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The history of Indianapolis’ favorite dinosaurs

The prehistoric friends outside the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis required huge crews and tons of steel to make and install.

INDYtoday: Indy_Childrens Museum Dinosaur 4_AUG2023

These Alamosauruses may look a little intimidating up close, but fear not — they were herbivores.

Many Indy locals can still remember the first time they were casually driving down 30th Street — only to be confronted by three massive dinosaurs breaking out of the Children’s Museum.

Where did these mysterious creatures come from? Did the museum accidentally open a prehistoric portal? Are they related to the other two massive dinos peeking into the museum’s atrium? And where are they going?

Turns out the history of these majestic beasts isn’t linked to a tear in the space-time continuum.

Canadian sculptor and paleoartist Brian Cooley, who specializes in studying real dinosaur skeletons in order to build lifelike recreations, created the three Alamosaurus dinosaurs bursting out of the building. The mother, Yvonne, is 75 ft long, while her two children, Greg and Diana, are each 25 ft long.

INDYtoday: Indy_Children's Museum Dinosaurs 2_AUG23

Talk about a long neck — scientists have estimated that the necks of Brachiosauruses could have measured up to 30ft in length.

Photo by @staabstudios

Meanwhile, while they aren’t as visible from the street, two Brachiosauruses aren’t trying to escape the museum so much as they’re trying to get in.

These sculptures were constructed by Staab Studios, which creates natural history and prehistoric life models for museums, publishing, film, and private collectors. Gary Staab told us the project took seven months to complete + involved 2.5 tons of steel on the interior of the largest dino to hold it steady.

INDYtoday: Indy_Childrens Museum Dinosaur 5_AUG2023

The sculptures all were so massive and heavy that they required cranes for installation.

Photo by @staabstudios

The dinosaurs were installed in 2004 and 2009 and have remained the highlight of the museum’s exterior since.

The only question that remains is where those Alamosauruses are headed. Our guess is to the river for a refreshing dip. You must get pretty thirsty after being extinct for about 65 million years.

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