Article - Gift makes Bizarre Beasts exhibit permanent at Nebraska

Gift makes ‘Bizarre Beasts' exhibit permanent at Nebraska

Gift makes ‘Bizarre Beasts' exhibit permanent at Nebraska

Weird science is on permanent display at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln.

Posted: mié, may 2, 2012

On May 12, the museum opens "Bizarre Beasts," a new permanent exhibit exploring some of the strangest creatures ever to inhabit the Earth, past and present.

"Bizarre Beasts" was previously displayed in leading museums, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, among others. It is now on permanent exhibit in Nebraska.

The exhibit is made possible with a gift of more than $300,000 to the University of Nebraska Foundation from the museum's longtime benefactor, the Theodore F. and Claire M. Hubbard Family Foundation of Omaha.

"The Nebraska State Museum is a true treasure and a must see for all age groups, said Ted Hubbard of Omaha, who represents the Hubbard Family Foundation. "This new exhibit will be another reason to visit and enjoy one of the top attractions in our state."

Created by renowned artist and Nebraska native Gary Staab of Staab Studios, Inc., this dramatic exhibit takes visitors on a journey back in time as they come face-to-face with some of Mother Nature's most curious creatures and discover how their environments shaped their freaky features.

Interactive and educational displays in this newly renovated gallery showcase cast skeletons and remarkable life-size models of natural oddities, including a pterosaur, a giant reptile with a 15-foot wingspan; Diatryma, a six-foot-tall flightless bird; Helicoprion, a 13-foot shark with a row of teeth that resembles a buzz saw, and much more. 

"This is what happens when art meets science," said Mark Harris, the museum's associate director. "‘Beasts' is beauty and bizarreness in harmony. Our audience will eat this up."

The museum is located in Morrill Hall on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus south of 14th and Vine streets.

The University of Nebraska State Museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday; 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Regular admission is $5 for adults (19 and over), $3 for children (5-18 years, 4 and under are free), and $10 for families (up to two adults and their children). UNL staff, faculty, and students are admitted free with valid NU ID. Friends of the museum receive free admission with valid membership card. There is an additional charge for planetarium shows. Parking is free. For more information, call 402-472-2642 or visit


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