Huge Dinosaur Sculpture Wins Admirers
Residents and visitors to the Southsea area have expressed their support for keeping the gigantic sculpture of a dinosaur on Southsea Common. The sculpture, representing a huge, long-necked dinosaur known as Ultrasauros was erected last month and it has already proved to be a big hit on the Hampshire seafront.
The imposing statue towers over the surrounding area and on a clear day, it can be seen from the Isle of Wight, apt as large sauropods did once roam on the area of land that we now know as the Isle of Wight. Ultrasauros, used to be known as Ultrasaurus but the name had to be changed when it was noticed that an earlier fossil find had already been given this name and formerly described. Ultrasauros may not be a legitimate dinosaur genus after all, the fossils that make up the specimen consist of a large shoulder blade from a Brachiosaurus and ribs from a diplodocid called Supersaurus. Ultrasauros may be a bit of a chimera (an animal made up of pieces from other animals). The trouble is, the fossils were found at a location in Colorado (Dry Mesa Quarry) and the site represents a huge jumble of large dinosaur bones. All the skeletons are mixed up and interpreting the fossil information is very confusing.
The sculpture, the work of Ivan and Heather Morison was transported from Serbia and assembled last month, to read more about this amazing piece of art: Ultrasauros Visits Southsea Common.
The Portsmouth City Council’s culture chief had promised that he and his team will do everything they can to persuade the artists to allow it to return to Hampshire after the Ultrasauros completes its engagements in Colchester and Cardiff.
Local resident Barbara Stanley, a real enthusiast for the dinosaur model commented:
“Everyone I’ve spoken to loves the dinosaur. It would be a shame if it goes to Cardiff or wherever and people there lay claim to it. We should see if it can be in Portsmouth permanently. It’s a great attraction to the seafront.”
Supporting Barbara’s comments and speaking on behalf of the Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Lee Hunt stated:
“We would love to have it back if we can. The city is interested in having it permanently, no doubt about it. It has got to go elsewhere first but I will do everything I can if it comes down to a fight to get it back here.”
Whilst we at Everything Dinosaur can admire the obvious passion being expressed, we wonder how many people actually know that Ultrasaurus (as it is often termed in misleading newspaper articles), is not a valid dinosaur genus.
Planning permission would be required if the statue was to become a permanent resident and fears have been expressed as to how winter hardy and weather proof the sculpture may prove to be. It is nice to know that dinosaurs can still capture the imagination and make an impression, the sculpture which is called “Luna Park” stands 16 metres tall and measures an impressive 22 metres long. It is interesting to note that if the statue had been based on Supersaurus (a diplodocid) and not the composite Ultrasauros, it would have had to be longer, perhaps as much as 30 metres in length, but not as tall.