Dino-bots are here

The world renowned Di­nosaur En­counter is mak­ing its ex­clu­sive New Zealand de­but at Te Manawa. To see more about the ex­hi­bi­tion, which opens on Septem­ber 24,

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Di­nosaurs and ro­bot­ics have com­bined to cre­ate an ir­re­sistible at­trac­tion in Palmer­ston North.

Te Manawa’s Di­nosaur En­counter ex­hi­bi­tion from Lon­don’s Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum, will give ev­ery­body the op­por­tu­nity to ‘‘walk the di­nosaur’’ from Septem­ber 24.

Fea­tur­ing nine an­i­ma­tronic di­nosaur mod­els, the ex­hi­bi­tion is mak­ing its south­ern hemi­sphere land­fall in Manawatu.

It has been put to­gether by de­sign­ers work­ing closely with sci­en­tists, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the lat­est re­search as well as pro­vid­ing un­prece­dented re­al­ism.

Co-or­di­na­tor, Te Manawa’s Kris­telle Plim­mer said Di­nosaur En­counter was the mu­seum’s big­gest dis­play yet. The di­rect de­liv­ery of the Juras­sic giants on Sun­day re­quired the Pitt St car park to be­come a tem­po­rary tran­si­tional fa­cil­ity so MFAT could in­spect the con­tain­ers ‘‘to make sure the dinos are not bring­ing in any un­wanted bugs’’.

Last year’s tour­ing Di­nosaur Foot­prints - A Story of Dis­cov­ery ex­hi­bi­tion at the mu­seum was so pop­u­lar they wanted another di­nosaur ex­hi­bi­tion.

Plim­mer said it was ’’some­thing that would chal­lenge, en­ter­tain and ed­u­cate our au­di­ence and our staff’’.

‘‘Di­nosaur En­counter fit­ted Te Manawa’s com­mu­nity pa­ram­e­ters, we could af­ford it and it’s some­thing we thought would be cool for Palmer­ston North.’’

Di­nosaur En­counter stars two T-rex, one three-quar­ter size that is 6m long and stands over 4m high, and a smaller three-fifths size beast, along with a half-size tricer­atops.

‘‘It will spark con­ver­sa­tions and in­ter­est in fos­sils, pre-his­tory, science, ge­ol­ogy, tech­nol­ogy and ro­bot­ics,’’ Plim­mer said.

The fas­ci­na­tion with di­nosaurs has never been higher.

‘‘We’ve had kids ring­ing in to vol­un­teer - there’s been huge in­ter­est from vol­un­teers and from spon­sors.’’

The ex­hi­bi­tion has ovi­rap­tors, a four-limbed speedy bird-like or­nithomimus, and a crocodile- -like bary­onyx.

Re­pro­duc­tions of skele­tons, skulls and fos­sils along with floor talks would add to the ex­pe­ri­ence.

There would also be pri­mary and sec­ondary school ro­bot­ics work­shops dur­ing the Oc­to­ber school hol­i­days.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

An an­i­ma­tronic T-rex head looks for­ward to join­ing its body af­ter a long flight from Lon­don.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Sean Whyte helps un­load part of a T Rex at Te Manawa.

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