Visitors can see the world’s largest flying reptile
GASTONIA, N.C., September 29, 2023 – After a major update to the lobby of The Schiele Museum of Natural History, a new exhibit has been revealed to the public. As visitors open the front doors, they will be greeted by the large fossil cast of a Quetzalcoatlus feeding its young.
Quetzalcoatlus lived in Western North America in the Late Cretaceous period, 72 - 66 million years ago. The first Quetzalcoatlus fossils were discovered in the Maastrichtian Javelina Formation at Big Bend National Park of Texas in 1971. Named after the Aztec feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, this prehistoric reptile is believed to be the largest of all pterosaurs. Adults were as tall as giraffes! The adult depicted in The Schiele’s lobby display towers over visitors at 18 feet tall and over 30 feet from edge to edge. “Quetzalcoatlus is a one-of-a-kind display of the largest animal to master the power of flight, exhibited right here in Gastonia,” says Tony Pasour, Assistant Director for Interpretation.
After over 20 years in the lobby, The Schiele’s iconic T-rex was dismantled in June. The museum plans to update the pose and look of the T-rex to better reflect recent discoveries and include it in a new dinosaur experience slated to open in 2025.
The Schiele Museum of Natural History inspires wonder, curiosity, and an appreciation of the natural world, providing the region with a unique educational resource. Visitors to The Schiele learn about the world around them through exceptional programming, fascinating exhibits, and ongoing research. To find out more, visit SchieleMuseum.org or follow The Schiele on social media.