Thursday 23 November 2017

Dino smell available in exhibition

An animatronic camarasaurus dinosaur model on show at the National History Museum in London
An animatronic camarasaurus dinosaur model on show at the National History Museum in London
An animatronic gallimimus dinosaur model at the National History Museum's new exhibition, Age of the Dinosaur
Jessica Hope, of the National History Museum, looks at an animatronic tarbosaurus dinosaur model

Anyone who has ever wondered what a dinosaur would have smelled like can now find out with the launch of a new animatronic exhibition.

The Age of the Dinosaur at the Natural History Museum in London features a number of life-size and realistic-looking ancient beasts, complete with sound and smell.

The dinosaurs, including a protoceratops and velociraptor, are displayed in replications of their natural habitat from when they roamed the Earth more than 65 million years ago.

Paul Barrett, of the museum's department of palaeontology, said visitors can press a button on some of the exhibits to see what the dinosaur would have smelt like.

He said said the majority of the models were life-size, although some had to be scaled down.

He said: "The idea of the exhibition is actually trying to show dinosaurs in their natural environments alongside different sorts of plants and animals that we'd see at the same time, so rather than just concentrating on a particular dinosaur or a particular question relating to dinosaurs, we really want to give a view of what a dinosaur world would have been like.

"The animatronics are as realistic as we can possibly make them, so we use the latest scientific discoveries to inform everything about them from how they sound to the texture of their skin, and even these days we can say a little bit about dinosaur colour."

Mr Barrett said the roaring sounds that can be heard coming from the dinosaurs were based on modern animals.

He said: "We've been using a lot of information from, for example, our knowledge of how they hear to work out the sorts of sounds they could have heard, and then use examples from living animals to fill in the gaps about the sorts of noises we might expect to hear if we were wandering about Jurassic forests."

The exhibition, which has been a year in development and lasts until September 4, also features 60 specimens from the museum's collections, including dinosaur bones.

Press Association

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