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Dinosaur Exhibition - The Natural History Museum



The Natural History Museum (NHM)

I recently visited the NHM and their new Dinosaur Exhibition. It is without
doubt one of the most informative and update museum Dinosaur projects
launched in Britain.

The following text is taken from the NHM brochure.

'Models, illustrations, animation and interactive video techniques, and, of
course, fossil specimens are used in this extensive exhibition, helping to
piece together our knowledge from clues left behind between 230 and 65
million years ago.

High above the gallery a 70 metre raised walkway provides one of London's
most dramatic experiences as 14 large dinosaur skeletons can be seen,
sensationally suspended in mid-air. The spectacle of three roaring
life-size robotic carnivores (Deinonychus) feeding on a large herbivore
(Tenontosaurus), still in its death throes, leads on to displays showing
the lifestyle of these impressive creatures that excite the imagination of
adults and children the world over.

'Claws' - the Surrey dinosaur. In 1983 William Walker, an amateur fossil
hunter, came across an enormous claw bone in a Surrey clay pit. A team of
palaeontologists from the NHM excavated the site and uncovered many more
bones that they identified as the remains of a previously unknown dinosaur
that lived 124 million years ago. Scientists named the new dinosaur
Baryonyx Walkeri, although it became better known by its nickname "Claws".

In the Museum's palaeontology laboratory, scientist carefully separated the
bones from the surrounding rock, and then pieced together a large part of
the skeleton. By working out the size and position of the muscles, they
concluded that 'Claws' walked mostly on its back legs and that it ate flesh
including fishes. The great claw may have been used for hooking these out
of lakes, rivers and marshes that existed in southern England during the
Cretaceous period.'

I can vouch that if in England the NHM is well worth a visit not only for
the Dinosaur Exhibition but also the for the most extensive collection of
rocks and minerls gathered under one roof.