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National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan*
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From Dragon to Beast
Extinction and Radiation
The 1st Special Exhibition Gallery
March 29 - September 22, 2013

Evolution is fascinating to watch.─ Shana Alexander
Formosa Teahe ancient world is fascinating. Dinosaurs are the most mysterious creatures in this imaginative space. They have always been the favorites in the natural science museums worldwide. Their roles in the National Museum of Natural Science are no exceptions. Started from 2000's "Dancing with Dragons" exhibition, these dinosaurs occupied the exhibition halls showing off their incredible energy. The spirit marched into 2003's "Flying Dinosaurs" and 2009's "Sea Dragons" exhibitions. Now, we are in 2013, the special exhibition "From Dragon to Beast - Extinction and Radiation" takes a giant leap. It features both the extinction of Mesozoic dragons and the radiation of Cenozoic mammals under the Losess Plateau, which demonstrates the circle of life on the planet earth.

Chang at Opening Reception
From Dragon to Beast is the most extensive fossil event ever to come to Taiwan, which opens to the public Friday 29 March at the National Museum of Natural Science. Already billed as a "must-see", the exhibition brings dinosaurs and other ancient animals to life. The exhibition is developed by the Museum's curatorial team led by Dr. Chang Chun-Hsiang, Chair and Curator, Division of Geology at the Museum. Great care and attention to detail make the exhibition both informative and aesthetically pleasing.

From Dragon to Beast, which runs until 22 September, is being staged in partnership with the Gansu Geological Museum, Lanzou and Hezheng Museum of Paleontologic Fossils, Linshia. 104 specimens in the exhibition come from the two museums in Gansu, the other 140 are from the Museum's own collection. The exhibition will open at the Museum for half a year period, which includes July and August to facilitate demand over the holiday period.

Gansu Geological Museum
Hezheng Fossil Museum


Sun Finish Up with Last Bone
The Museum's director, Dr. Sun Wei-shin said it was a major coup for the Museum to bring this world-class exhibition to Taiwan. "This is one of the most outstanding exhibitions ever to come to the Museum. From Dragon to Beast brings alive the amazing world of evolution and we are sure that visitors will be captivated by the circle of life on the planet earth."

Dr. Chang Chun-Hsiang, the exhibition organizer, said at the opening reception, "We are thrilled to present this grand fossil feast for dinosaurs and mammals in partnership with Gansu Geological Museum and Hezheng Museum of Paleontologic Fossils. From Dragon to Beast gives visitors the chance to experience the land of these giants, and their successors─birds and mammals as well. We are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the great evolutionary history of life to audiences in Taiwan."

Dinosaur Skeleton at Oval Plaza
From Dragon to Beast goes beyond traditional dinosaur fossil shows to give visitors a full view of the clear link between Mesozoic reptiles and Cenozoic birds and mammals. In the mighty dragon gallery, eight giant dinosaur skeletons from Gansu are mounted. Visitors come face-to-face with, and in some cases can walk underneath, these huge prehistoric reptiles. The dragon gallery also reveals new insights into life and death of the ancient reptiles through the illustration of K-T Event, a dinosaur cladogram, and an impressive Nature's "Nine-Dragon Wall". If kids are tired of too much informative knowledge about dinosaurs, the gallery offers them a roaring good time with an interactive animated game of digging out dinosaur fossils. The other gallery of the exhibition ─ the beast gallery, displays more than one hundred mammal fossils. In this delicate gallery, visitors will explore the incredible range of mammal diversity, get close to the elegant fossils from Hezheng, and discover the structure and function in mammals. Many of the fossils on display, which are of great significance to studies of the evolution of mammalian species, as well as the geographical and climatic changes of the Tertiary Period of the Late Cenozoic epoch, are shown to the public outside Mainland China for the first time. In between the two galleries, visitors will learn about the fall of the dinosaurs and the rise of birds and mammals through specimens and illustrations on display. Also, here visitors can go behind the scenes of the exhibition by viewing the time-lapse video documenting the installation of the exhibition.

From Dragon to Beast, a collaboration of the three museums, is a token to the evolution. Preview some of the exhibition’s highlights. Get to know about the early steps in the exhibition development such as the idea generation and the exhibition selection criteria and approval process from Mr. Teng Ching-sheng, the Museum’s Administrative Deputy Director. Combine all the must-sees with ideas from science. Add a little of your own imagination ─ and visit the exhibition in person!

  • From Dragon to Beast is a paid exhibition. Adult tickets are priced at NT$250, concessions (group 20+, student, military) NT$220, student or labor groups NT$200, seniors 70 and above, children 6 and under go free.
  • Accompanying program for educators is available on Saturday, April 27. Check our Chinese page for details.

From Dragon to Beast - Extinction and Radiation is organized by the National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung, Taiwan, in collaboration with Gansu Geological Museum and Hezheng Museum of Paleontologic Fossils, China.