SALT LAKE CITY — JAN. 11, 2023 — Have you ever wondered how paleontologists can use a few bones to reconstruct a full-fledged dinosaur, complete with skin, claws and feathers? Or, how scientists ‘flesh out’ the ways dinosaurs grew and moved?
Now’s your chance! Find out how they do it – and more – at one of the Natural History Museum of Utah’s (NHMU) most-anticipated events of the year, DinoFest: Bones to Beasts, held at the Museum on Saturday January 28 and Sunday, January 29, 2023.
“NHMU’s annual DinoFest weekend is a true crowd-pleaser because it’s got something for visitors of every age and interest,” said NHMU Executive Director Jason Cryan. “From inspiring expert speakers to dinosaur puppets to a Canyon-full of paleo-partners, this is the dinosaur event of the year – and you’ve got two days to experience it!”
This year, NHMU is going beyond the bones to bring you the latest research and techniques on the process – and artistry – of bringing dinosaurs to life. Guest scientists and artists from across the country will join NHMU’s own renowned paleontology team to educate and excite as they share their process, from digging up ancient fossils to reanimating your favorite extinct beasts.
"DinoFest is a favorite with NHMU paleontologists as well as the public. It allows us to bridge the gap between the dinosaurs of kids’ imaginations and the amazing scientific research and paleontological discoveries taking place right now in Utah and around the world," said Carrie Levitt-Bussian, NHMU's paleontology collections manager.
One of this year’s keynote speakers, the University of Missouri’s Dr. Casey Holliday, will explain how his lab uses fossils, physics and anatomy, and experimental methods to reconstruct the soft tissues of crocodiles and dinosaurs. Several ‘DinoBite’ talks throughout each day will include paleoartist Brian Engh and NHMU’s own Tim Lee, director of exhibits, who will bring to life the process of mounting and exhibiting dinosaur specimens. And those are only a few!
As always, NHMU’s Paleo Prep Lab and Paleontology Collections will be open to the public, so folks can get up close with incredible fossils, and community partners will fill the Museum's Canyon to highlight the region's many dinosaur research and educational communities.
DinoFest debuted at NHMU in 2017 and has consistently been one of the Museum’s biggest draws each year. As one of NHMU’s most popular weekend events of the year, we recommend reserving tickets in advance.
Year-round, NHMU has one of the most captivating fossil exhibits on the planet: our Past Worlds gallery features dozens of skeletal reconstructions and original fossils on a walk through time, including a complete Gryposaurus (duck-billed) dinosaur skeleton of original fossil material and the world’s largest display of horned dinosaur skulls, the Ceratopsian Wall.