Past Worlds

Free with admission

The Past Worlds exhibit at NHMU.

A sequence of snapshots in time spanning hundreds of millions of years depicts a range of Utah’s ancient environments and their changing life forms.

Utah’s past worlds are brought to life in displays that capture plant and animal diversity, sights, sounds and smells long lost ecosystems. Participate in the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry mystery by “casting your vote” on the theory you agree with most, be a paleontologist for a day in our dinosaur dig, and be a guest at an Ice Age dinner party.  In this gallery there are dozens of skeletal reconstructions on display, including a Gryposaurus (duck-billed) dinosaur made of original fossil material, and the world’s largest display of horned dinosaur skulls. 

Stop by and watch our staff and volunteers as they prepare specimens for research and display in the Museum's active S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation Paleontology Preparation Lab.  Browse our mineral reference collection and a display on Triassic plants in the Ruth Eleanor Bamberger and John Ernest Bamberger Memorial Foundation Learning Lab.

The Past Worlds exhibition is located in the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Gallery.

Credit: Exhibit sounds and sound design provided in part by Jeff Rice and Dr. Kevin J. Colver in association with the Western Soundscape Archive at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library.

Explore the Past Worlds exhibition on a Virtual Field Trip.