Now open! A new permanent exhibit that includes a replica skull of the giant dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex, as well as other original and replica fossils. The exhibit, called “Harley Garbani – Dinosaur Hunter” features discoveries from a famous local fossil collector.
Harley Garbani was the son of a farming family in San Jacinto Valley. He discovered his first fossil bone at the age of eight while helping his father plow the fields. That fossil, part of an extinct camel, is on display in the exhibit and sparked in Garbani a life-long interest in paleontology and archaeology. He spent the rest of his life collecting fossils and artifacts from California and other western states, many of which are now housed at the Los Angeles County Museum and the Western Science Center.
Many of Garbani’s most famous discoveries were made in Montana, where he collected dinosaurs. The T. rex he discovered there in the 1960’s is one of the largest known specimens of Tyrannosaurus. In 1997 he discovered the skull from a baby Triceratops, a horned dinosaur known mostly from adult specimens. Replicas of both the T. rex and the Triceratops skulls are included in the Western Science Center exhibit.
In recognition of Garbani’s work, in 1990 the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology awarded him the first Morris F. Skinner Award for “outstanding and sustained contributions to scientific knowledge through the making of important collections of fossil vertebrates.”
“Harley Garbani – Dinosaur Hunter” is a permanent exhibit at the Western Science Center and is included in the general admission price.
Walk along the 156 foot open-air corridor from the parking lot to the museum lobby entrance. The overhead time rings guide you through the geologic time periods.
Begin with the Pre-Cambrian and travel to the Holocene, the time period in which our mammoths and mastodons lived. The distance you walk from ring to ring is directly proportional to the amount of time that passed from one geologic period to the next.
Use the interactives to learn about the people and animals that inhabited the Diamond Valley Lake site over time. Discover how scientists uncovered evidence of their existence.
Learn about a typical 1880s house in the Diamond Valley region.
Travel farther back in time with the artifacts created and used by the earlier Native American residents.
Two short films are shown regularly in our circular, immersion theater with its 270-degree screen.
Enjoy the animated Echoes of the Past, which transports viewers to a time when giant creatures roamed the area. The informative, ten-minute documentary, Discovery and Recovery provides an eyewitness view of the excavation at Diamond Valley Lake.
Be amazed by the size of mammoths and mastodons that used to live in the Diamond Valley Lake area. See the real fossils of some very large animals:
• A 10ft tall mastodon, nicknamed Max
• A 12ft. tall mammoth, nicknamed Xena
• A giant ground sloth nearly 7ft. tall.
Use the magnifying glass to see fossils from some very small critters including birds and lizards.
Walk over a re-created quarry site that holds the remains of “Little Stevie”, a mastodon that lived nearly 50,000 years ago.
Follow the trail of these animals from their discovery in the field to curation and research in the museum.
Explore discovery sites and the “Tools of the Trade” that archaeologists use in the field.
Understand techniques used to date fossils and artifacts by using an interactive “Dating Game.”
Learn why “Not Everyone Gets to Be a Fossil” and make your own fossil cast using air-dry clay and one of our molds.