The ground-breaking Dinosaurs of China exhibition, which is bringing some of the best-preserved dinosaur fossils in the world to the UK this summer, has a new supporter in the form of TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham.
The wildlife expert, known for presenting the popular Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch programmes on BBC Two as well as a host of other projects, has a lifelong passion for palaeontology, and is keen to help tell the story of dinosaur evolution through the exhibits on show.
Featuring the massive Mamenchisaurus, the tallest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the UK, and the Gigantoraptor, the largest feathered dinosaur in the world, the 26 exhibits have been hand-picked to take visitors on a journey through time and show how dinosaurs evolved from ground shakers of the past to the birds we see in our gardens today.
As well as 3D skeletons there will be replica and original fossils on display including two type specimens, regarded as the best examples of those species anywhere in the world.
Chris said: “The way dinosaurs have evolved is truly fascinating and I’m passionate about spreading the message far and wide. Dinosaurs have long been perceived as huge scaly beasts but now we’re finding out that this was only part of the story. This exhibition provides a real once in a lifetime chance to see some of the most exciting dinosaur discoveries in recent years and learn more about how dinosaurs actually looked when they roamed the earth.”
Opening in Nottingham on July 1, Dinosaurs of China is a collaboration between Nottingham City Council and the University of Nottingham who have worked closely with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing and the Long Hao Institute of Geology and Paleontology Inner Mongolia.
Dr Adam Smith is the Exhibition Curator and said: “We are very excited to be bringing together such an interesting collection of exhibits and Chris both shares our enthusiasm and understands the importance of the Dinosaurs of China exhibition. Several of the fossils on display have global significance and many have only been discovered in the past 20 years. One was named just two years ago so we really are showing these new discoveries to the world.”
Jason Feehily, Director Knowledge Exchange Asia at the University of Nottingham, said: “We are delighted to have Chris join the Dinosaurs of China team. Chris has an enormous reputation and stature in this area and to have him as a supporter demonstrates both the scientific and cultural importance of the Dinosaurs of China exhibition. I am hugely impressed by Chris’s passion and enthusiasm and we are all really looking forward to working with him over the coming months.”
Cllr David Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council added: “Thanks to the special relationship forged with China by the University of Nottingham and Nottingham City Council, we have this unique opportunity to host a natural history exhibition of international significance in our city, which will be a tremendous boost both to tourism and the local economy.”
Taking place from 1st July to 29th October 2017, the exhibition will span two sites – Wollaton Hall in Nottingham and University of Nottingham’s public art centre, Lakeside Arts. Tickets for Wollaton Hall are now on sale. Prices are £7.70 for an adult and £5.50 for a child. There is a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for £22.00. Children under five go free and the event welcomes school parties at a reduced price. Entry to Lakeside is free of charge.
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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 was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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