12 fascinating facts about ancient life and Dinosaurs in Motion

Published online: Jan 24, 2018 Articles, Education And Arts, Family Fun Guide
Viewed 2385 time(s)

The Museum of Idaho – no stranger to the rattle and roar of prehistoric spectacles – is as it again with one of its most entertaining dino displays to date: Dinosaurs in Motion. The floodgates open Friday. Meanwhile, check out these 12 fun factoids as the exhibition draws near:

  1. The sculptures in this exhibit represent the life’s work of North Carolina artist John Payne, who died in 2008.

  2. There are 14 distinct sculptures in the exhibit (16 animals total). The two most complex are the only sculptures that are not dinosaurs, but birds – an American crow and a whooping crane.

  3. Triceratops was one of the first dinosaur fossils ever found in the North American west.

  4. Payne started each sculpture with the head, and hand-hammered the entire bodies to create the accurate, anatomically inspired shapes.

  5. Tyrannosaurus rex teeth were constantly replaced during life, so it didn’t matter if one or more broke. Its bite force was 10 times stronger than that of a modern alligator.

  6. Welding was first introduced during World War I, and came into mainstream use during World War II as a dependable, inexpensive method of connecting metals for ships, aircraft, cars, and bridges.

  7. The main extinction event that killed most of the dinosaurs actually spared some avian dinosaurs, which then evolved and grew very large in the absence of land-based dinosaurs.

  8. A preserved specimen must be at least 10,000 years old to be considered a fossil.

  9. American crows are known to harass predatory birds, sometimes cooperatively with other crows. They also use tools, such as modified sticks to extract insects from their holes and crustaceans from their shells.

  10. Payne made the t-rex sculpture’s spine out of a discarded utility pole.

  11. The wings on the American crow and whooping crane sculptures are made from pieces of aluminum mesh from discarded screen doors.

  12. Most of the dinosaurs featured in this exhibit come from the Cretaceous period, from about 145 to 66 million years ago. Ironically, most of the dinosaurs from the movie Jurassic Park come from this period as well (not the Jurassic period).

Source: Museum of Idaho. For exhibit details, pricing and hours, visit


Send to your friends!

  • Like what you read?

    Get Idaho Falls Magazine straight to your door!

  • Subscribe Today!

    Sign Up
Get a subscription to Idaho Falls Magazine