— Royal Ontario Museum (@ROMtoronto) 3 June 2017
David and I had a wonderful time chatting about Zuul with probably about 300 people over the course of the evening. Palaeo lab technicians Ian Morrison and Brian Iwama created a beautiful mounted cast of Zuul‘s skull and jaws (so the original could remain safe and sound back in our collections spaces) – it’s so good you can hardly tell it’s not the original fossil!
— Glendon Mellow (@FlyingTrilobite) 3 June 2017
We also brought out an original Zuul osteoderm that people could touch (gently!).
— INDIE88 (@Indie88Toronto) 3 June 2017
Surprise visitors were lots of fun!
— Danielle Dufault (@MesozoicMuse) 3 June 2017
Elsewhere in the museum, Kentaro Chiba showed off Medusaceratops fossils and talked about dinosaurs and mythology, Mateusz Wosik and Ashley Reynolds hosted a dinosaur name spelling bee to great success and hilarity, and Danielle Dufault chatted about palaeoart while people had a chance to colour Zuul on a giant digital colouring wall!
FNL is a 19+ event that sees about 3000 people visit the museum. One thing that really hit home for me this time was that the vast, vast majority of people who came up to me to chat about dinosaurs were women in their 20s and 30s, a group that I hardly ever reach when doing various in-person science communication events. Dinosaurs are kid-friendly, so I see lots of small kids with their parents and grandparents, but I don’t often speak to adults without kids. And people asked GREAT questions about Zuul and dinosaurs in general, and while there were obviously some dinosaur fans who stopped by (often with amazing dino-themed clothes and jewelry), there were also lots of people who professed to know little about palaeontology. FNL looks like a huge amount of work to put on each week, but the energy in the ROM is amazing while it’s going on, and we’re getting to talk to people that we might not see otherwise, so I’m glad this is something the ROM prioritizes.