Huge flying dinosaurs, vines added to overhaul of Field Museum’s main hall

CHICAGO — For the Field Museum's paleontologists and exhibition directors, Wednesday was a little like Christmas as a semi packed with some of the biggest dinosaur replicas you've ever seen pulled up front.

After a year of waiting, the flock of pterosauruses was finally at the Field's doorstep. It was a delivery so massive the only way it was going in was to take the front doors off. It took seven men to hoist the biggest of the flying dinos out of the truck and then walk it up to what seemed like never-ending stairs to Stanley Hall. At 35 feet across, a quetzalcoatlus presents more like a single engine airplane than flying reptile.

"Ultimately, that's what we're always going for," Field Exhibitions Production Director, Daniel Breems. "We want the wow factor, so visitors see these guys and feel that awe and wonder with the size of it."

The new additions were made possible by a $16 million gift from the Kenneth C. Griffin Fund. When it's all installed, there will be four hanging garden clouds, a giant garden dome with vines reaching toward the floor and 12 pterosauruses flying over Máximo the titanosaur. Upstairs, you're greeted by the 11-foot beak of another quetzalcoatlus, which are already drawing a crowd.

The Field's beloved T.rex may be temporarily overshadowed, but not overlooked. Sue will be getting her own brand new digs upstairs as part of a new Antarctic dinosaur exhibit that opens to the public by March of 2019.