Take an epic journey back through 150 million years of Yorkshire to discover lost giants and the changing worlds they inhabited in this major new exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum.
From the depths of the deepest seas to the ancient coasts and tropical shallows, meet the dinosaurs and sea monsters that once roamed our vast and ever-changing landscapes. Experience each Jurassic world as the colossal creatures and their surroundings are brought to life using the latest research and ground-breaking technology.
Inspect the finest details of an ichthyosaur as its flesh and skin are superimposed over its preserved skeleton; serve a sauropod dinosaur its supper as our VR headset reincarnates the oldest sauropod remains ever found in the UK; tremble at a terrifying Megalosaur tooth as you stand amid its hunting habitat, and much more.
Rediscover our prehistoric predecessors through some of the oldest and most fascinating remains in the region as you step into ‘Yorkshire’s Jurassic World’.
The exhibition was officially opened by Sir David Attenborough on 23 March 2018.
Exploring the Exhibition
With a life size plesiosaur overhead and a dig zone where you can hunt for fossils, this gallery sets the scene for the exhibition. It looks at the history of the Earth, putting the Jurassic Period into context and introducing the ideas and discoveries that form the basis for much of what we know today about this period.
Visitors are immersed in a tropical world of shallow waters alive with coral, fish, starfish and other sea life. Fossils from the period are displayed alongside illustrations and animations demonstrating the colours and movement of the creatures. CGI environments and LED lighting give the impression of being surrounded by the scenes, and a large rock structure in the centre invites you to sit and discover more. Visitors can also make rubbings of the replica fossils.
The next gallery plunges visitors down into the depths of the Jurassic oceans. Our internationally significant and immense sea dragon fossils are brought to life through Augmented Reality. Pick up an iPad and see the huge ichthyosaur and two plesiosaurs depicted at full size with realistic skin tones based on the latest research.
The gallery also shows the strength of our collections from this period with ammonites and belemnites, once eaten by the sea dragons, and the rare fossilised remains of embryonic ichthyosaurs shown in a “collider case”. This technology allows the fossilised baby itchyosaurs to “swim” off the rock and around the case before your very eyes.
Visitors then enter Dinosaur Country surrounded by trees, plants and dinosaurs. Here, CGI dinosaurs can be seen scampering across the fossilised muddy flats which contain real dinosaur footprints. A full size Megalosaur is depicted on the wall with fossils showing the size and ferocity of her teeth and claws.
On the opposite wall, a life size pterosaur is shown – these are the creatures which took to Yorkshire’s Jurassic skies, and visitors will be able to see some of their real footprints.
In the middle of the room will be Alan – proof that some of the largest dinosaurs that roamed the earth once lived in what we now call Yorkshire. Alan was named after the finder of a huge vertebra from the oldest true sauropod dinosaur ever found in the UK.
Sauropods (often referred to as ‘brontosaurs’) were plant-eaters, and the largest animals ever to have walked the Earth. They were a successful group for nearly 150 million years. Nearby is the chance to put on a Virtual Reality headset to meet a towering sauropod and feed it lunch!
Fossilised plants, another strength of our collection, are also on display here to provide an idea about what the dinosaurs could see and what they ate.
This is a great example of what can be achieved with the help of Virtual Reality. In this specific example, people are able to return millions years in the past, when dinosaurs existed and explore this virtual world. This experience has a high level of Presence (one of the fields that are studied by the Thematic Area 4 of the ViMM project, alongside Storytelling and Gamification fields), due to the full immersion of Virtual Reality and many Gamification elements, which makes the experience more realistic and fun. Finally, the use of Augmented Reality in this exhibition, is another example of how mixed reality technologies in general can make a museum experience very fun and interesting.