Looking for a way to escape this winter’s cold temperatures?
To quote little Jedediah from the 2006 film Night at the Museum, "No problemo, Gigantor." The Museum of Ancient Life in Lehi is the place to be on a cold winter night.
During a recent visit to the museum, Randall Schut, museum supervisor, explained that the museum houses the world’s largest collection of complete dinosaur skeletons. Visitors from around the world come to Lehi, Utah to see this impressive collection.
At the museum, visitors can see kid favorites like the Stegosaurus and Triceratops. Additional exhibits include a working paleontology laboratory, a Supersaurus which measures 120 feet from head to tail and a display of two massive Tyranosaurus Rexes battling over a meal.
Perhaps the most captivating exhibit of the museum is that of an Archelon, a sea turtle that measured 16 feet across from fin to fin. The Archelon hangs from the ceiling and greets visitors at eye level as they enter the north hall of the museum. The lighting and design of the room helps visitors feel as if they are swimming in an ancient sea.
There are small treasures among the museum that most visitors pass without noticing. These include the skeleton of a young Protoceratops that died in a sandstorm millions of years ago. Still mostly buried in sandstone, this particular skeleton is unique because it is original bone and not rock like most dinosaur skeletons found today.
Among the traditional "do not touch" exhibits are over fifty hands-on displays where visitors are encouraged to dig for fossils, build dinosaurs, and even play with sand and water to learn about erosion. These exhibits are interactive and fun for all visitors, not just children.
Within the museum is a café, a great gift shop, and the Xango Mammoth Screen Theatre. Three different films about dinosaurs and ancient sea monsters are shown on the six story screen throughout the day. Previews for each of the films are viewable on the museum Web site.
Unlike the film Night at the Museum, when the Museum of Ancient Life closes its doors, the dinosaurs do not chase the night security guard until he throws a bone. But when the doors are open to visitors, history comes to life. Visitors to the museum leave with a greater appreciation of the ancient.
The Museum of Ancient Life is located at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. For more information about the museum including hours of operation and prices, visit http://www.thanksgiving.com
Photo Caption and Credits:
DSC_0089 Dinosaurs greet visitors to museum Photo Credit: Ray Cheatham
DSC_0062 Battle of the bones Photo Credit Ray Cheatham
DSC_0037 The Great Hall room Photo Credit: Ray Cheatham
If there is any room a possible side box might include the text, "Play a game on the museum Web site and get a 10 percent discount on admission."