Culture & Heritage

T. rex: the Ultimate Predator

American Museum of Natural History
March 11, 2019–August 9, 2020

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The iconic Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) fossil has been on public display in the renowned American Museum of Natural History for over 100 years, and the research on T. rex has continued to evolve, often illuminating facts quite different from the public’s perception. On March 11th, 2019, the Museum will unveil T. Rex: The Ultimate Predator, a new exhibition that explores the latest research and discoveries about the life history, remarkable abilities, and ancient relatives of T. rex

In collaboration with HTC VIVE, the Museum will present its first interactive, multi-player virtual reality experience. Within the exhibition, visitors will team up to build a T. rex skeleton bone by bone and then watch as it comes to life in what is now Montana, as it was 66 million years ago. 

The full tyrannosaur story includes dozens of different species and spans over 100 million years of evolution, with T. rex appearing only at the very end of that period. Most tyrannosaurs were not giants like T. rex, which, fully grown, weighed between 6 and 9 tons. Early species were small and fast, likely avoiding confrontations with larger dinosaurs. So how did mega-predators like T. rex evolve from such humble origins? How did T. rex grow so quickly in adolescence, ballooning from the size of a chicken to the size of a truck in just 21 years, gaining up to 4.6 pounds per day? And what kind of super sensory skills and traits did it use to become such an efficient killer? T. rex: The Ultimate Predator addresses these questions and more with life-sized reconstructions of tyrannosaurs at various life stages, real fossils and casts, large-scale video projections, hands-on interactives, and this exhilarating virtual reality experience.

A version of this VR experience will be available on VIVEPORT starting summer 2019. 

llustration by Zhao Chuang; Courtesy of PNSO

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