Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

When Will Australia Get Its First Real Mounted Dinosaur?

By John Long

Australian museums don’t display any dinosaurs mounted from real bones into a life-like position.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

While Australia’s state museums have a great reputation for the quality of their displays, there’s still one big thing missing from all our galleries of past life: a dinosaur skeleton. Not a replica, but a real one. Not one museum in Australia has ever mounted a real dinosaur skeleton for public display. Instead we mount replicas that have been restored and modified to show what the creature might have looked like.

Real dinosaur skeletons are a true thing of awe and amazement to behold. The Tyrannosaurus at the American Museum of Natural History in New York inspired the young Steven Jay Gould to want to become a palaeontologist.

In 2011 I worked as part of team that created a new dinosaur gallery for the Los Angeles County Museum (LACM) in California. We mounted some 25 dinosaur skeletons into life-like poses, 23 of them largely composed of real skeletons. The gallery cost around US$14 million, and much of that went on preparation of the fossils and creating armatures to mount the bones so they could be easily removed for study or conservation – and to withstand the earthquakes that LA is famous for.

In Australia we have one articulated real dinosaur skeleton on display, Kunbarrasaurus (based on a specimen erroneously called Minmi) at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane. This small animal measuring ~3 metres is displayed as it was found after...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.