HMNS Happenings This Week

Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS August 7 – August 14

Ivan Moreno,

Ivan Moreno,


AUGUST 10, 2016, 6:30 PM · PLANETARIUM
Cutting-edge research into fascinating neurological pathways may be the key to understanding if risk-takers are born or made. Science journalist Kayt Sukel will introduce risk-taking factors such as gender, age, genes, emotions and stress-many of the biological advantages are surprising. Book signing following lecture. Tickets $18, Members $12


Behind-The-Scenes Tours
AUGUST 9, 2016, 6:00 PM · PALEO HALL
Because the Morian Hall of Paleontology is too large to tour in one evening, we are debuting a new series that will cover the hall section by section. Led by HMNS staff trainer, James Washington, each tour will include a hands-on fossil experience or short classroom presentation. The Jurassic Period ushered in the “Golden Age of Giants,” the time of 100-foot-long diplodocuses and stegosaurs who were skilled swordsmen. Predatory dinos clothed themselves with feathers. Giant sea reptiles cruised the oceans, while winged dactyls hunted for squid. The Cretaceous Period brought us the most dangerous herbivore of all time, the mighty Triceratops. Learn how our triceratops specimen with mummified skin has helped science proves new information about these three-horned tanks. Our five new T. rex skeletons all tell a different story that helps piece together what life was like in the Cretaceous. Members $15, Tickets $25

AUGUST 9, 2016, 6:00 PM 
Going back to the 8th century in a struggle between Muslim and Spanish naval forces and on to the appearance in the Aztec capital in the 15th century, Virgin of Guadalupe was adopted as a symbol in Europe and the New World during times of friction. Through the artwork and artifacts on display, your guide will trace the increasing role the Virgin of Guadalupe played in society. Members: $17. Adult Tickets: $27.

FruitButterflySummer Cockrell Butterfly Center Events 
Summer Cockrell Butterfly Center events continue through Aug. 19.

Wing It | Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Come fly away into the world of butterflies at the Cockrell Butterfly Center with Wing it! Introduce yourself to your favorite winged wonders and watch the release of hundreds of new butterflies into the rainforest.

Small Talk | Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
Join our Cockrell Butterfly Center team as they take their live collection of insects out “for a walk” during Small Talk. Our experts will entertain and educate with all types of insects and arachnids.

Friday Feeding Frenzy | Fridays at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
Join us this morning in the Cockrell Butterfly Center for our Friday Feeding Frenzy! See science in action as snakes, spiders and centipedes enjoy a meal right in front of you!

13495590_1123648724345617_4222281315587641161_oHMNS at Sugar Land

Earth Science under the Microscope
Thursday, August 11 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Come explore our new microscope lab, used for viewing very small objects, which we could not normally see with the naked eye. Learn about the practical applications of microscopy or just look at cool stuff on a micro scale! Travel the world as you view grains of sand collected from various continents, and learn about their origin, composition and transport. Look at microfossils, shells and other natural objects, or bring an item from home and check it out under the scope. As hands-on activities are the best way to learn, we’ll have interactive demo stations with docents to guide you through the amazing visuals you’ll see as you peer through the lens!



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

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


Mark Your Calendars for the events happening this week (11/10-11/16) at HMNS


Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week!

Travel back in time and test your battle strategy with the War Game Event in our special exhibit Battleship Texas, venture back in time to learn about the Princess Naia, one of the oldest remains found in the Americas from marine archaeologist Dr. Dominique Rissolo, and revisit your childhood with the Take Two showing of The Goonies ¬– this week at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

War Game Event
Veterans Day
Tuesday, November 11
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Experience another dimension to the Battleship Texas—war gaming. Interact with two simulated maritime battles, including a battle that never was, between USS Texas and the German battleship Tirpitz. See if Texas could have matched up to Tirpitz, sister to the famed Bismarck. The event presented by the Houston Beer and Pretzel Wargaming club. More info on BeyondBones blog.

Lecture: Ice Age Yucatan By Dominique Rissolo
Wednesday, November 12
6:30 p.m.

The complete, well preserved skeleton of a young girl from over 12,000 years ago was found in an underwater cave on the Yucatan Peninsula. Nicknamed “Princess Naia,” her remains are among the oldest yet found in the Americas. Her discovery is reshaping our understanding of human migration into the Western Hemisphere. This lecture is presented by marine archaeologist Dr. Dominique Rissolo, expedition coordinator for the Waitt Institute. This lecture is cosponsored by AIA – Houston. Click here for tickets.

Take Two: The Goonies
Friday, November 14
7:00 p.m.

A group of kids set out on an adventure in search of pirate treasure that could save their homes from foreclosure. Click here for tickets.

Archaeology in Houston? Uncovering Memorial Park’s History

Did you know that the US Army set up camp on the banks of Buffalo Bayou — where Houston’s beloved Memorial Park is today?

Memorial park Archaeology 1

Yes, Camp Logan was built as an emergency training center in World War I built in 1917 with the capacity to house 44,899 troops at a time.

“As you walk or run through Memorial Park now, it’s hard to imagine a huge sprawling military base on its grounds, but historic photographs of the camp depict row after row of tens on raised wooden platforms along graded streets near mess halls and latrines – and many of those foundation features are still visible in the wooded areas of the park,” comments historian and archaeologist Louis Aulbach.

The streets in Camp Logan were unpaved or surfaced with oyster shell or cinders. A 600-ton deep water well south of Washington Avenue serviced the camp, producing over 1 million gallons of water per day.

Memorial park Archaeology 2

“The thing that surprises us is how little you will hear or read about Camp Logan in any of the books dedicated to Houston’s history,” says Linda Gorski of Houston Archeological Society, “Most of the residents of River Oaks have no idea that Camp Logan extended across Buffalo Bayou and that horses and men paraded on grounds that are now their front yards.”

Little was recorded about Camp Logan so historians and archaeologists Louis Aulbach and Linda Gorski have been piecing the history back together from archaeology work conducted in Memorial Park, postcards from soldiers and maps.

They will present this unique story of Houston history at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on November 4 at 6:30 p.m. This lecture is sponsored by the Houston Archeological Society. Following the lecture Aulbach and Gorski will sign copies of their newly published book “Camp Logan: Houston, Texas 1917-1919.”

This presentation will be a tribute to the soldiers who trained at Camp Logan—including nine Medal of Honor winners and seventy one African American soldiers who won the French Croix de Guerre. Visit for more information. Advance tickets are available online and at 713.639.4629.

Memorial park Archaeology 3

Historians Linda Gorski and Louis Aulbach on Buffalo Bayou near Memorial Park.