Queensland Museum Has Opened a New Permanent Dinosaur Gallery Filled with Fossils and Meteorites

Free to visit, 'Dinosaurs Unearthed: Explore Prehistoric Queensland' focuses on the ancient creatures that once roamed the Sunshine State.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 16, 2023

Until October 2023, the world's largest-ever known land animal has taken up residence in Brisbane. It's a dinosaur, of course. It's the Patagotitan, and it reached 37 metres in length when it was living and breathing. Thanks to the Dinosaurs of Patagonia exhibition, it's on display at Queensland Museum; however, that isn't he South Bank site's only dance with ancient creatures.

Opening on Friday, June 16 and sticking around permanently, Dinosaurs Unearthed: Explore Prehistoric Queensland gives dino fans something else to roar about: a free showcase focused on the critters that once roamed the Sunshine State. On offer are fossils discovered locally, meteorites, life-sized 3D prints of dinosaurs and megafauna, and dino projections, as paired with an immersive soundscape.

Among more than 50 full-scale reconstructions — which might just make you feel like you've stepped into David Attenborough's Prehistoric Planet — replicas of the Australovenator and Megalania are certain highlights. The former is Queensland's velociraptor equivalent, while the latter is the seven-metre-long creature that was the world's largest land lizard.

Also hefty: the 100-plus fossils and meteorites that are part of Dinosaurs Unearthed, including some of Queensland Museum's most prized and precious specimens.

And, the gallery is filled with Traditional Owner stories and artefacts, too, celebrating thousands of generations of cultural connections.

Drawing upon new research by the venue's palaeontologists, and also using intricate illustrations and interactive touchscreens, the new dinosaur showcase covers 250 million years of history — starting in the Triassic period, which dates back 252 million years; welcoming attendees to the Jurassic period (201–145 million years ago); and also covering the Cretaceous (145–66 million years ago), Paleogene (66–23 million years ago), Neogene (23–2.38 million years ago) and Quarternary periods (from 2.3 million years ago to now).

"Visitors will discover fascinating insights into Australia's iconic dinosaurs and megafauna, including our very own Muttaburrasaurus, the state fossil emblem," said Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson, launching Dinosaurs Unearthed.

"What I love about Dinosaurs Unearthed is that the gallery is divided into many different levels and the idea is that whoever you are, whatever age you are or whatever interest level you have – you will get something out of the gallery – which is quite unique," added Queensland Museum Network Acting Principal Scientist and Curator of Geosciences Dr Scott Hocknull.

"We've created an experience that has changed the way people interact with a gallery. Our fossils and artworks are not just static dioramas but tell stories about our past. What's better is that you can take some of these creatures' home with you in augmented reality and bring them to life again in your living room," Dr Hocknull continued.

"Within every aspect of Dinosaurs Unearthed, we are creating an opportunity to not only see our most valuable fossil and meteorite treasures, but also understand what I call paleo tech — the application of new technologies in palaeontology and how we use this here at Queensland Museum Network."

"Our research is ongoing, and there are opportunities for the gallery to grow and evolve as our research continues. There are species within the gallery that are still yet to have a formal scientific species description, so watch this space."

Dinosaurs Unearthed: Explore Prehistoric Queensland opens on Friday, June 16 at Queensland Museum, Corner of Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Bank, South Brisbane.

Published on June 16, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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