Albuquerque, NM – Dawn of the Dinosaurs: New Mexico’s Triassic, the only Triassic Exhibit Hall in North America, opens its doors to the public at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science at 9:00 AM on May 17, 2008. Dawn of the Dinosaurs explores the plants and animals of the Triassic Period in New Mexico and the world. The Triassic is a time that saw the extinction of many kinds of plants and animals and the emergence of two types of animals that have dominated the planet ever since – dinosaurs and mammals.

Visitors to Dawn of the Dinosaurs will meet one of the first dinosaurs, Coelophysis, a voracious predator who led the way to dinosaurian dominance of the planet and New Mexico’s official state fossil. In addition, visitors can interact with the scientist who worked for over three years cleaning the fossils from a 2-ton stone slab filled with Coelophysis and other fossils.

Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a highly interactive, cutting edge exhibit hall of paleontology that features living fossils, the most complete database of research into Coelophysis, a wall of phytosaur skulls and an interactive sculpture that allows visitors to explore the evidence scientists use to identify evolutionary trends. The underlying theme of the hall is the evolution of species and how at any one time, species can be placed into one of three categories, species that are: first evolving, persisting in a stable environment, or going extinct. Visitors can explore these three components extensively through text panels, interactive displays and an animation of the concept.                            

Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the Museum’s newest permanent exhibit and is housed in the Edward and Mary Gavin Family Dawn of the Dinosaurs Hall. The hall is dedicated to the tireless efforts of the Gavins and their successful quest to establish the museum in the early 1980s.

Dawn of the Dinosaurs opens its doors to the public at 9:00 AM on Saturday May 17, 2008 and is free with regular Museum admission. The museum is located at 1801 Mountain Road NW in Old Town Albuquerque. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for children ages 3-12. For more information call 505-841-2800 or visit For more information on visiting Albuquerque, go to