Dino factfiles

Dinosaur World - August 3

This August, a herd of pre-historic dinosaurs will be roaming the stage of Norwich Theatre Royal, with a little help from a talented team of puppeteers. They’re visiting us from Mundo De Los Lagartos Terribles off the east coast of South America, a land of giant lizards, rumoured to be inhabited by dinosaurs who’d escaped mass extinction at the end of the cretaceous period.

Dinosaur World is suitable for ages three and up, and offers an opportunity to get up close and personal with these giant creatures. Here’s a little background detail on a few of the dinosaurs you might end up meeting:

Every child’s favourite – the Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Name means: Tyrant Lizard

Length: 12 metres

Ate: Other animals

Home: USA & Canada

With an unusually large brain, and teeth that could bite through bone, there’s a reason that Tyrannosaurus Rex is remembered as one of the most fearsome carnivores that ever lived. With a long, heavy tail and giant skull, you might laugh at his tiny arms – but don’t be fooled, they were surprisingly strong and ended in some very sharp claws. You’ll have to shout loudly to scare this beast off the stage…

Juliet the Segnosaurus meets shoppers

Segnosaurus

Name means: Slow Lizard

Length: 7 metres

Ate: Plants, small animals

Home: Mongolia

A therizinosaur from Cretaceous Mongolia, Segnosaurus may have largely eaten plants, but it had fearsome claws on its hands and feet with which it could defend itself. You might have seen our Segnosaurus, Juliet, when she visited intu Chapelfield on Monday. If not, take a look at this video from the day:

Giraffatitan

Name means: Giant Giraffe

Length: 22 metres

Ate: Leaves from the very top branches

Home: Africa

First discovered in what is now Tanzania, the huge Giraffatitan (one of the aptly-named Titanosaurians) was originally thought to be a sub-species of North America’s Brachiosaurus. In time, however, Giraffatitan was recognised as its own species. Some people think that they might have stood as high as 26 metres tall, and the skeleton in Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde is recognised by the Guinness Book Of Records as being the tallest mounted skeleton in the world.

A very friendly Giraffatitan onstage

Triceratops

Name means: Three-horned face

Length: 9 metres

Ate: Tough palm fronds

Home: USA

A huge herbivore (plant-eater), with a frilled head and three fearsome horns, we’ll be playing host to Beatrice the baby triceratops. An adult triceratops probably used those horns to fend off Tyrannosaurus attacks, and they may well have come in handy for males fighting one another to impress a female.

Triceratops fossils are usually found on their own, suggesting that they did not live in herds – unusual for herbivores, which tend to appreciate the safety-in-numbers that herd life provides. Here’s Beatrice with her friends Rafe and Danielle, when they paid a visit to Stephen Bumfrey’s show on Radio Norfolk:

 

An unusual guest for Mr Bumfrey

Microraptor

Name means: Tiny Plunderer

Length: 0.8 metres

Ate: Insects, small animals

Home: China

The Microraptor is a key evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs. With its sharp teeth and powerful legs, it’s definitely a dinosaur, but its limbs were covered in long feathers – and we think that at least one species of Microrapter was capable of flight. It was probably one of the most abundant dinosaurs around at the time, and about 300 fossil specimens have been discovered so far.

One audience member meets a Microrapter

Meet those dinosaurs – and many more – when the life-size puppets of Dinosaur World arrive next month. It’s here from 3-5 August, and tickets are available now.