Dinosaurs in your garden

16th January - 9th May 2010

Dinosaurs in your Garden

New exhibition at Abergavenny Museum





When you see a bird in your garden do you realise that it is essentially a dinosaur with feathers? In fact, it is a close relative of Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor.

 Dinosaurs in your Garden - a touring exhibition by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, which will open at Abergavenny Museum on Saturday 16 January 2010 - examines the link between some of the earliest dinosaurs, the meat-eating theropods and modern birds.

Many scientists now believe that birds we are familiar with today have evolved from feathered dinosaurs. The first clue that birds lived at the same time as dinosaurs came with the discovery of a single fossil feather in Germany in 1860. An almost-complete skeleton was found during the following year with impressions of feathers preserved in the fine mud rock. It was named Archaeopteryx (“ancient wing”) and is still the oldest known bird, about 150 million years old.

Many dinosaurs behaved like birds do today. From parallel trackways it is clear that some kinds moved in herds or packs and fossil sites in Montana and Argentina provide evidence that they built nests and laid eggs. They nested in colonies and returned to the same places to build their homes, and some looked after their young.

At the end of the Cretaceous Period, 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs suddenly became extinct, together with many other groups of animals and plants on Earth. But the birds survived.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’ geology department is touring this exhibition, which will be on display at Abergavenny Museum until Sunday 9 May, to various museums in Wales.