Old life gets new exhibit | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 5pm

Old life gets new exhibit

10 Credit Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology

The Royal Tyrrell Museum is exploring the earliest life on earth as part of its new and redesigned gallery in 2024.
The First Life exhibit at the Royal Tyrrell Museum opened on Friday, May 17. President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance and MLA for Drumheller-Stettler Nate Horner, joined the Tyrrell’s staff and visitors to mark the occasion.
The new exhibit explores the evolution of the earliest life on Earth, from microbes to multi-cellular animals, and features recently discovered Canadian fossils that provide evidence that has revolutionized scientists’ understanding of the evolution of modern animals.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s new, 163-square-metre gallery space features captivating new videos, illustrations, models and hands-on interactive activities that create a unique experience for visitors.
“For almost forty years, the Royal Tyrrell Museum has shared the remarkable story of Alberta’s palaeontological past with millions of visitors from around the world. With the redevelopment of this exhibit, we seek to ignite wonder and curiosity by highlighting the strange and remarkable creatures that were some of the earliest forms of life on Earth,” said Lisa Making, executive director, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.
The First Life exhibit showcases fossils from the Precambrian era, a span of time from 4.6 billion to 539 million years ago, and from the Cambrian era, a span of time from 539 to 485 million years ago. In addition to the fossils already on display at the museum, some of the fossils are also from Yoho National Park in British Columbia and are on long-term loan from the Royal Ontario Museum.
“The journey through time at the Royal Tyrrell Museum begins at First Life. This new exhibit sheds light on the strange life that existed hundreds of millions of years ago and provides visitors with the most up-to-date interpretations of what those organisms looked like and how they lived,” said Craig Scott, director, of preservation and research, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.
The redevelopment of the gallery spaces began in November 2023 and the cost of the new exhibit and gallery was $379,000. The Burgess Shale diorama, a favourite of many visitors, is the only exhibit element that has been kept in place from before the renovations. Improvements made to the space include reduced wall heights to allow for a glass wall overlooking Dinosaur Hall, providing better views for everyone.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum has reached a milestone with 500,000+ visitors in both 2023 and 2022 and revenues in 2023-24 were almost $6.3 million.
“The Tyrrell is already a world-class attraction that showcases the amazing history of our region. This new exhibit will attract even more visitors and demonstrate the very origins of life on our planet, boosting the economy in southern Alberta and the Canadian Badlands for decades to come,” said Horner.

photo courtesy Royal Tyrrell Museum

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