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March 7–8, 2020



Every year, the Academy celebrates all things prehistoric during Paleopalooza, a two-day festival of fossils. 

Free for members or with general admission. Save $2 when you purchase tickets online.

Paleopalooza 2020 Activities: 

Auditorium Show: Animals Through the Ages
11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

From the first amphibians to crawl on land over 400 million years ago to the most sophisticated modern birds, animals are ancient! Meet the Academy’s own live animal ambassadors and compare them on the big screen to their ancient relatives found in the fossil record.

Auditorium Show: Dinosaurs of the Bighorn Basin Dinosaur Project
12:30 p.m.

Join paleontologist Jason Schein for a wicked cool presentation on what it takes to dig up dinosaurs in the American West. Find out what we might have in store for the next few years of discovery, and learn more about taking a trip out there yourself!

Auditorium Show: First Steps: The Origin of Limbs
1:30 p.m.

Academy paleontologist Ted Daeschler, PhD, reviews fossil discoveries that document the earliest limbed animals.

Auditorium Show: Roadcut Paleontology: Secrets at the Side of the Road
2:30 p.m.
Academy paleontologist Jason Downs, PhD, describes brand-new research on the ancient animals that lived right here in Pennsylvania, found in an unusual way: highway construction that unearthed Late Devonian Catskill Formation fossils.

Vertebrate Paleontology: Comparative Biology and Current Research

Get an exclusive look at some rarely exhibited and wonderful fossils and specimens collected by Academy paleontologists. Learn about current research around the world and compare a live turtle to a fossil specimen. How have they stayed the same?

Dino Dissection

Get under the skin of a modern dinosaur! Join Academy scientists in an exploration of an avian dinosaur (you might call it a bird!). Discover what dissection can teach us about ancient creatures as we compare avian anatomy to the towering T. rex on display nearby.

dino hall tour

Guided Tours of Dinosaur Hall
10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m.

Meet under the T. rex for ultra-cool dinosaur tours. Bring your most pressing dino questions!

Meet Crunchy the T. rex

Our good friend Crunchy is back, and he can’t wait to meet you as he tours the museum! Ask staff for details on where Crunchy may be roaring to next. Where will you find him?

Slow Survivors

Not every ancient creature was fast and furious! From Ankylosaurs to Glyptodons, discover some of nature’s slower survivors, and find out what gave them the edge when compared to their quicker counterparts. See how these ancient beasts compare to modern animals and meet their live relatives, including armadillos and lizards, at special up-close encounters.

Fossil Preparation

See a real fossil fresh from the field as it is prepared by our technicians in the Fossil Prep Lab.

The Fossil Hunt

Have sharp eyes? Search for real fossils to take home. Take a closer look at specimens that prove that dinosaurs don’t have the monopoly on cool fossils!

Geology Rocks!

There’s nothing sedimentary about this station! Celebrate our gneiss-est rocks and minerals, igneous style, and get metamorphic over stratigraphy and fossilization.

Fossil Club Displays

Peruse the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society’s fossil tables and exhibits, featuring interactive displays, a touch table and world-class fossil collections.

Paleopalooza fossils 

Mesozoic Market

Stop by the Commons for educational displays, fossil vendors, dinosaur tattoos and more. 

Ancient Arthropods

Join Academy scientists and educators for an in-depth look at some of the rarest and most informative specimens in our collections, from fossil spiders to flies in amber to crabs that have been turned to stone. Discover what makes an arthropod, and compare the creatures frozen in time to their live modern counterparts.

Special Exhibit: Survival of the Slowest

Do animals always need to be the strongest, the biggest and the fastest to survive? Or can it sometimes be advantageous to be small or slow? Just ask a tortoise! In Survival of the Slowest, meet animals that have survived for millions of years despite being very slow, and learn about the puzzling sides of evolution and adaptation. Meet live animals, including a two-toed sloth, tarantula, chameleon and horned frog. Touch a tortoise, iguana, snake, hedgehog or gecko, catch live animal feedings and more! Special ticket required.