Jurassic terror comes to Wollaton Park

One of the most terrifying dinosaurs to have ever lived during the Jurassic age is coming to Wollaton Hall next summer.

Standing 3 metres high and over 7 metres long, the fearsome Sinraptor used its long legs and sharp claws to move quickly through the undergrowth to catch unsuspecting prey. Its agility and speed made it one of the most terrifying dinosaurs of its time and one of the most ferocious dinosaurs that will be on display next summer.

The Sinraptor is one of dozens of dinosaurs that will be stepping foot outside of Asia for the first time ever, as part of the Dinosaurs of China exhibition which will take place in Nottingham in 2017.

The unique exhibition has recently expanded to include complete dinosaur skeletons and smaller four-winged bird-like skeletons. Even fossils, soft skin and feather specimens will be available to view. These new dinosaur discoveries are helping palaeontologists to understand how the prehistoric beasts on display relate to the birds we live alongside today.

In addition to the Sinraptor, the organisers have also revealed details of two other new specimens that will be on display at the exhibition. These include the Linheraptor, a bigger, scarier cousin of Velociraptor, which is nearly 2 metres long and has a special second toe. This toe has an enlarged sickle-shaped killing claw that it used as a dangerous weapon.

Another of the new dinosaurs to be announced is Mei long, which roughly translates as ‘sleeping dragon’. At approximately 53 centimetres long in total, it is one of the smallest predatory dinosaurs. Mei long has two legs with a long tail and feathers that cover its whole body.

Keeping these three dinosaurs company will be the likes of the Gigantoraptor, which at 4 metres high and 8 metres long is the largest feathered dinosaur ever found; and also the flying Microraptor, which has feathers on its arms and legs.

Dr Adam Smith, Curator of Natural Sciences at Wollaton Hall, said: “The dinosaurs of China exhibition provides a unique opportunity for visitors to see some of the most important fossils ever discovered. These specimens have revolutionised our understanding of dinosaurs and the origin of birds. Birds are literally dinosaurs. Dinosaurs that learned how to fly!”

These super-predators are being brought to the UK for the first-time, as a result of a collaboration between Nottingham City Council, The University of Nottingham and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing.

Dr George Baxter, Director of Research, Enterprise and Graduate Services at The University of Nottingham, commented: “These exhibits have never before been seen in Europe. The fact that they are coming to Nottingham before any other European city is a testament to the strong links that we have built across China, thanks to the efforts of our Ningbo campus and the work of our Asia Business Centre to bring together partners with a shared interest.”

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, added: “The feathered dinosaur collection will attract national and international visitors and amaze and inspire a new generation of young people to learn more about the natural world. This is brilliant news for our city and visitor economy, and incredibly exciting for local dinosaur fans and families.”

The Dinosaurs of China exhibition opens on 2 July 2017 and will run until the end of October that year.

Organisers are now actively seeking sponsors, please contact Dr. Sally Zhou, at the University of Nottingham, on sally.zhou@nottingham.ac.uki or tel: +44(0)78161 74241.

For general information about the exhibition, or to sign up to the newsletter, visit www.wollatonhall.org.uk/dinosaursofchina

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