Fort Worth Museum of Science & History



FW Museum of Science & History - Paluxysaurus jonesi

This Early Cretaceous sauropod lived about 110 million to 115 million years ago. Paluxysaurus jonesi was estimated to stand about 12 feet high at the shoulder and weigh 20 tons. That’s about the weight of seven elephants! From nose to tail, the dinosaur measured about 60 feet long.

The skeleton on view is actually a combination of four different Paluxysaurus skeletons found in a similar area. Though 60 to 70 percent of a full skeleton was found, most of the bones are too fragile or deformed to be mounted, so casts were made using 3D modeling techniques!

Paluxysaurus jonesi's name comes from the location of the dig site, a sandstone quarry on the Jones ranch in Hood County, Texas. This site was close to the town of Paluxy on the Paluxy River.

It took 16 years for students, faculty, staff, and volunteers from Southern Methodist University, the Museum, and other organizations to uncover, clean, and mount the pieces on view. The sandstone matrix surrounding Paluxysaurus was difficult to remove specimens from, so some parts of the skeletons are still embedded in blocks of quarry rock and stored in the Museum’s collection.

After paleontologists confirmed these bones belonged to a new species of dinosaur, the Texas State Legislature passed a bill making Paluxysaurus jonesi the official State Dinosaur of Texas in 2009! During the Museum’s 75th anniversary, Paluxysaurus jonesi was moved from the Dino Labs exhibit to a prominent position in Museum's atrium.

About the Museum

Our Mission

Dedicated to lifelong learning and anchored by our rich collections, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History engages our diverse community through creative, vibrant programs and exhibits interpreting science and the stories of Texas and the Southwest. History of the Museum

On May 21, 1941, a charter to establish a Fort Worth Children's Museum was filed with the State of Texas. The purposes of the new museum were listed as: "The maintenance of a place where geological, biological, and zoological collections may be housed; to increase and diffuse knowledge and appreciation of history, art, and science; to preserve objects of historic, artistic, and scientific interests; and to offer popular instruction and opportunities for aesthetic enjoyment."

The museum's history actually began in 1939 when the local council of Administrative Women in Education began a study of children's museums, with the idea of starting one in Fort Worth. Two years later the charter was filed, but it would be almost four years before the museum would find a physical home. With the help of the city's school board, the museum opened in early 1945 in two rooms in De Zavala Elementary School.

In 1947 the museum moved into the large R.E. Harding House at 1306 Summit, where it kept growing in size and popularity. Three years later two significant entities appeared: The Ladies Auxiliary of the Fort Worth Children's Museum (now the Museum Guild), and "The Frisky and Blossom Club," the forerunner of Museum School®. Soon it became apparent that a much larger facility was needed to serve the growing needs of the community. The ground was broken for a new facility in 1952. On January 25, 1954, the museum opened the building at 1501 Montgomery Street. The following year the Charlie Mary Noble Planetarium, the first public planetarium in the region, opened.

In 1968 the name was changed to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History so that adults even without children could enjoy the Museum. It worked! Today more than half the Museum's visitors are adults. Much of that is due to the addition of the Omni Theater in 1983. The Omni was the first IMAX® dome theater in the Southwest and soon became one of the most successful in the world.

During its first 40 years, the Museum was a quiet place where one could dream of the past or contemplate the future in relative solitude. Permanent exhibits included the History of Medicine, Your Body, IBM Calculators and Computers, Rocks and Fossils, Texas History, and Man and His Possessions. In collaboration with other museums and science centers, the Museum has offered large, world-class traveling exhibits that open visitors to new worlds of learning.

In May 2006, the Museum unveiled plans for its new building: an innovative work of architecture that blends with neighboring institutions and features a sweeping plaza and campus-like environment at the south end of the Cultural District. Construction was completed in the fall of 2009 and the Museum now faces the Will Rogers Memorial Center to the east and opens onto a broad plaza that connects the museum more closely to its neighbors, both the Will Rogers Center and, in particular, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

The new facility, designed by famed architects Legoretta + Legoretta of Mexico City, is 166,000 sq. ft. of engaging gallery space. The Museum holds DinoLabs and DinoDig, Innovation Studios, the Children's Museum, Energy Blast, and the CattleRaiser's Museum. The Havener Gallery provides a space for changing exhibits and attendance has grown to over 500,000 guests annually since construction.

Although its name, location, size, and scope have changed dramatically since 1941, the Museum still serves a similar purpose: to provide an extraordinary learning environment to the community.

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History