Ever wondered about the dinosaurs? They arose from a group of unpromising-looking lizard-like animals and cousins of the crocodiles, and went on to dominate the world for one hundred and sixty-five million years. They were as small as chickens, and as large as double-decker buses. They ate grass, meat, each other and their own children. They were the lions and tigers, the cows and birds, the dogs and cats of the ancient world; they walked the land, swam in the sea and took to the air. And 65 million years ago their story came to an abrupt end.
This is that story.
To make sense of them, we need to look at what came before, and what came after. So this tour covers a vast period of geological time, from the very beginnings of life on earth some four billion years ago, through to the modern diversity of mammals which has it’s origins at the dinosaur’s cataclysmic extinction at 65 MYR. The tour starts with a trip through the Earth Galleries, providing a short geological and geographical background to palaeontology, followed by a run-through of the evolution of life and the timescales involved. We then progress through the dinosaur palaeontology section of the museum, with an introduction to ancient biogeography and dinosaurian anatomy, evolution, diet and behavior. The natural history of the modern world, and how it rushed to fill the gap left by the dinosaurs, will also be examined.
You don’t need to be a scientist to appreciate this tour; all you need is curiosity about the immense variation and splendor of ancient worlds, and to wonder how the planet got to where it is now, and where it is going next.