Dinosaurs roar back to life at Canterbury Museum

The dinosaurs have returned to Canterbury - and just in time for the Easter school holidays.

Dinosaur rEvolution: Secrets of Survival will open at Canterbury Museum on Friday and run until October 24. Visitors will be able to discover their survival secrets and learn about the recent discoveries that have revolutionised how we see dinosaurs.

Scientists traditionally thought dinosaurs looked like lizards, with smooth scaly skin coloured in greys, greens and browns.

But new fossils found in China’s Liaoning Province, including skin, soft tissue, spikes and feathers, have shown some were more like their modern descendants - birds.

Dinosaur rEvolution tells the story of two branches of the dinosaur family, the Ornithischia and the Saurischia.

The Ornithischia had beaks, quills, scales, spikes, horns and massive body armour, while the Saurischia - the branch that includes the massive Tyrannosaurus rex - had feathers paired with scales, claws and sharp teeth.

Both branches adapted in different ways to their changing environment, but only one survived to fly away into the future.

The exhibition features four life-sized, moving dinosaurs, skeletons, touchable fossil casts and artworks that reimagine what dinosaurs really looked like.

Visitors can become dinosaur experts, learning about how different types of dinosaurs fed, fought and reproduced.

Canterbury Museum senior curator human history, Dr Paul Scofield, said the exhibition is one of the biggest the museum has hosted in recent years.

“It has been a huge hit in other parts of New Zealand and we’re sure it’ll go down just as well with Cantabrians.”

Admission charges apply. Ticket prices are:

  • Adults: $10
  • Children (under 15 years): $5
  • Children (under 3 years): Free
  • Small Family Pass (1 Adult and up to 2 children): $18
  • Large Family Pass (2 Adults and up to 3 children): $28

Scofield said the entry fee will help the museum cover the costs of the international exhibition.


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