Time: one hour
Are you big on museums, but short on time? Our knowledgeable visitor assistants have designed just the dinosaurs tour for you. It will introduce you to some of the Museum's most famous and imposing specimens.
Start with the most popular gallery, Dinosaurs, where you can get up close to prehistoric specimens, including:
- the skull of a plant-eating Triceratops
- an Iguanodon, one of the first species ever described as a dinosaur
- one of the largest meat-eaters ever unearthed in Europe, the Baryonyx
When you exit the Dinosaurs gallery, turn right and continue on to magnificent Hintze Hall.
On the eastern side you'll find one of the most historically important dinosaur skeletons, a 122-129-million-year-old Mantellisaurus. One of the most complete dinosaur fossils ever discovered in the UK, this dinosaur has only recently claimed its true identity, after spending over 80 years known to the world as a species of Iguanodon.
Fossil Marine Reptiles
Continue through the doorway to the left of the Mantellisaurus into the Fossil Marine Reptiles gallery. These creatures lived in the oceans at the same time dinosaurs walked the Earth.
One your left, look out for the Dacentrurus specimen, the first stegosaur specimen ever to be scientifically described.
Here you will find:
- Jurassic crocodiles that lived in the sea
- fossils that inspired stories of sea dragons
- a female ichthyosaur fossil
At the far end of the gallery, you’ll see the skeleton cast of the giant ground sloth, a land mammal often mistaken for a dinosaur.
Now take the doorway to the left of the sloth and make your way through the Birds and Lasting Impressions galleries and on to the Earth Hall.
Here you'll come face-to-face with the world's most complete Stegosaurus skeleton ever found. It is three metres tall and six metres long. We don't know the dinosaur's exact age, but we do know that it wasn't an adult.
This Stegosaurus individual lived about 150 million years ago, during the Late Jurassic period.
From the Beginning
Finally, take an atmospheric escalator ride up through the Earth sculpture, then use the stairs or lift to descend one floor to the From the Beginning gallery. Here, a T.rex skull sits among early sea creatures, ancient fossils and evidence of flying reptiles.
If you need to refuel after your prehistoric tour, visit The Kitchen in the Red Zone.