaurs Among Us" asks "visitors to question what they think they know about dinosaurs," said the museum's President Ellen Futter. 
"Dinosaurs Among Us" at the American Museum of Natural History
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UPPER WEST SIDE — While "Jurassic World" may have been a huge hit with movie-goers, the film gets its dinosaurs all wrong, according to scientists at the American Museum of Natural History.

To be accurate, many of the dinosaurs in the movie should have had hair and appeared "shaggy," explained paleontologist Mark Norell, curator of a new dinosaur exhibit at the museum. 

The choice was likely made for cinematic reasons, because "[the dinosaurs] probably don't look mean enough if they look like pigeons," he joked. 

The fact that dinosaurs like the T-Rex had hair has now made it into mainstream paleontology, and recent discoveries like this have cemented the evolutionary chain between dinosaurs and birds, Norell said. 

That link is the subject of the new exhibit "Dinosaurs Among Us," which opens Monday featuring everything from a replica dinosaur's nest for visitors to climb inside to a model of a Dromeosaur with a 22-inch wingspan.

Guests are also greeted by a large model of a 23-foot long tyrannosaur — the Yutyrannus — which is covered in shaggy proto-feathers.

"I think this is really going to shake up the way people think of dinosaurs," Norell said. 

It will also change the way people look at birds, including those pesky pigeons, said museum vice president Mike Novacek.

"Birds are a kind of dinosaur, and they're still with us...You could even say we still live in the age of dinosaurs," he added.

Besides sporting hair and feathers, there are other links between the two species — including their three toes, nest-making capabilities, wings and having light, hollow bones, the exhibit explains. 

Fossils recently found in northern China show evidence of dinosaurs having feathers, Novacek noted. 

The exhibit follows the recent unveiling of the Titanosaur, a 122-foot replica that's too long to fit inside a single gallery room at the museum.

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