How do you display a triceratops in a museum?

Cosmos Magazine


Cosmos is a quarterly science magazine. We aim to inspire curiosity in ‘The Science of Everything’ and make the world of science accessible to everyone.

By Cosmos

How do we know what dinosaurs looked like, and what do we know about where they lived? Cosmos Science is looking at those questions in our new series: “The science and art of Picturing Dinosaurs.”

It was those two questions no which occupied the minds of the curators when in March 2022, the Melbourne Museum opened a new exhibit to the public: A spectacular Triceratops horridus.

The specimen, nicknamed Horridus, is one of the most complete dinosaur skeletons on display anywhere in the world. Hazel Richards is a curatorial assistant at Melbourne Museum and one of the leading members of the team that put together the display showcasing Horridus.

WATCH: “Picturing dinosaurs:” Dinosaurs like T.rex could have resembled brightly coloured birds, says palaeo expert

But Richards tells Cosmos journalist Evrim Yazgin that putting together an exhibit around a dinosaur which went extinct 67 million years ago requires some world building. The aim of the curator is to allow visitors to immerse themselves in an ecosystem that is long gone.

And she explains that such exhibits can teach us about the world today.

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