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Try This: Dueling Dinosaurs at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Modern museum exhibit meets real, working paleontology lab at this one-of-a-kind interactive dino experience.

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Banners outside the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

The museum’s cutting-edge lab was built specifically to study these dueling dinos.

Photos by RALtoday

City Editor Allie here, returned from my recent voyage 67 million years into the past at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ newest exhibit, Dueling Dinosaurs. This groundbreaking exhibit features an exceptionally rare + impressive fossil containing both a Triceratops and a tyrannosaur — and has a whole team of scientists dedicated to figuring out just what happened to these two, whether it was a duel, dinner, or disaster.

With interactive areas, hands-on demonstrations, and a round-the-clock scientist inside the SECU DinoLab answering questions from visitors, this exhibit is truly a front-row seat to paleontology in action.

What we tried:

We loved all of the real equipment and up-close-and-personal experiences. I highly recommend taking a second to see, smell, and listen to the Cretaceous period environment as you enter. Touch real + replicated fossils. Get a peek at what paleontologists are digging up in real time. This is a science exhibit like you’ve never experienced before.

A video screen with dino fossils and a narrator.

I think it’s safe to say I had a dino-mite time.

Photo by RALtoday

What not to miss:

I couldn’t get enough of talking with the paleontologists. We chatted with Jennifer Anné, assistant manager of the SECU DinoLab, about her theories about these dinosaurs, her specialties, the lab equipment, and so much more. Staff rotate throughout the day, so on every visit, you may meet a new scientist with a unique perspective and learn even more about these creatures.

What we’re still talking about:

Dueling Dinos will continue to evolve over time with the paleontologists’ findings and discoveries. For example, is that tyrannosaur a T. Rex? What caused the death of these two creatures? The sky’s the limit with this particular fossil because of the nature of its preservation: body outlines, skin impressions, injuries, and evidence of interaction remain intact for scientists to study. It’s a certified dino treasure trove, and we get to learn right alongside the experts.

The lab of Dueling Dinos, with fossils and heavy machinery in the background and four people around a table in the foreground.

The kids on the tour with me were just as fascinated by the fossils as I was.

Photo by RALtoday

How you can experience this:

Head to the Dueling Dinosaurs website to reserve your free tickets to try this exhibit for yourself. Tickets are in high demand, especially on the weekends, so we recommend planning ahead to see this globally unique exhibit.

Things to know if you go:

  • Experience: Dueling Dinosaurs
  • Price: Free
  • Website: duelingdinosaurs.org
  • Address: 121 West Jones Street
  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. –5 p.m
  • Social: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
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