Saturday, 28 October 2017

Dinosaur of China Exhibition

This summer long exhibition at Wollaton Hall showcases some of the incredible dinosaur fossils that have been found in China in recent decades. Many Chinese rocks are unusual in that they are composed on fine sediments which buried and preserved dinosaurs quickly - and preserved their structures in incredible detail.

Feathered dinosaurs formed a large part of the exhibition, but there were many other types of dinosaur on show as well. A few of the exhibits that particularly caught NSB's attention are shown below.

Early Cretaceous, ~120million years ago
This is the first fossil of this type that was found, back in 2003. Microraptor has claws on its hands and feet, FOUR wings and was capable of flight.

Artist impression of Microraptor

Microraptor fossil - you can see the feathers

Early Cretaceous, ~125million years ago
Fossils of Sinornithodaurus show that the body of this creature was covered in a short fuzz of simple, soft, feathers - giving clues to the steps in feather evolution. It is likely that Velociraptor, a close relative of Sinornithodaurus was also similarly fuzzy.

Artist impression of Sinornithosaurus

Fossil of Sinornithosaurus

Yi Qi
Middle/Upper Jurassic, 160million years ago
A dinosaur with unique wings that were formed from webs of skin, rather than feathers, although it was covered in an insulating fuzz.

Artist impression of Yi Qi

Late Cretaceous, ~80million years ago
The largest known bird-like dinosaur! Clearly too heavy to fly, its feathers may have been used in courtship displays. No-one knows what this large beaked dinosaur ate!

Artist impression of Gigantoraptor
Late Jurassic, 160million years ago
This sauropod is 23m long from head to tail and, in the rearing posture shown in the exhibition, is over 13m tall - higher than three double decker buses! The bones in its neck overlap with each other, which gave support but also resulted in the neck being rigid.


The exhibition also provided information on some of the key Chinese figures in palaeontology:
Dr Chung Chien Young
Dong Zhiming
Prof Tan Lin who gave a talk on "Ground Shakers and Feathered Flyers" in Nottingham a while back.
Dr Xu Xing

Image Sources
All fossil photos by NSB
All artists impression are photos of exhibition artwork by PNSO

Related Content
Doggerland - Europe's lost continent
The world in 10 Fossils
Susannah Lydons article on the exhibition in the Guardian.

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