A plesiosaur skeleton cast that will be on display in the exhibition.

A plesiosaur skeleton cast that will be on display in the exhibition. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

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Natural History Museum London touring exhibition Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep opens at the Field Museum in Chicago

One of the most fascinating touring exhibitions from London’s Natural History Museum, Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep, will open this Friday 25 February at the Field Museum in Chicago. 

One of the most fascinating touring exhibitions from London’s Natural History Museum, Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep, will open this Friday 25 February at the Field Museum in Chicago. This unique exhibition will take visitors on an underwater journey to encounter some of the impressive, strange creatures that dominated Earth’s Jurassic seas while dinosaurs ruled the land.

The show features over 100 fossils and models ranging from giant marine reptiles like a giant amphibian cast almost three metres long to small, strange starfish cousins called sea lilies. Visitors will come face-to-face with marine predators and other fierce marine life of the Jurassic seas through real fossils and CGI projections.

‘I hope visitors will get to know some of the animals that dominated our oceans for 160 million years and learn that dinosaurs weren’t the only impressive reptiles around in the Jurassic,’ says Lottie Dodwell, Senior Interpretation Developer at the Natural History Museum who worked on the development of this exhibition.

Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, London, adds: ‘We are thrilled to be working with the Field Museum for the launch of this exhibition, which features some of the most striking specimens from our collections. In the present day when our planet is in crisis, it is more critical than ever before for us to act as advocates for the natural world. We hope visitors will enjoy diving deep into the history of our fascinating oceans and will be inspired to protect their future.’

The exhibition showcases some of the top marine predators of the time, including a true-to-life replica of a sleek, speedy reptile called an ichthyosaur and the skeleton of a long-necked plesiosaur.

Museum-goers will be able to get up close with a fossilised tail of one of the biggest fish ever discovered: Leedsichthys, a thirty-foot-long giant that cruised near the surface of the sea catching thousands of microscopic plankton. They will also get to see real specimens of today’s marine reptiles: crocodiles, sea snakes, sea turtles, water monitors, and marine iguanas.

‘We’re excited to showcase these amazing encounters and let visitors experience the incredible diversity of the Jurassic oceans,’ says Emily Parr, the exhibition’s Project Manager at The Field Museum. The public will be able to touch real fossils of shelled creatures from the Jurassic, feel the textures of replicated sea creature skins, and explore the features of marine reptiles on interactive touchscreens.

‘People have always tried to imagine what ferocious beasts might lurk beneath the waves,’ says Parr. ‘Through the exhibition, we’ll be able to show them the real monsters of the deep.’

Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep will be presented with bilingual text in English and Spanish and will run at the Field Museum until 5 September 2022.


Media contact and interviews

To find out more about Natural History Museum touring exhibitions or to arrange an interview with a Natural History Museum spokesperson, email press@nhm.ac.uk. Spokespeople are available w/c 21 February and w/c 28 February to comment on this exciting exhibition and the outreach of the Natural History Museum’s Touring programme.

To contact the Field Museum’s press team, email: press@fieldmuseum.org

Jurassic Oceans Opening Reception and Discussion at the Field Museum, Chicago

Natural History Museum Director Doug Gurr will be joining the Field Museum’s President and CEO, Julian Siggers, at the Field Museum for an in-person Opening Reception and Discussion at 6pm CST on Wednesday 2 March. Local journalists can register their interest in attending this event by emailing press@fieldmuseum.org.

About the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome over five million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.

About the Field Museum, Chicago

The Field Museum is a forward-thinking scientific leader on a mission to explore, protect, and celebrate nature and culture. From exhibitions that inspire journeys of discovery in visitors young and old, to the groundbreaking research and conservation efforts driven by our 40 million artifacts and specimens, we’re on a mission to spark public engagement with science and uncover solutions for a brighter world.