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Museum Workers Reconstruct Piece of 'Pre-History'

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RALEIGH — A new $3 million exhibit is evolving inside the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, which will leave museum visitors thinking they have stepped back into the pre-historic past.

Scientists and museum workers spent Friday reconstructing the remains of a dinosaur that once roamed the southeastern United States. The acrocanthosaurus will be one of the main attractions at the museum's "Terrors of the South" exhibit.

"It's a very rare dinosaur," says Karen Kemp of the Museum of Natural Sciences. "It's the only one of its kind in the world that is complete enough to mount into something folks can look at, so it's a one-of-a-kind dinosaur."

But workers say getting the model in the proper stance is hard work.

"The key for getting it positioned right is so that when the visitor comes in the tail up here is not obstructing the view," said paleontologist Vince Schneider.

The public won't be able to view the exhibit until April7, 2000 -- the first day the new museum opens.

Construction on the new $67-million museum began back in 1996. When it is completed, there will be four floors of exhibits.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
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