Age of the Dinosaur exhibition opens Friday 22 April

21 April 2011

A terrifying Tarbosaurus roared into action and gave comedian Bill Bailey a fright at a special preview of the Natural History Museum’s new Age of the Dinosaur exhibition opening  tomorrow, 22 April.

Camarasaurus in the vegetation

Camarasaurus in the vegetation

The animatronic dinosaurs are lifelike enough, but the exhibition also brings to life their natural habitat, so visitors get immersed in Jurassic and Cretaceous environments along with weird and wonderful now extinct plants and animals.

As well as the animatronics, Age of the Dinosaur has CGI (computer generated images) film, stunning images, interactive stations, and amazing specimens, including real fossil dinosaur bones, to help visitors explore a world of more than 65 million years ago.

Well-preserved fossil of an Rhamphorhynchus, a flying reptile, or pterosaur.

Well-preserved fossil of an Rhamphorhynchus, a flying reptile, or pterosaur.

And keep hold of your ticket as there is a NaturePlus barcode on it that lets you continue your dinosaur and fossil exploration back home on your computer.

Museum specimens

Age of the Dinosaur is rich with Museum specimens giving a taster of the important science work that goes on behind the scenes. 

They come from the Museum’s world-class palaeontology collections and this is the first time in 5 years that so many have been used in a temporary exhibition.

Olympic gold medallist Denise LewisOBE at Age of the Dinosaur

Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis OBE


The exhibition has 6 animatronic dinosaurs, and an animatronic Archaeopteryx, the earliest known bird. 

The 1.5 tonne Tarbosaurus took 8 people and a forklift truck to get it safely into the Museum. They are produced by Kokoro, based in Tokyo, Japan.

Jurassic zone

In the Jurassic zone, see a huge tooth from a pliosaur, one of the many Jurassic marine monsters. 

Find out more dinosaur facts and fun at the interactive stations

Find out more dinosaur facts and fun at the interactive stations

Along with plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs, these menacing predators used their jagged, ridged teeth to gorge themselves on fish, squid and other sea creatures.

Take a look at a special fossil of a pterosaur. These flying reptiles had wings supported by a single long finger. They shared the air with birds and could fly as soon as they hatched.

The first dinosaur to come to life in the exhibition is a life-size Camarasaurus eating from the treetops of a Jurassic forest and calling to the rest of its herd.

Actor John Hannah

Actor John Hannah

Cretaceous zone

In the Cretaceous zone, get a glimpse of some of the first flowering plants. Before the Cretaceous Period, plants only used seeds or spores to reproduce.

Examine the skull of a duck-billed dinosaur,  Lambeosaurus lambei, that that had 700 teeth!

More life-size animatronic dinosaur scenes are waiting, including Protoceratops defending its nest and the tall, slim, ostrich-like Gallimimus

Keep an eye out for Oviraptor and Velociraptor, two small, vicious meat-eating dinosaurs. 

And the final dramatic Tarbosaurus, a cousin of T.rex, and every bit as scary.

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Age of the Dinosaur book 

Age of the Dinosaur book

Encounter life on Earth millions of years ago with our latest activity book, Age of the Dinosaur

Aimed at budding young dino enthusiasts, the book is a great introduction to dinosaurs and the world they lived in. It accompanies our Age of the Dinosaur exhibition, now on tour.

Buy Age of the Dinosaur online

More new books published by the Museum