Local dinosaur returns to Mansfield Museum for Age of the Dinosaur exhibition

By Richard Moss | 15 February 2011
a photo of a fossil of a bird like creature with feathers
Archaeopteryx, the earliest and most primitive bird known
Exhibition: Age of the Dinosaur, Mansfield Museum, Mansfield, February 12 – March 19 2011

Modern day visitors to Mansfield may not realise it, but dinosaurs once held sway in the north Nottinghamshire town - and Mansfield Museum has the footprints to prove it. 

The museum is currently hosting an exhibition of dinosaur-related artefacts called The Age of the Dinosaurs, which includes footprints found in Gregory’s Quarry in 1986.

a black and white photo of a man looking at a dinosaur footprint
Dinosaur prints found in Gregory’s Quarry, Mansfield in 1986
The prints are from a reptile thought to be around two or three metres long which roamed the area over 250 millions years ago.

As well as the local dinosaur, the exhibition features a cast of characters that range from a Jurassic crocodile, a T-Rex skeleton and a model Stegosaurus. 

Fossils loaned from the impressive palaeontology collection at the New Walk Museum in Leicester are also on display, including an iguanodon right tibia found on the Isle of Wight and a group of vertebra found on the Sussex coast.

Visitors can also see an outstanding cast of a tooth from a T-Rex and the fossil cast of an Archaeopteryx, the earliest and most primitive bird, with many features in common with the dinosaurs of the Late Jurassic Period around 150–148 million years ago.

Themed sections discuss topics such as Dinosaur Dinners, Battling Dinosaurs and Death of the Dinosaurs, while a number of simple interactives allow exploration of subjects such as fossil hunting and dinosaur diet.

a photo of a model stegosaurus
For families and schools, worksheets cover dinosaur designs, fossil hunters and the dino food chain. A fossil hunter’s dressing-up outfit and a battling dinosaurs game are also available.

During half-term holiday week the museum will be offering children and their carers a different Dino-themed ArtBeat session every day.

An early contender for best session is Wednesday’s Dinosaur Picnic, when youngsters are encouraged to bring along their favourite dinosaur and a bite to eat for some dinocentric fun.
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