Dinosaurs in Their Natural Habitat

The fossils have now been shipped, crate by crate, back to Pittsburgh, where the Carnegie staff is putting the finishing touches on its new dinosaur wing. The hall, called Dinosaurs in Their Time, opens Nov. 21.

Instead of mounting the skeletons on pedestals, the Carnegie is posing them the way science now believes they would have looked eons ago. Visitors will see dinosaurs gathered in herds. Small mammals -- which survived whatever killed the dinosaurs -- hide underfoot.

Even the foliage is based on fossil findings -- gingko trees and ferns, little changed since the Jurassic.

It's a dramatic scene compared to what one saw in the old hall. Is it realistic?

"Absolutely," said Lamanna. "And I think, given the immensity of time, it's quite likely that something like this did happen from time to time."

And years from now, as the scientists learn more, they said they'll probably have to change the exhibits all over again.

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