Dinosaurs of China opened this July through until October exclusively here in Nottingham. Ground shakers to feathered flyers exhibition is here to amaze and excite. Fossils and skeletons transported from half a world away to Wollaton Hall. Home of the fantastic Nottingham Natural History Museum, both are enveloped together for all to see spectacular. This fascinating once only event brings to life the story of how dinosaurs are intricately linked with the birds we see all around us. Some of the worlds best preserved specimens are available for all to see. Remember half the fun is pronouncing their names. Mamenchisaurus, a dinosaur towering as tall as 3 double decker buses standing proud filling the centre hall to the rafters. The lofty head amongst the coats of arms as if they were leaves they once ate. We craned our heads up at the enormity from the ground. Dinosaurs of similar scale to birds stand side by side, the similarity striking in their structure. Information panels adorn the walls setting a predetermined route. We progressed somewhat shuffling but unhurried through the exhibition rooms. Families eagerly taking the opportunity for selfies with those older than 65million years. My partner Sylvia, a self confessed scalie and lover of all things dinosaur related has been eagerly talking about Gigantaraptor.
Giddy is how I would describe her reaction to meeting face to face the largest discovered feathered dinosaur fossil. Visitors truly are taken on a journey through the millennia on an evolutionary journey. Dr Adam Smith curator at the museum describes how many of the specimens on show have only been discovered recently within the last 20 years. Our understanding of dinosaurs even in that 20 years has changed considerably, take the example that Jurassic Park the movie is 24 years old (1993) within that time, they’ve gone from being understood as large cold blooded reptiles to the feathered ancestors of birds. Up through the halls we remarked on the beautiful decor and intricate stonework of the 1500s mansion. Moving through, admiring the intricate feathers fossilized in ash of the planning it must have taken to undertake the create the exhibits. Mei-long curled wrapped in what may have been a nest. Head tucked under its wing, as we see ducks do smaller than the average sized palm. Dinosaurs of China shows off some of the most important fossils in the world. Including the first dinosaur found to have feathers Sinosauropteryx. Definitely recommend coming to see the exhibition and exploring the Natural History Museum too. Guides and eager volunteers are on hand to answer questions. Souvenir shop has gone full dino. Be sure to bag yourself a tshirt and an detailed guidebook to the exhibition. Dinosaurs Of China is happening all summer long, with events, activities, workshops, screenings, lectures and opportunities to talk to the paleontologists who are hands on finding fossils. Definitely something for everyone to sink their teeth into.
Tickets: Adults: £7, Child:£5, Family Ticket: £20