World's largest feathered dinosaur coming to Nottingham

19 Feb 2016 20:24:51.900

A major dinosaur exhibition is coming to Nottingham next summer, thanks to the University's links with China. 

Featuring fossils and specimens never before seen outside of Asia, the exhibition, which will be hosted at Wollaton Hall, with a satellite display at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, will bring to life the story of how dinosaurs evolved into the birds that live alongside us today.

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The exhibition is a three way partnership between The University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Council and the Chinese Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology.

It will include 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.

One of the highlights of the exhibition will be the Gigantoraptor, which at 4 metres high and 8 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 specimens featured in the exhibition were discovered and studied by leading paleontologists in the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, one of the world’s leading paleontological institutions and part of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has close links with The University of Nottingham. 
The collection will be on loan from the Paleozoological Museum of China, Shandong TianYu Museum, and the Dinosaur Museum of Erlianhaote in Inner Mongolia. In addition to the feathered dinosaurs, there will also be specimens of some the largest prehistoric creatures ever found in China.
Dinosaurs that learned how to fly!
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!”

Boost to the local economy
Dr George Baxter, Director of Business Engagement and Innovation Services at The University of Nottingham, added: “Bringing this dinosaur exhibition to Nottingham from China is an enormous coup for the city.
“Due to the links the University has established with the Institute of Vertebrate of Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, we now have a unique opportunity to host a natural history exhibition of international significance in Nottingham, which would be a tremendous boost to tourism and the local economy.”
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.

Inspiring a new generation
"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."

The University and City Council are keen to speak to any businesses that may potentially be interested in sponsoring the exhibition.  For more information about sponsorship opportunities for the exhibition, please contact Sally Zhou at the University’s Asia Business Centre on +44 (0)781 617 4241 or email
Financial support towards the preparatory phase of the exhibition has been contributed by Arts Council England.
More information is available from Kerry Edwards-Kelsall, Nottingham City Council, +44(0)115 876 3350,; or Jennifer Lowis, Nottingham City Council, +44 (0)115 876 3381,; or Nick King, The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 823 2184,
Images: Dinosaur image courtesy of PNSO Artist: Zhao Chuang 
Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.
Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for three years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
Nottingham City Council
Nottingham City Council is a democratic organisation, with 55 Councillors representing electors in 20 wards in the city of Nottingham. Nottingham City Council serves a population of 315,000, providing services including schools, rubbish collection and transport infrastructure.
Nottingham Natural History Museum
Since Wollaton Hall opened to the public in 1926, it has been home to the city’s natural history museum. On display are some of the best items from the three quarters of a million specimens that make up its zoology, geology, and botany collections.

Story credits

For more details about this story, please contact Dr. Wang Qi at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 95 13111 or email:
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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