As you enter the aquarium, and you take the plunge downstairs to meet our first animals, you’ll travel back millions and millions of years to the time of the Dinosaurs. Not only is studying dinosaurs crucial because it helps us understand Earth’s ancient history and the evolution of life, but they are just cool and everyone loves them, right?

Dinosaurs ruled the planet millions of years ago and studying their fossils provides valuable insights into their anatomy, behaviour, and environment. By examining their bones and tracks, scientists can reconstruct their ecosystems, learn about their diets, and even understand their social structures.

Our ‘down with the Dinosaurs’ exhibit is packed with dino fossils plus loads of fun facts and interesting information so be sure to take your time.


Tyrannosaurus rex, or T. rex, is one of the most famous and fearsome dinosaurs that ever lived. It roamed the Earth over 65 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. T. rex was a massive carnivorous dinosaur with a large head, powerful jaws, and sharp teeth that could crush bones. It stood on two strong legs and had tiny, but strong, front limbs. T. rex was an apex predator, meaning it was at the top of the food chain. With its incredible size and strength, it is believed to have been one of the most formidable hunters in history.


Anomalocaris was an incredible prehistoric creature that lived over 500 million years ago during the Cambrian period. It was one of the largest predators of its time, reaching lengths of up to three feet. Anomalocaris had a unique appearance with a long, segmented body and large, stalked eyes. It had grasping appendages near its mouth to catch and eat smaller sea creatures. Despite its fierce appearance, Anomalocaris was not a dinosaur but rather an arthropod. Studying Anomalocaris fossils helps scientists understand the early stages of animal evolution and the diverse life that existed in ancient seas. It’s like discovering a real-life sea monster from long ago!


Ichthyosaurus was an incredible marine reptile that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Its name means “fish lizard,” and it had a body perfectly adapted for life in the ocean. Ichthyosaurus had a streamlined body, flippers for swimming, and a long snout filled with sharp teeth. It had large eyes, allowing it to see well underwater. Ichthyosaurus was a powerful swimmer and an efficient hunter, feeding on fish and other marine creatures. Fossils of Ichthyosaurus have been found all over the world, giving us valuable insights into the amazing creatures that once inhabited the ancient seas.


Triceratops was an amazing dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period. It was known for its distinctive features, such as a large bony frill on its head and three sharp horns. Triceratops was a herbivore, meaning it only ate plants. It had a beak-like mouth perfect for munching on leaves and vegetation. Triceratops was also a massive dinosaur, with a long body and strong legs. Its horns and frill were used for defence against predators and for battling other Triceratops during mating season.


Velociraptor was a fascinating dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period. It was a small, carnivorous dinosaur with a sleek body and a sharp, curved claw on each foot. Velociraptor was a fast runner and an excellent hunter. Despite what you may have seen in movies, Velociraptors were much smaller than portrayed, about the size of a turkey. They were highly intelligent and hunted in packs, working together to take down larger prey. These clever dinosaurs had keen eyesight and a keen sense of smell. Learning about Velociraptor sparks the imagination and reminds us of the incredible diversity of dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth.


Ammonites were extraordinary creatures that lived in the seas millions of years ago. They were not actually dinosaurs, but they were related to modern-day squid and octopuses. Ammonites had spiral-shaped shells with beautiful patterns. These shells protected them from predators. They lived in different sizes, from tiny ones to giant ones as big as car tires! Ammonites thrived for over 300 million years, but sadly, they went extinct along with the dinosaurs. Today, we can find their fossilized shells all around the world. Studying ammonites helps us learn about Earth’s ancient oceans and the incredible diversity of life that existed long ago.

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