Hall of Connecticut Geology/Paleontology


In 2017 the Connecticut Museum of Mining and Mineral Science opened a significant new wing (at left in the above photo), The Hall of Connecticut Geology and Paleontology, almost doubling the floor space of the museum.  Located on the grounds of the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association in Kent, the new dinosaur exhibit is housed in this new wing. 



Four hundred million years ago there was no land we could call Connecticut.  The State has undergone significant changes since that time.  Two hundred million years ago, the climate in what is now Connecticut was much more tropical, and this warm, moist environment made it possible for dinosaurs to flourish in the State. The earliest dinosaurs in the State date back to the Triassic period, at a time when Connecticut was undergoing massive geological upheaval as the supercontinent called Pangea was beginning to divide into North America and Africa. This division, on the very doorstep of the State, would become the Atlantic Ocean. Because of the nature of the sedimentary rocks in this region, very few actual fossils survived in the State.  


Mesozoic Dinosaur Tracks 

Later during the early Jurassic period, many dinosaurs roamed the State, leaving behind few fossil records but instead, leaving an equally valuable record, their tracks. Dinosaur footprints can be found at a number of locations in the State, but most notably, one of the largest continuous trackways in North America can be found in Rocky Hill at what is now called Dinosaur State Park. The tracks were put down by a dinosaur 20 foot long called Dilophosaurus. The site preserves over 2000 footprints with some 500 of them on display. 


Diorama Depicted the Oceans During the Paleozoic Era 

The extensive exhibit housed at the Kent museum displays examples of the dinosaur tracks found in Connecticut as well as other fossils found in the State. Exhibits also describe the geological evolution of the State, the science of paleontology, including the tools and methods used by paleontologists to uncover this rich fossil record. One of the more exciting exhibits in the display is a very boisterous animatronic dinosaur that greets visitors as they enter the hall. Other exhibits include a three dimensional diorama with models of early sea life from the Ordovician Period, and a dinosaur dig.