Big John Dinosaur Exhibit - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay

Big John Dinosaur Exhibit

By Ryan Walsh

Picture this:

He’s 10 feet tall, 26 feet long, 66 million years old and just so happens to be extinct. He’s also great with kids and loves to be photographed. 

Meet Big John – a fossilized triceratops skeleton newly on display at the Glazer Children’s Museum this year. The South Dakota native was uncovered back in 2014 and made his way to Greater Tampa Bay when entrepreneur Sidd Pagidipati purchased him at a Paris auction in 2021. The exhibit is included in the price of admission to the Glazer Children’s Museum.


John is the largest triceratops ever discovered, and with 60% of his bones found, also one of the most complete. This cuddly, Cretaceous ceratopsian opened to the public on May 26th and is set to stick around for three years. 

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Getting a picture with this majestic beast is an absolute GTB must-do. It is not every day that someone can get their photo taken with an actual dinosaur. Some helpful hints from a professional photographer can make this the one-of-a-kind experience that it deserves to be.

Not a fossil – a timeless classic
  • Avoid the crowds. Arriving at the exhibit early will help ensure your place in line and access to Big John. 
  • Opt for weekdays. Weekends will certainly be the busiest time. If possible, a weekday visit to the museum will make picture-taking much easier.
  • Wear bright colors. Be loud! A selfie in a special shirt will make any picture pop. For an added bonus, wear any dinosaur-adorned attire to keep it on theme. 
  • Make friends in line. Offer to take another person or group’s photo with Big John, with them taking yours in return. This especially helps with getting the perfect wide shot needed to capture all the great dino’s bulk. 
  • Pick out the caption in advance. For a quick and seamless post to social media sites, have that punny or clever caption ready to go. Waiting in line is an excellent time to do a little brainstorming. 
  • Experiment with angles. The exhibit features clear tunnels that let viewers get right up close underneath the fossil. Call it a new perspective.

Getting some snaps with this Guinness World Record-holder is a great way to fossilize the memory and share it with others. 

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