Step back in time 290 million years when bizarre-looking animals dominated life on land and sea, and find out about the greatest extinction the world has ever seen in Permian Monsters: Life before the Dinosaurs. This unique exhibition brings the past back to life with fossilized skeletons and full size life models of the animals that ruled the world millions of years before the age of dinosaurs, in a time known as the Permian.

The Permian period ended with the largest extinction Earth ever experienced, which wiped out 90% of all species on the planet. The cause of the end-Permian extinction had baffled scientists for the past 20 years but a recent discovery shed new light on the cause of this catastrophe: global warming. Find out how this familiar phenomenon, started by a huge volcanic eruption, set off a chain of events that led to the greatest extinction on Earth.

The exhibition blends art and science with a collection of new artwork which offers a glimpse back in time through the eyes of award winning paleo-artist Julius Csotonyi. View fossilised skeletons and reconstructed models of these amazing but bizarre creatures that dominated land and sea; and dig and identify fossils in the interactive dig pits throughout the exhibition.

Permian Monsters showcases an amazing collection of fossils and models from this relatively unknown time period, from giant insects, bizarre looking sharks to strange reptiles with mammal-like characteristics. Meet the top predator of the time, the giant saber-toothed gorgonopsid ‘Inostrancevia’ and find out what nearly killed them all to make way for Earth’s next rulers, the Dinosaurs.

Permian Monsters is open everyday, May 18, 2019 through September 2, 2019. Paleo Parties are available June 1 – September 1. In addition, Reading Public Museum is also hosting “Paleo Adventure Parties”. The budding paleontologists and archaeologists in your life will totally dig this party (ideal for ages 6-10). Featuring a hands-on fossil exploration, the chance to erupt an underwater volcano, and so much more. Call Laura for details at 610.371.5850 x235 or email laura.culp@readingpublicmuseum.org.