Hatching the Past: Dinosaurs Eggs and Babies


Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs through their eggs, nests and embryos in Hatching the Past: Dinosaur Eggs & Babies. Hatching the Past blends the arts and sciences with an astounding array of dinosaur eggs and nests collected from all over the globe, including those of each major plant and meat-eating dinosaur group. Although dinosaur eggs were first identified in the 1920s, their scientific significance was not fully appreciated until the end of the 20th century. Today, dinosaur eggs are recognized for their enormous scientific value and for offering fascinating details and fresh insights into the behavior, growth and evolution of dinosaurs. Hatching the Past presents new discoveries about dinosaur reproduction and behavior and introduces some of the fascinating people and science behind these discoveries. Its multi-media experience helps give credence to long debated theories that dinosaurs and birds are closely related.

A captivating experience for all ages, Hatching the Past invites visitors to touch real dinosaur bones and reconstructed nests – one more than eight feet in diameter, dig for eggs, experience hands-on exploration stations and view animated video presentations featuring well known dinosaur experts. Each science-rich section is enhanced with exciting life-like models of embryos and hatchlings, colourful illustrations of dinosaur family life and stunning photographs of some of the world’s most renowned dinosaur hunters and their discoveries.

Exhibition Size

The exhibition’s standard size is 600 m2. However, the exhibition provides flexibility to accommodate its contents to smaller or larger floor areas according to venue’s needs.

Exhibition Duration

The exhibition’s standard duration is 3 months. Shorter or longer bookings can also be arranged to meet host venue’s requirements.


Hatching the Past has been designed to appeal directly to families and educational groups. Children accompanied by adults are the common element in these groups, therefore school curricula and children’s interest have strongly framed the exhibition approaches and content.

Communication Objectives

By going through the exhibition, visitors will:

  • Learn about dinosaur family life and how they cared for their young
  • Develop a greater appreciation of the importance of eggs in the study of dinosaurs
  • Find out about fascinating scientists and their discoveries
  • Understand the complex ‘design’ of eggs
  • Learn to identify eggs from different dinosaur groups, based on their shape and texture.

Exhibition Components

The exhibition features dinosaur eggs and babies from all over the world together with artist’s renditions of dinosaur life and the latest findings of leading dinosaur experts. The exhibition’s mixture of interpretive media - real specimens, models, text, video, images, interactives, exploration stations, artworks, etc - will provide an active and personally engaging experience for both children and adults.


  • Over 150* individual dinosaur egg casts from around the globe, representing the different families of dinosaurs
  • 23* complete dinosaur skeletons casts (15 articulated)
  • 8* mounted dinosaur skull casts illustrating different stages of growth
  • 10 full scale fleshed models including 6 life-like models of embryos and hatchlings by well known palaeo-sculptors Brian Cooley, Dennis Wilson, William Monteleone and Laurie Austin
  • 21 interactive stations, including 3 dig pits, 8 touch- eggs identification modules, 2 magnifying stations, 5 Q&A stands, 2 touchable real dinosaur bones and 1 large dig pit (3m x 3m)
  • 5 wall-mounted TV screens repeating documentaries featuring well known dinosaur experts including Robert Bakker, Philip Currie, Mark Norell and others

*Additional items may be added as new discoveries are made and specimens become available.

Graphic components:

  • 5 large panel photographs by National Geographic photographerLouie Psihoyos of some of the world’s most renowned dinosaur hunters and their discoveries
  • 11 large framed reproductions of artwork by Luis Rey and Mark Hallett
  • 8 Exploration & Discovery panels
  • 7 large section panels

Educational support material:

  • Visitor’s Adventure Guide
  • 16-page Docent's Gallery Guide
  • 46-page Educator's Guide with teaching standards, activities and reference list
  • Feature length film ‘Dinosaur Eggs & Babies’ available on DVD

Design and Production Support:

Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, Greenwich, Connecticut

Frank McClung Museum, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Peabody Museum, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Exhibition Development Associate

Exhibition produced by: StoneCompany.com

Contributing Scientists:

Robert T. Bakker, Curator, Paleontology Department Houston Museum of Natural Science

Kenneth Carpenter, Chief Preparator, Curator of Paleontology, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Luis Chiappe, Curator and Chairman, Division of Paleontology, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Karen Chin, Curator of Paleontology, University of Colorado Museum, Boulder

Philip J. Currie, Head of Dinosaur Research, Royal Tyrrell Museum, Alberta, Canada

Jacques Gauthier, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Peabody Museum, Yale University

Karl Hirsch (deceased) University of Colorado, Boulder

Jinyuan Liu, Curator, Dalian Natural History Museum, Dalian, China

John “Jack” Horner, Curator of Paleontology Montana State University, Museum of the Rockies

Mark Norell, Curator and Chairman, Division of Paleontology American Museum of Natural History

Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Contributing Artists:

Brian Cooley, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Mark Hallett, Portland, Oregon

William Monteleone, Alista Viejo, California

Gregory Paul, Baltimore, Maryland

John Sibbick, London, England

Luis Rey, London, England

Dennis Wilson, Denver, Colorado

Exhibition Photographer:

Louie Psihoyos, Boulder, Colorado


Hatching the Past Slide Show Melbourne Museum 2008




Theropod Eggs



Hatching the Past Interactive produced by Tafe Tasmania

Dinosaur game



Hatching the Past online booklet

PDF Booklet