Media Releases

Bigger Than T-Rex

Bigger Than T-Rex photo 1/17/2014 4:23:19 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. Exhibition of 45-Foot Carnivorous Dinosaur on Display at
Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame
January 23 - May 1, 2014








Hobbs, NM– Imagine a dinosaur more fearsome and larger than a Tyrannosaurus Rex.  In 1991, such a killer was discovered in Patagonia, near the southern tip of Argentina.  GIGANOTOSAURUS (JIG-ah-NOTE-oh-SORE-us), 45 feet long, was five feet longer and three tons heavier than the largest known T-Rex.  And this most fearsome carnivorous dinosaur, along with other pre-historic creatures, will be on display at the Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, on the campus of New Mexico Junior College, beginning January 23, 2014.  This is the first time BIGGER THAN T-REX has been on display in the southwest. 

The public is invited to a special reception January 23rd at 5:30pm— refreshments will be served.

In a remodeled spacious gallery, visitors will come face to face with the full 45-foot long skeleton, with its huge skull full of sharp teeth, and three-fingered hands with claws.  Standing 14 feet tall and weighing about 10 tons, these creatures were indigenous to what is now Argentina about 100 to 97 million years ago, a whopping 30 million years before T-Rex appeared in North America.  Like T-Rex, Giganotosaurus had relatively stunted front arms, which likely served an important function, and based on their skeletal structure, was faster than T-Rex, capable of sprints of 20mph or more.

In addition to Giganotosaurus, another gigantic killer dinosaur, the MAPUSAURUS, a close and somewhat larger relative found in the same region of Patagonia, will also be exhibited at the museum, with the only skeleton ever reconstructed of the animal.  It lived one million years after Giganotosaurus, and is considered one of the most feared predators of its day.  When discovered, there were nine Mapusaurs buried together, proving that big meat-eaters lived in packs.

Additionally, visitors will learn about the Argentinosaurus, the largest animal ever to walk the earth, the Allosaurus, the largest carnivore of the Jurassic Period, the Albertosaurus, an ancestor of the T-Rex, and Amargasaurus, an herbivore from Patagonia, and more. 

A fossil dig pit will be installed for children to hunt for dinosaur bones and touch actual fossils.  And a 20 by 9 foot original painted mural will help bring pre-history to life.

Family Fun Dayswill be held on the last Saturday of every month January through April. The first Family Fun Day will be January 25 from 10am until 3pm. The activities start at 11 am with a presentation byAmanda Cantrell and Tom Suazofrom the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, who will demonstrate and discuss the handling and preparation of fossils.  Artist Casie Hutchison and friends will teach children how to sculpt their own dinosaur in our Family Fun Day Activity Center at 12pm. The day concludes with a showing of “Walking with Dinosaurs” at 1:30 pm in the Museum Theater. There will also be many door prizes and other dinosaur-themed giveaways for visitors during the day.  Best of all, admission is FREE!

School Groups are invited for tours and hands-on activities by contacting the education department at 575-492-2678 or In addition to the exhibition BIGGER THAN T-REX, age-appropriate educational films are available for viewing in the Museum Theater.  Bussing grants may be available to area educators to offset the cost of transportation to the Museum.

BIGGER THAN T-REX was created by Dino Don, Inc. /Exhibits Rex, and is the first interactive and comprehensive look at the largest dinosaurs ever found.  Gigantosaurus was excavated and reconstructed in Patagonia by “Dino” Don Lessem and his team at the Museo Carmen Funes in Plaza Huincul, Argentina.  Lessem is a writer of more than 50 Popular Science books, specializing in dinosaurs.  He was advisor to the Jurassic Park film and theme park attraction.  Lessem and Argentine paleontologist Rodolfo Coria found the nine individual Mapusaurus buried together.

The Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, which opened in 2005, invites visitors to discover the rich history of Lea County in the southeastern side of New Mexico, from its prehistory to modern technologies.  The Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame pays tribute to the cowboys and pioneers who have contributed to its heritage and the area’s ranching industry.   The museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame are located on the campus of New Mexico Junior College.



 When:            January 23 – May 1, 2014
                        Opening Reception January 23 at 5:30pm – FREE admission
                        Family Fun Days (the last Saturday of the month) 10am – 3 pm FREE admission

                        January 25
                        February 22
                        March 29
                        April 29

Where:           Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame
                        5317 Lovington Highway, Hobbs, NM  88240

What:              GIGANOTOSAURUS (JIG-ah-NOTE-oh-SORE-us) 45-foot long skeleton, that was one of the largest meat-eaters discovered in Patagonia, Argentina, and was larger than Tyrannosaurus Rex

                        MAPUSAURUS 25-foot long skeleton, another large carnivore

                        ALBERTOSAURUS AND ALLOSAURUS skulls

                        ARGENTINOSAURUS vertebra, the largest bone in the world

                        AMARGASAURUS head and neck, a bizarre-looking plant-eater

                        Fossil Dig Pit

                        Fossil Touching Area

                        Children’s Activity Center

                        Fossil dinosaur eggs

                        20 by 9 foot original painted murals

Admission:          $3 Adults - $2 Children (4-12) - $2 Senior Citizens (62 and above)
                              Children 3 years of age and under are admitted FREE
                              Museum Members, NMJC Students, Faculty and Staff are admitted FREE

Hours:                  The museum is open:
                                  Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm
                                  Sunday 1:00pm - 5:00pm
                                  Monday group tours by appointment only

All Stories

RSS logo

:Events Calendar:  :Focus on Faces:  :Photo Galleries:  :Video Gallery: