Jurassic Park comes to Wollaton

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The world’s largest feathered dinosaur - the Gigantoraptor - is coming to Wollaton Hall.

An agreement between The University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Council and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, aims to bring a unique dinosaur exhibition to Nottingham in the summer of 2017.

One of the highlights of the exhibition will be the Gigantoraptor, which at four metres high and eight metres long is the largest feathered dinosaur ever found. The Gigantoraptor will be accompanied by numerous other dinosaur specimens, such as the flying Microraptor, a close relative of Velociraptor which has wing feathers on its arms and legs.

The exhibition includes the best preserved dinosaur fossils from anywhere in the world, not just the bones, but also soft parts including skin and feathers. Many of the species are new to science, only discovered and named in the last 20 years, and some as recently as 2015.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “We are absolutely thrilled Nottingham has been chosen to host this remarkable exhibition when it comes to Europe for the first time. 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.

Dr Adam Smith, curator and palaeontologist at the Nottingham Natural History Museum, Wollaton Hall, said: “This spectacular exhibition will provide an opportunity for visitors to experience some of the most important fossils in the world, including new discoveries that have revolutionised our understanding of dinosaurs and the origin of birds.

“They are helping scientists to understand the origin of birds and feathers – birds are literally dinosaurs. Dinosaurs that learned how to fly.”

The University and City Council are keen to speak to any businesses that may potentially be interested in sponsoring the exhibition. Contact Sally Zhou at the University’s Asia Business Centre sally.zhou@nottingham.ac.uk or call 07816 174241.

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