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New exhibits to open at Museum of Ancient Life



The Mountain America Museum of Ancient Life, one of five discovery centers located at Thanksgiving Point, will reopen the entrance gallery to feature brand-new exhibits. These exhibits include interaction with fossils and paleontologists to create an in-depth look at how fossils are excavated and transported to museums across the country.

The six new exhibits will be open to the public starting Friday, Feb. 9, with a member-exclusive preview Thursday, Feb. 8, from 5-8 p.m. 

The new exhibits are:

Lab Live: Ask questions directly to Thanksgiving Point’s paleontology and collections team while they excavate and preserve a 150-million-year-old Barosaurus. Members of the excavation team will wear microphones to answer questions and comment on the process, while a camera livestreams the excavation. Lab Live is included with admission.

Paleo Studio: Visitors can try their hand at paleontology at the Paleo Studio. Participants of all ages will use the same tools as real paleontologists to excavate a fossil from the Eocene Era. Participants will be among the first humans to handle the fossil and will even get to take the specimen home with them. Paleo Studio is not included with admission and can be purchased for $10 per person.

Erosion Expedition: Located next to the popular Erosion Table exhibit, the Erosion Expedition is a virtual reality dig where participants can uncover hidden artifacts. Erosion Expedition is included with admission.

Alligator Gar Display: Learn more about the Alligator Gar, a species that’s been alive for over 100 million years. This space will show live Alligator Gar swimming in their habitat and will showcase the Bubbles and Bites program, where educators will feed the Gar and educate guests on the diversity of ecosystems. Alligator Gar Display is included with admission.


Field Site: Using dirt, burlap and plaster, guests will create a field jacket of their own and will learn about safe transport from a dig site to a paleontology lab. They’ll also get to handle real fossils, facilitated by a member of the Explorer staff. Field Site is included with admission.

Field Site Cabin: Ideal for younger kids, the new Field Site Cabin has a campfire, pots and pans for kids to explore in imaginative play while being at a “dig site.” Field Site Cabin is included with admission.

For tickets and more information, visit

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