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The Museum of Idaho: Darwin and Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs are mysterious creatures who lived on Earth a long, long time ago. Even though we can’t see them in person we can still learn about them and see their skeletons. The Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls has its exhibit called Darwin and Dinosaurs which focuses on dinosaurs and Charles Darwin’s famous discovery of evolution.  

It might seem like an odd combination for some, but Jeff Carr, the director of public relations for the Museum of Idaho, said evolution can help us understand why animals are the way they are now.  

“It sort of traces a story going back, a long time obviously, millions of years about ancient species such as dinosaurs,” he said “…how they adapted to their environments and how they have adapted to the birds we know today, some of them, and how they continue to adapt.” 

This is a great opportunity to learn more about these creatures. Carr said there are around 14 dinosaur skeletons at the museum, and some of them are not commonly known by others.  

There are also games and interactive opportunities for both children and adults. One of their more popular games is on a 12-by-7-foot touchscreen, which is one of the largest screens in the world. The game is called “Hungry Bird” where those who play can step up and catch moths in 60 seconds.  

“So it’s fun and what we love about it is it’s a fun, exciting, fast paced game, that also teaches a very complex concept in a way that when you play you just kind of get it,” Carr said.  

Carr said there are people who fear the topic of evolution because they believe it disagrees with their religious views. Brigham Young University professor Dr. Jamie Jensen, who is an evolutionary biologist, came to the museum a few weeks ago and gave a lecture about how evolution, Darwin, the gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Christianity at large can all fit really nicely together. She also said the Church of Jesus Christ does not have an official stand on evolution.  

“I think we get to learn more just about how we can see biology all around us, every day, and so many of these things that we think of just being ancient are in fact still happening today,” Carr said.  

In this exhibit you can also learn more about who Charles Darwin was as a person and as a scientist. You can also learn how he was able to get the discoveries that have changed science.   

The Museum of Idaho is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $12, seniors $11, youth $10, college students with an ID $10, a family ticket is $42 and for a family night on Mondays $37. For information about the exhibit see the Musuemof Idaho website