Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family

If you think you know T. rex… think again.

Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family explores the most feared and revered of all dinosaurs in new and different ways.

While the most famous is the mighty T. rex, tyrannosaurs came in all shapes and sizes and from all over the globe, and their history goes back over 100 million years. New tyrannosaurs like the crested Guanlong from China will change and challenge our understanding of the evolution of these iconic, well-loved dinosaurs.

The exhibition’s specimens are not only spectacular in scale and form, but also reveal some of the most significant discoveries in paleontology over the past decade. Tyrannosaurs offers visitors a look at rare and magnificent real fossils and reconstructs the life-sized skeletons of these terrifying carnivores like you’ve never seen before.

Key Themes:

  • What is a tyrannosaur? Discover how tyrannosaurs fit into the dinosaur family tree and explore the key features that define a tyrannosaur.
  • Meet the Family. Immerse yourself in a large-scale projection experience and see how tyrannosaurs came in a range of sizes and shapes.
  • Explore the Family. Discover how natural selection, continental drift and climate change facilitated tyrannosaur transformation from carnivores little bigger than ourselves to massive top predators.
  • T.rex — The Ultimate. Learn what makes T. rex one of the most formidable predators that ever lived… and be ready for a few surprises
  • Tyrannosaurs — The Legacy. Tyrannosaurs lived for 100 million years and were some of the largest and most successful predators ever. Despite their final demise during one of Earth’s biggest mass extinction events, tyrannosaurs live on — in our imagination, our culture and in their bird cousins in our backyards.

Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family was developed by the Australian Museum and is toured internationally by Flying Fish. SCI will host the U.S. premiere exhibition September 30, 2017, through April 22, 2018, thanks in part to support from Presenting Sponsor EMC Insurance and Exhibit Partner Nationwide.

Programs & Events

To enhance the Tyrannosaurs exhibit, SCI will host a variety of events and opportunities to further engage and inspire visitors of all ages:

  • IMAX documentary: Dinosaurs Alive!
    Narrated by Michael Douglas, this 40-minute film explores the lives of paleontologists and dinosaurs alike. Realistic and scientifically accurate computer generated animation brings dinosaurs back to life… in a big way! Details at www.sciowa.org/imaxshowtimes

View Educator Guide

Early Childhood Programming

  • Toddler Dig
    Every Wednesday throughout the run of the exhibit, the dig pit will be reserved for toddlers from 10:00–10:30 am. A hands-on, guided experience will be led by an SCI Programs Team member, followed by Science Storytime at 10:30 am. 
  • Pint Size Science & Pint Size Science: Toddler Edition
    This program for young explorers will feature dinosaur-themed topics in October (Dino Bites) and March (“Chomposaurus”). Pint Size Science classes are designed for children ages 4 to 6, and the Toddler Edition classes are for children ages 22 months to 3 years. Registration information available at www.sciowa.org/pintsizescience

Youth Programming

  • Jr. Paleontologist
    SCI is recruiting a team of 2nd through 5th graders to share their love of dinosaurs. Participants will work with SCI’s Programs Team to develop and deliver hands-on demos to the public. Two cohorts will begin in November and February. Applications are now closed.
  • Winter Camps
    SCI Winter Camps for grades pre-K through 8th grade will offer dinosaur-themed experiences during day camps on December 27, 28, 29 and January 2. Details at www.sciowa.org/camps.

Adult Programming

  • Mixology Night
    SCI’s monthly 21 plus night features combines music, science and adult beverages on the first Friday of every month. The event on October 6 is titled “Prehistoric Happy Hour” and will feature a presentation by University of Iowa professor Christopher A. Brochu. Tickets to Mixology Night are $7 per person; free for SCI members. Details at www.sciowa.org/mixology.
  • Café Scientifique
    Held on the second Tuesday of each month, Café Scientifique events engage adult and young adult audiences in current science topics. Events in October and November will feature Iowa paleontologists. Details at www.sciowa.org/cafesci.