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Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family at Australian Museum

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
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Jurassic Park Meets Sydney - Run
Image courtesy Destination NSW

Melbourne might have King Kong but Sydney has gone one better - they have captured Tyrannosaurus Rex

In what is considered a world first, the Australian Museum has put together a presentation called Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family a multimedia experience showcasing the newly-revised tyrannosaur family tree.

I'm not a science boffin but I shall try my best to explain why there is now a new tyrannosaur genealogy and a need for such a new interactive experience.

We used to just think of Tyrannosaurus Rex as just a large-headed, pretty scary, carnivorous predator with tiny little arms.

But in the last ten years there have been a large number of fossil discoveries that have changed that Jurassic movie type of horror and softened the picture. They have found older and smaller tyrannosaurs which make the evolutionary tale of this group a lot more complex.

The versions we are most familiar with such as T. rex, Albertosaurus, and Tarbosaurus, were part of the Late Cretaceous period in Asia and North America.

But there were tyrannosaurs who lived up to 100 million years earlier and were much smaller in size (some one-one hundredth of the size of T. rex), and they lived all over the world.

So in layman's terms, instead of being large and scary, most of them were small and stayed that way until end of the Cretaceous or in other words the last 20 million years of dinosaur history.

This exhibition puts this all this together for you but in a novel and exciting ways. Kids will love it.

Image courtesy Destination NSW

They will get to see a great array of fossils and casts of tyrannosaur bones, including never before seen specimens from China.

But probably coolest and most memorable of all there will be a multimedia experience of large scale projections of dinosaurs running through Sydney streets.

There is a chance to see the first revised tyrannosaur family tree and to meet Guanlong wucaii – the newly discovered feathery relative of T. rex. You will also learn how recent scientific findings confirm the links between dinosaurs and birds.

dinosaurs sydney exhibition
Guanlong wucaii, or "crown dragon", is an ancient forefather of T.rex. Australian Museum

There will also be a portrait of dinosaur life which shows how this group became the world's top predators with their massive hulk skulls, nasty jaws and bone-grinding teeth.

In fact there is a gadget that allows you to compare the bite-force of a T-rex (approx. 6 tonnes of pressure) against your own. You can event see the fossilised pre-digested stomach contents - so what ever turns you on or off for that matter.

But best of all there will be 10 life-sized dinosaur specimens on display.

For bookings click here.
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Why? To meet T-Rex's family
When: Saturday 23rd of November, 2013 until Sunday 27th of July, 2014
Phone: 02 9320 6000
Where: National Museum
Cost: $14 to $24 dollars
Your Comment
fantastic article, thanks my son saw it so i kind of gather we are going there now, are the free standing dinosaur at martin place and hyde park there now? thank you once again
by Anne Dignam (score: 2|870) 2171 days ago
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