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  6. Unique dinosaurs and live reptiles take over the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2016

Unique dinosaurs and live reptiles take over the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2016

© Science Museum of Minnesota.


At 12 metres long, Giganotosaurus may have been the largest land predator ever to have lived.

Ottawa, March 9, 2016—Reptiles galore—from fearsome beasts that roamed the southern hemisphere millions of years ago to living snakes and other cold-blooded creatures—will highlight the Canadian Museum of Nature’s 2016 season through two very different special exhibitions.

From June 11 to September 5 (Labour Day), the museum will be invaded by Ultimate Dinosaurs, a blockbuster travelling exhibition from the Science Museum of Minnesota. This show features amazing discoveries such as Giganotosaurus, considered the largest land predator to have ever lived.

Full skeletons, numerous fossils and life-like, digital video walls will bring alive the unusual creatures that populated the ancient continent of Gondwana, at a time when dinosaurs and other reptiles ruled the earth. The appearance of Ultimate Dinosaurs in Ottawa is supported by Allstate Insurance Company of Canada.

ʺIn 2015 we welcomed over 480,000 visitors, from families to young professionals, and millenials to seniors. We look forward to building on this success with our 2016 lineup of special exhibitions, programs and activities,ʺ says Meg Beckel, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature.

When the ancient dinosaurs move out, modern reptiles will then move in! Fear not; the deadly snakes, colourful lizards, bizarre turtles, and rugged crocodilians will be safely contained in their comfortable terrarium habitats. Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly will run from October 6, 2016, to April 2, 2017. The exhibition’s science and conservation messages aim to dispel common myths and demonstrate how reptiles fit into the animal kingdom and their native environments. The show is produced by Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland in Allentown, Pennsylvania, creators of the popular Frogs exhibition hosted by the museum in 2013.

After visiting the museum’s special exhibitions and permanent galleries, visitors can stroll through the museum’s new Landscapes of Canada Gardens. Opening June 17, 2016, this living outdoor exhibition features plants commonly found in three of Canada’s great ecozones: Prairie grasslands, boreal forest, and Arctic tundra. The museum’s popular mammoth sculptures and a newly installed iceberg sculpture are sure to attract many photo ops.  

Other exhibitions/dates to note:

  • Bird Gallery – re-opening June 1. This refreshed gallery, now on the 3rd floor of the museum, presents 500 specimens of birds found in Canada;
  • Ikebana – March 31 to April 3. This is the 31st year of the museum hosting the Ikebana exhibition, which presents the ancient Japanese art of floral design, with unique creations by the Ottawa Centennial Chapter of Ikebana International;
  • Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year – opening October 26, 2016. The winners and runners-up in the eighth annual edition from Canadian Geographic's 2015 national photo contest will grace the museum's walls.

In addition to exhibitions, other museum programs in 2016 will continue to enlighten and engage audiences throughout the year. These include:

  • Nature Nocturne – a new season of this extremely popular Friday night adult program will offer different themes at each event. Nocturners enjoy dancing, DJ music, live bands, artistic interactions, food, and new discoveries as they explore the museum's many galleries;
  • Nature Tastes – look for a new season of the museum’s newest, successful adult program, combining tutored tastings of wine, beer and spirits, with delicious edibles and a side of botany;
  • Sunday Nature Brunches – monthly until June, with a new season in fall 2016. These are offered on select Sundays throughout the year. Look forward to a unique theme each time with a special menu, then tour the museum’s galleries.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. It is located at 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa. Until June 1, the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 8 p.m. (Also open Mondays during holiday periods). From June 1 to Labour Day, the museum is open seven days a week. A surcharge applies for entry to the special exhibitions, Ultimate Dinosaurs and Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly. For details, including fees and hours, visit nature.ca. Follow the Museum on Twitter (@museumofnature) or become a fan on Facebook. View Nature Scoop, short videos highlighting the museum’s stories and collections.


Information for media:
Laura Sutin
Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Nature
613.566.4793; (cell) 613.698.7142

Dan Smythe
Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Nature
613.566.4781; (cell) 613.698.9253