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National Geographic Live

Lindsay Zanno: T. rex Rises

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How did T. rex become the iconic apex predator of North America 67 million years ago? Paleontologist Dr. Lindsay Zanno is uncovering the answer.  

One of the world’s leading experts on the evolution of Cretaceous dinosaurs, she spends several months each year on expedition, scouring the remote badlands of western North America in search of clues. Along the way, she has discovered many new species—including one of the continent's tiniest tyrannosaurs, Moros, which weighed only 170 pounds and stood barely five feet tall, and Siats, one of the largest American megapredators, tipping the scales at over 9,000 pounds. 

Dr. Zanno’s work has helped unravel how a cataclysmic climate crisis— marked by stagnant oceans, volcanic eruptions, and flooding continents—reshaped the dinosaurian world, wiping out top predators on land and in the sea.  

Join Arts Commons Presents’ National Geographic Live series as Dr. Lindsay Zanno unravels how Cretaceous climate change made room for the evolution of Tyrannosaurus rex—the most famous prehistoric carnivore of all time. 

ASL Interpretation at National Geographic Live
Arts Commons Presents will provide an ASL Interpreter at both presentations of Lindsay Zanno: T. rex Rises. The interpreter will be located toward the left side of the stage when viewing from your seat. For the best view, choose Orchestra or Mezzanine level seating. Should you have any questions or need assistance, please email

"I was always interested in nature. I spent almost all my time outside as a kid, exploring and interacting with natural objects. I am still intrigued with the idea that the complexity of life all around us was produced by a suite of natural laws, that those laws can be studied by exploring the trajectory of life over time, and that there is still so much to learn and discover." Lindsay Zanno

"To a large degree, paleontology is an exploratory science, so much of what I do involves discovering and describing new species... But I am also fascinated by big picture patterns in evolution and enjoy asking questions about how ecology shapes lineages through time." – Lindsay Zanno 

"It's cliché, but I was a kid fascinated with dinosaurs. Like most, without opportunities to engage, my interest waned. I was pursuing an undergraduate degree in pre-med when my mother bought me the book From Lucy To Language by Donald Johanson. It resonated so powerfully with me that I read every book in my local library on human evolution. When I ran out, I up and moved Albuquerque to study paleoanthropology. There, collaborating with folks at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, the dinosaur spark rekindled." – Lindsay Zanno