TAMPA, Fla. — A new exhibit featuring the world's largest triceratops skeleton opens Friday at Glazer Children's Museum. His head alone weighs more than 770 pounds.
Museum visitors can get up close and personal with the skeleton, known as Big John. The exhibit features tunnels with clear domes so kids and pop up right under Big John’s skeleton from underneath.
Big John started arriving at the museum in February and for its owners, it was a long time coming.
Sidd Pagidipati and his wife Ami bought Big John for nearly $8 million with the intention of putting it on display in the Tampa Bay community. Big John is on loan to Glazer Children's for three years.
“I’d like to be able to share that back with the community and bring dinosaurs to be here because not everyone can travel, and now people can here to the children’s museum and get a full interactive, immersive experience with the largest triceratops in the world by Guinness Book of World Records," said Pagidipati.
Access to the new exhibit is featured with admission and though it's not a requirement, the museum asks that visitors reserve a time slot online to pace out attendance so everyone gets a quality Big John experience.
Admission to the museum is $18; it's open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Paleontologist Walter Stein found Big John in South Dakota.
“When I first saw it, the horn was absolutely massive. You could tell that Big John was big. This was an alpha big puppy. We knew from the debris field it had to be pretty complete too," said Stein.
“To be in a children’s museum here is phenomenal. This is hopefully going to inspire hundreds and thousands of kids to get into the sciences to become interested in paleontology and geology and ancient life," said Stein.