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Even the stars know that dinosaurs rock the hall at the Natural History Museum

July 14, 2011 | 11:44 am

Dinosaur ball Celebrities turned up in abundance, yet Thomas the T. rex and his brethren had the starring roles at Saturday’s Dinosaur Ball for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Following their expedition to the museum’s new 14,000-square-foot Dinosaur Hall, Lauren Conrad of “The Hills” called the exhibitions “spectacular,” while Lo Bosworth named the Tyrannosaurus rex as a special highlight.

“I don’t know why I haven’t been here more,” said Rico Rodriguez as he examined the ancient bones, as did fellow “Modern Family” member, Nolan Gould. “I’m ready to learn everything there is,” Rodriguez said.

“The girls love seeing the dinosaurs,” said Maria Canals-Barrera of “Wizards of Waverly Place,” referring to daughters Bridget, 7, and Madeleine, 5.

Luis Chiappe, director of the museum’s Dinosaur Institute, said two-thirds of the displays had never been on view before. Moreover, with no barriers and few glass cases, he said, “the views are personal. We have elevated the animals on platforms, so you can walk beneath the head and tail.”

With Lynn Warner Brengel, Sarah Meeker Jensen and Diane Naegele as dinner co-chairs, the event drew 600 guests and netted more than $1.1 million. Other committee members included Doug Brengel, Victoria and Jean-Marc Chapus, Heather and Paul Haaga, Joan Payden, Gayle and Ed Roski, Kevin Sharer, Cindy and Sheldon Stone, and Marla and Drew Sobel. More notables were Lisa Ling, Kristen Vangsness, Charlene Amoia, Jayson Blair and Sebastian Copeland.

-- Ellen Olivier

Photo: Lauren Conrad, left and Lo Bosworth at Saturday’s Dinosaur Ball for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Credit: Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging

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