Life at the Edge - The Pacific Museum of Earth's newest permanent exhibit

June 21, 2024
Daspletosaurus was a large tyrannosaur from the Late Cretaceous who lived between 78 and 74 million years ago.


Scenes from the Late Cretaceous, the era of the dinosaurs, have come back to life within the Wheaton Precious Metals Atrium of the Earth Sciences Building (ESB) on the University of British Columbia campus. The new exhibit, Life at the Edge, curated by the Pacific Museum of Earth takes visitors back 75 million years to life at the edge of Earth’s fifth and most recent mass extinction event. Visitors to ESB can see a Daspletosaurus, an ancestor of the iconic T-Rex, chasing down a smaller carnivorous raptor, the Dromaeosaurus. 

The exhibit has been designed to provoke thoughts on the precarious, yet resilient nature of life on Earth. Similar to the dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous, we now face rapid climate change that many predict will bring us to the edge of the 6th mass extinction event. While the exhibit draws parallels between the current Anthropocene and Late Cretaceous, it also highlights important differences. The 5th mass extinction event at the end of the Late Cretaceous was initiated by unstoppable natural disasters. Whereas current increasing extinction rates are due to anthropogenic carbon emissions, land use change like deforestation, and resource extraction. While we may not be able to prevent all the consequences of climate change, we still have the power to adjust our activities to minimize consequences and adapt to change. The exhibit curators hope by highlighting these differences, visitors will feel empowered to initiate conversations within their own communities and take actions where they can. 

The exhibit will open to the public on July 2. In the meantime, children at the University of British Columbia’s daycare program had an exclusive sneak peek of the dinosaurs as fossil articulators assembled the fossil casts. Their visit was covered by Vancouver CTV News. Several other media outlets have been quick to cover the new exhibit that hosts the first and only tyrannosaur on UBC’s campus. See below for a full list of Life on the Edge media coverage. Huge thanks to Wheaton Precious Metals whose generous gift made this new exhibit come to life. 


Media coverage:

1.       CTV News 

2.       CTV News Vancouver (9:50 mark)

3.       Glacier Media via Vancouver is Awesome, Burnaby Now, Richmond News, Tri-City News, New Westminster Record, North Shore News, Squamish Chief, Delta Optimist, Times Colonist, Coast Reporter 

4.       Vancouver Sun via MSN 

5.       CBC TV (59.06)

6.       City News Vancouver