Permanent Exhibits


Permanent Exhibits


Begin your exhibit experience in a replicated fossil dig site. Here, George Sternberg excavates one of his most famous fossil finds—the world famous Fish-within-a-Fis

h. In 1952, Sternberg discovered this 14-foot Xiphactinus (Zie-FACT-i-nus) with its final meal, a 6-foot Gillicus, preserved within its ribcage. Next to the actual specimen, home movies of the original excavation help tell the story of this amazing fossil.

Explore our spectacular collection of Kansas fossils from the age of dinosaurs. Discover huge marine reptiles, toothed birds, and giant clams. Find flying reptiles, sharks, and other strange fishes. Learn how to read the exciting dramas of life and death played out in the Cretaceous seas of Kansas and recorded in the fossils left behind. Examine rare TYPE SPECIMENS—individual fossils that serve as the name bearer and scientific reference for an e

ntire species. In the demonstration lab, watch actual fossil preparation or learn about ongoing research. Search for buried prehistoric treasures in a fossil dig pit designed especially for budding paleontologists.


Wend your way into a cave in the replicated chalk cliffs and find yourself immersed in the watery world that formed the chalk. These warm seas teemed with sharks, rea

l life sea serpents, and monstrous predatory fishes.

Emerge from the sea onto a subtropical shore. Huge flying reptiles soar overhead. Listen for their calls above the sound of the crashing surf. Stroll through lush vegetation among life-sized animated dinosaurs and other ancient creatures. But tread carefully—T. rex might be prowling for a light snack and you might just catch his eye.

Sternberg Museum’s Newest Permanent Exhibit


Bringing Fossils to Life: Living Ties to Deep Time brings to life how some of today’s living organisms are similar to their fossil ancestors.

Evolution is not simply the stringing together of individual events in space and time. Rather, evolution weaves a rich tapestry explaining the connectedness of all living things by slow, but continuous, change through time. Modern evolutionary theory encompasses a wide range of topics and processes: stasis, convergence, functional morphology, revolutionary transitions, and many others.


The diverse herds of large mammals that roamed the Great Plains during the ice age and before have vanished, but comparable herds still thrive in Africa. Embark on a journey to the South African bush. This exhibit experience recounts an actual ecotour and photo safari led by former museum director, Jerry Choate. The museum makes similar world-wide adventures available to museum members periodically.


To further advance an appreciation and understanding of Earth’s natural history and the evolutionary forces that impact it, Sternberg Museum maintains an active program of traveling and temporary exhibitions covering a variety of topics. And don’t forget to visit the Discovery Room for hands-on learning and family fun!