Dinosaur Drama Makes for a Stellar Documentary: Dinosaur 13 screening coming to HMNS December 9

Join Peter Larson and Robert T. Bakker at HMNS for lecture and final screening of Dinosaur 13 in the Giant Screen Theatre Tuesday, December 9.HMNS Dinosaur 13 screening December 9

When paleontologist Peter Larson and his team from South Dakota’s Black Hills Institute made one of the world’s greatest dinosaur discoveries in 1990, they knew it was the discovery of a lifetime — the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found. The dinosaur quickly became known to the world as ‘Sue,’ named after amateur paleontologist, Susan Hendrickson, who located the first fossil fragments of the historic find.

Larson recalls the exhilaration of the find, and of toiling in more than 100°F to recover the skeleton before it could be damaged by weather, oxidation, and other forces of erosion: “We all wanted to see what the skeleton was going to look like,” Larson says in the film.

“It was – it still is today – the most exciting, the most wonderful excavation – the most incredible thing we have ever done,” his brother, Neal Larson echoes.

Through interviews with the principal players in the story that unfolds, filmmaker Todd Miller portrays what happened next. Shortly after the excavation, a ten-year battle ensued with the U.S. government, powerful museums, Native American communities, and competing paleontologists over the legal custody of Sue. 

Academic paleontologists were outraged that a historic find would be planned for exhibition at a commercial facility (the Black Hills Institute), Native American communities filed complaints that the find was improperly removed from land that belonged to them. And, in an unusual argument, the federal government requested nullification of the sale of the prospect rights for the fossil by the landowner, who now also argued that he had never intended to sell Sue to Larson. 

In the government’s view, the fossil had become land, making it inappropriate to transport, attempt to auction, or purchase Sue without legal standing. Larson and his crew soon found themselves fighting for their own freedom. 

To celebrate the global television premiere of Dinosaur 13 in the US on CNN on Thursday, December 11, Lionsgate and CNN are presenting a special screening of Dinosaur 13 on the giant screen at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on December 9.

For more information about Dinosaur 13, please visit www.cnn.com/dinosaur13.

Lesson learned from Sue?
Being a dinosaur hunter takes great “Rex Appeal”— what happens when art, technology and politics blend into one epic tale.

So what happened to Sue?
With help from Disney and McDonald’s, Sue was purchased by the Field Museum at an auction in 1997 for $8.36 million. Since May 2000, she has been on display in the entry hall of the museum. She has been seen by an estimated 20 million visitors there.

Dinosaur 13 HMNS December 9

Sue at the Field Museum

Want to learn more about this amazing story?

If your answer is yes, you are in luck. We have 3 ways to learn more — all wrapped up in one fantastic evening at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on December 9.

  1. Peter Larson and Dr. Robert Bakker—live and in person—will share the inside scoop on the story of Sue.
  2. See the new documentary Dinosaur 13 on the Museum’s giant six-story screen.
  3. Purchase Peter Larson’s book Rex Appeal: The Amazing Story of Sue, the Dinosaur That Changed Science, the Law, and My Life, which he will sign for you, and read it cover to cover before midnight. (HMNS was able to secure a stash of this out of print book acclaimed by paleontologists.) “[this is] the book anyone who loves dinosaurs must have!” says Dr. Robert Bakker.

Lionsgate & CNN Films present a film screening and panel for Dinosaur 13 followed by a lecture by Peter Larson and Robert Bakker, Ph.D.
Tuesday, December 9, 6 p.m.
Houston Museum of Natural Science 

Join paleontologists Peter Larson and Dr. Robert T. Bakker for a lecture on this important period in paleontology, followed by a screening of Dinosaur 13— featuring Larson and Bakker – presented by Lionsgate and CNN Films.

Paleo activities for kids of all ages begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Grand Entry Hall. McDonald’s open until 6 p.m. Book signing by Peter Larson and Dr. Robert T. Bakker will follow the program.

Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

Want Peter Larson to keep you posted on his dinosaur finds?
Follow him on Twitter: @PeteLarsonTrex

Dinosaur 13 Peter Larson

 

Distinguished Lecture: Merge art and science in an exclusive Giant Screen showing of Chasing Ice

The Extreme Ice Survey merges art and science to give a “visual voice” to Earth’s changing ecosystems. Extreme Ice Survey imagery preserves a visual legacy, providing a unique baseline — useful in years, decades and even centuries to come — for revealing how climate change and other human activity impacts our air, water, forests and wildlife.

Chasing IceEIS field assistant Adam LeWinter on NE rim of Birthday Canyon, atop feature called “Moab.” Greenland Ice Sheet, July 2009. Black deposit in bottom of channel is cryoconite. Birthday Canyon is approximately 150 feet deep.

One aspect of Extreme Ice Survey’s work is a portfolio of single-frame photographs celebrating the beauty, art and architecture of ice. The other aspect of the survey is time-lapse photography. Currently, 27 cameras are deployed at 18 glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, the Nepalese Himalaya at Mount Everest, Alaska and the U.S. Rocky Mountains. These cameras record changes in the glaciers every half hour of daylight year round, yielding approximately 8,500 frames per camera per year. The time-lapse images are then edited into stunning videos that reveal how fast climate change is transforming large regions of the planet.

You can witness the hauntingly beautiful videos that compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate in the film Chasing Ice. The vivid images of the majestic ice caps slowly melting away are set to an Academy-Award nominated soundtrack featuring Scarlett Johansson.

Chasing IceLeWinter ice climbing in Survey Canyon, Greenland

Chasing Ice features geologist, mountaineer and award-winning photographer James Balog, who is director of the Extreme Ice Survey and founder of Earth Vision Trust.

Join oceanography and climate change researcher Dr. John B. Anderson of Rice University for a one-night-only screening of Chasing Ice at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on June 18 at 6:30 p.m. This is the only digital, giant-screen showing of Chasing Ice in Houston.

WHAT: HMNS Film Screening of Chasing Ice
WHEN: Tuesday, June 18, 6:30 p.m.
HOW MUCH: Tickets $18, HMNS Members $12

Click here for advance tickets.