Dynamic Earth has greeted visitors upon their entry to the exhibit halls since the late 1970s when it opened in its original form. The exhibit has always been a visitor favorite. Children of all ages enjoy seeing the life-size replica Albertosaurus poised to attack and walking under the Pteranodon depicted in mid-flight.
The construction of the Pteranodon was completed in the same year as the Dynamic Earth hall. It is life-sized, with a wing span of thirty feet. The wings were created using calf and deer skin. The body was carved out of Styrofoam and covered with the skin and resin. To complete the figure, flood lights were used for the eyes and a Coke can was used to help position the large tongue in place. The museum’s Pteranodon was one of a kind, and the Smithsonian sent ambassadors to learn how to create one for their museum in Washington D.C.
The Albertosaurus joined the exhibit hall in 1992. It was funded by Alabama Power and created by New Mexican artist and sculptor David Thomas. It travelled a long way to be in our exhibit! To celebrate the latest acquisition, the museum held a member’s opening of Dynamic Earth to showcase the new updates. Throughout the eighties and nineties, the museum continued to receive donations of gemstones and fossils that enhanced Dynamic Earth. Among these was the Mosasaur skeleton that hung in the lobby until its renovation in 2018; it was then moved to the Dynamic Earth hall.
In 2012, a replica of a complete Stegosaurus skeleton was donated to the museum. To accommodate the new acquisition, the museum decided to update the exhibit hall. The updates included new text and graphics. In 2018, our gemstone collection was redesigned to showcase both rare and common specimens.
Visitors are encouraged to visit the Anniston Museum of Natural History and step back in time. Come face to face with the megafauna of the past and discover how the earth’s surface continues to change!