T. rex Bites Back!

A busy day today, one of the Everything Dinosaur team members was asked to speak at the regular, monthly meeting of the Herbert Illuminations, a group that meets at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum to hear talks on various topics related to exhibitions and displays going on at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum (Coventry, West Midlands).  The talk, entitled “T. rex Bites Back” covered the research into the tyrannosaur family of theropods, focusing on the most famous of all the dinosaurs Tyrannosaurus rex. 

An Example of Tyrannosaurus rex

New colour Mojo Fun Tyrannosaurus rex (2018)

An early representation of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Explaining About Tyrannosaurus rex

Starting with the cervical vertebrae fossils named by Cope in 1892 as Manospondylus gigas, the hour long talk went onto discuss the fossil discoveries of Barnum Brown, the scientific description by Osborn and some of the puzzles and mysteries surrounding this most iconic of all the Dinosauria.  For example, the evidence for feathers in tyrannosaurs was reviewed and the question of the length of tyrannosaur arms was discussed.  The presentation compared tyrannosaurs to other large theropods and compared the abelisaurids and tyrannosaurids and asked the question – Why these two groups of unrelated apex predators at the end of the Cretaceous and not the allosaurids etc?

Everything Dinosaur

The talk took place in studio 2, the site of an interactive exhibition which links the real world to cyberspace. This is an exhibit at the museum that enables real people to interact with avatars who may be located all over the world.  The exhibition is in 3-D, so all the audience at the talk, actually in the room, were asked to wear the 3-D glasses so that they could see the avatars more clearly.  The talk by the Everything Dinosaur team member was heard and seen by a number of avatars that were logged on.

After the presentation, the audience (including the avatars), were able to ask questions.  The Everything Dinosaur expert fielded the questions, which ranged from asking about the teeth of tyrannosaurs, where fossils of T. rex had been found to whether or not in the fossil record there was evidence of animals like today’s hyenas.

 Part of the Audience for Everything Dinosaur’s Talk

Part of the audience for the dinosaur talk.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The background shows the avatars, they were sitting on a big couch and chairs in their virtual world.  The presentation concluded by explaining how children’s fascination for dinosaurs can be used to help motivate and inspire them to learn more about science in school.

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