Ultimate dinosaurs! Meet new fossilized friends at Manitoba Museum

Posted June 06, 2022

Is there a dinosaur fan in your family? The one who asks for yet another dinosaur book, doesn’t mind watching dino documentaries over and over and wants a dinosaur on their birthday cake?

This summer, Manitoba Museum is home to Ultimate Dinosaurs, the perfect remedy for those who can’t get enough of their fossilized friends.

Skip taking the long drive this summer to Alberta’s Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, a premier destination for dino-fans. When visiting Ultimate Dinosaurs at the Manitoba Museum, you’ll be struck by the similarities. This is a quality collection of all things dinosaur right here in Manitoba.

For the love of dinosaurs

Why are so many children obsessed with dinosaurs? Pediatric psychologists know children go through a stage of imagination-based play, and dinosaurs fit into make-believe worlds because they aren’t alive today. They are sort of like unicorns and fairies. This stage also explains why your youngster is able to remember the tongue-twisting names of a dozen different dinosaur species—they're developing language skills so their brains are dialed in to the information.

Where they roam

Ultimate Dinosaurs is located in the dimly lit Alloway Hall, a space that adds to the mystique of the giants that roamed the planet so long ago. There are full-sized skeletal recreations of the rarely seen specimens from the southern hemisphere—get ready for names you’ve never heard before like Majungasaurus and Austroraptor.

Stations throughout the exhibit invite curious visitors to peer through a microscope to examine fossilized bits and pieces, see how tall they are compared with a Futalognkosaurus femor (say that three times!) and collect a series of stamps to become a certified junior paleontologist.

What’s really cool

I was astonished to see how these skeletons became flesh-covered creatures through several spots that offer augmented reality technology. Video stations transform bones into brightly coloured flesh with striped backs, red heads and terrifying teeth—definitely the case with the Gigantosaurus!

I made a new friend. His name is Simosuchus, or Simon for short. The skeleton of this cutie measures about three-quarters of a metre and I had visions of Simon hopping through a field like the family dog. Upon further reading, I discovered that he had teeth shaped like maple leaves, further solidifying my admiration.

Fun for grown ups too

Massive dinosaurs capture the attention of one and all, but it was the little details that can delight adults. An image of Charles Darwin caught my attention and I learned a little something about his role in explaining the relationship between living things and fossils—which you can discover for yourself.

In school we learn about the massive continent called Pangaea but I didn’t know that it had broken into two distinct parts and how these changing continents affected the evolution of dinosaurs. And as a word nerd, I also loved learning two new names for these two new parts—Laurasia and Gondwana.

Don’t miss the show

The new Planetarium show called Dinosaurs: A Story of Survival is the perfect complement to the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit visit. The movie follows the adorable Celeste and her magical friend Moon as she completes her project on dinosaurs. She may also find the answer to the age-old question, what do chickens have to do with dinosaurs? The show runs Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Exit through the gift shop

This love affair with dinosaurs is likely to continue for some time, so it’s a great idea to pop into the Manitoba Museum gift shop and stock up. There are toys and stuffies, books and games, all guaranteed to put a smile on the face of that dinosaur fan in the family.

Ultimate Dinosaurs at Manitoba Museum runs until September 5, 2022.

Travel Manitoba staff was hosted by Manitoba Museum, who did not review or approve this story.