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Extinction comes to life at Waikato Museum with huge Tyrannosaurus rex

15 March 2024

Deadly prehistoric predators, replica fossils, and a life-sized cast of the largest Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered will be on display at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga O Waikato when the exhibition Six Extinctions opens next month in time for the school holidays.

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Six Extinctions is one of the largest exhibitions ever undertaken by Waikato Museum, utilising galleries across two floors of the building. It opens to the public on Friday 12 April and advance tickets can be purchased online now.

“We cannot wait to share this phenomenal exhibition with Kirikiriroa Hamilton and visitors from further afield. Whether you’re a T. rex fan or curious about megafauna, Six Extinctions will be a captivating experience. It’s the perfect outing for the upcoming school holidays,” said Liz Cotton, Director Museum and Arts.

“The death of the dinosaurs is the most famous extinction, but it is only one of the five catastrophic events that have decimated life on Earth so far. Six Extinctions is an eye-opening exhibition, and we encourage Hamiltonians to take the opportunity to learn more about our planet’s past and what they can do about the current climate crisis before it’s too late.”

Six Extinctions on display at South Australia Museum

Tickets are on sale now for this enthralling exhibition which takes visitors on a journey through 485 million years, meeting the top predators from each geological period and learning what caused their demise. As well as the five previous mass extinction events, Six Extinctions also explores the sixth and current extinction crisis – climate change – which is the first caused by a single species, humans.

The centrepiece of Six Extinctions is the replica of a huge Tyrannosaurus rex known as ‘Scotty’. The skeleton measures 13 metres long by 4 metres high and recreates the most complete fossil of its kind, discovered by palaeontologists in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1991. The life-sized cast represents the Cretaceous period which ended 66 million years ago due to the impact of a 10-kilometre wide asteroid.

Six Extinctions on display at South Australia Museum

Also featured in the exhibition is Dunkleosteus, a giant armoured fish that terrorised the seas; Inostrancevia, a tiger-sized sabre-toothed beast; and Postosuchus, a huge crocodile-like carnivorous reptile; as well as large mural artworks depicting prehistoric life, replica fossils, skeleton and skull casts, and realistic models of extinct animals.

Six Extinctions is produced by Australia’s Gondwana Studios. It will be open at Waikato Museum from 12 April to 21 July 2024 and tickets are on sale now.

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