Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.


Backyard Dinosaurs?

Backyard Dinosaurs?

A wealth of evidence shows chicks and other birds are dinosaurs – or at least their closest living relatives. Paleontologists have found fossil dinosaurs with feathers and fossils of dinosaurs caring for their nests just as many modern birds do. They have also found dinosaurs with bone structure very similar to our feathered friends.

Starting March 30, we’re incubating chicken and turkey eggs and inviting our guests explore evidence of their relationship to dinosaurs. Once these birds hatch, our guests have the chance to see some baby dinosaurs in action.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's Going On?

We’re incubating eggs in the corner of the Dinosaur Exhibit in Building 1. These are chicken and turkey eggs. They will hatch into chicks sometime between April 19 and 26. The chicks will emerge first since they have a shorter incubation period than turkeys. This is a temporary exhibit.

Incubator vs. Natural Nesting

In setting up the incubator, we chose a unit with automatic egg turning. This ensures that the eggs will be turned continually without the possibility of human error.

The chicks are monitored 7 days a week. Although Living Exhibit staff are not with them all the time, this incubator has hands’ on, eyes’ on monitoring! No matter how carefully we prepare, we know that some eggs are lost during the incubation process. This would be true whether it’s a natural or artificial process.

We are prepared for the hatchlings. We will give the chicks enough room that overcrowding will not be an issue; a common concern for incubator reared chicks.

Pacific Science Center respects the views of our guests. If people have questions that cannot be answered, or simply want to pass on their thoughts, our Living Exhibits Department or Guest Services Supervisors are always ready to listen.

What Will Happen With The Chickens After They Hatch?

Chicks in excess of five for the exhibit will go to Seattle Farm Cooperative immediately upon successfully hatching.

Pacific Science Center is not able to adopt or sell these chickens.

Why Can't I Hold Or Pet The Chick?

These chicks are young and fragile. Unnecessary handling as well as germs from our hands can stress and weaken them at a critical time in their lives. Their social needs are met by being together and by the brief handling they get during their daily well-check by trained Living Exhibits staff.

We also want to protect the public from germs. Any animal, including humans, may carry germs, and any time you handle an animal you need to wash your hands when you are done.

Birds and reptiles can be carriers of the Salmonella bacteria, which can make people sick if it gets into their digestive system. Most people who get this disease get it from undercooked food, but handling animals is another way it spreads.