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The reptiles that rocked REM

12 April 2012 by Lucy

As World Museum’sAge of the Dinosaur exhibition draws to a close on 15 April music fan Dickie Felton looks at one rock group’s prehistoric obsession.


Photograph of Dickie Felton and Michael Stipe

Dickie Felton pictured with REM’s Michael Stipe in Dublin September 2001

REM, one of the world’s first big alternative rock bands, had a craze for plastic dinosaurs. The figures began to appear mysteriously in the 1980s; invading amplifiers and stages around the globe.

When REM first formed honorary band members included a tiny T-Rex and a Triceratops. They even sat in on recording sessions for three decades until 2011 when the band decided to call it a day.
Plastic dinos would go on world tours and pop up on speakers and instruments. In the 1996 song “Wake-Up Bomb” singer Michael Stipe sang about practising his “T-Rex moves and make the scene.”  It wasn’t that Stipe was a secret palaeontologist. It was more to do with creature comforts than a deep rooted fascination. Read more…

An ostrich-like lifestyle

5 April 2012 by Alison

There’s not long left before Age of the Dinosaur closes on 15 April at World Museum. Before it finishes we have one more blog by dino-expert Geoff Tresise. This blog tells us about about the Gallimimus.


A dinosaur’s teeth give valuable clues as to its diet and hence its lifestyle.  Predators have pointed biting teeth whereas herbivores have flatter teeth for grinding vegetation. 

However dinosaurs such as Gallimimus from Mongolia and Struthiomimus from North America had no teeth at all.  What did they eat and how did they live?  The fact that their bodies were very like those of ostriches provides a clue.

Gallimimus, the ostrich-like dinosaur seen in ‘Age of the Dinosaur’, lived in the late Cretaceous period.  It had strong hind-legs and stood about 2 metres tall with a long neck and small head.  It must have been a powerful runner.  Fast-running animals today (like antelopes and cheetahs as well as ostriches) live on grasslands but in the dinosaurs’ day there was no grass and so no grasslands. 

Gallimimus lived in a semi-arid landscape with only scattered vegetation. In this environment the Gallimimus diet might include fruit and seeds, insects, lizards and dinosaur eggs.  Even baby dinosaurs may have been on the menu.  If food was scarce, an opportunistic dinosaur would be likely to snap up anything edible. Read more…

Pre-historic hysterics

21 March 2012 by Alison

dinosaur puppet

Tiny the dinosaur © LosKaos Limited 2002-2010

Want to get involved in some free pre-historic hysterics this weekend?

On Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 March between 1-4.30pm you will have the opportunity to meet Tiny, a juvenile Stegosaurus at World Museum.

Tiny has wowed audiences up and down the country and the animated dinosaur is set to do the same in Liverpool. Using a combination of live sound, facial animatronics and extreme puppetry Tiny will really come to life.

The dinosaur will also be accompanied by a palaeontologist who will give a lively and informative natural history show. You will be encouraged to ‘get tactile’ with Tiny and have a go at being palaeontologists yourselves. Read more…

A small(ish) giant

12 March 2012 by Alison

One of the stars of the show in the ‘Age of the Dinosaur’ exhibition is the Camarasaurus. Curator and dino-expert Geoff Tresise tells us more about this herbivorous dino…


animatronic Camarasaurus

One of the stars of the show, the Camarasaurus

The largest of all dinosaurs were the sauropods, giant plant-eating herbivores.  The commonest North American sauropod was Camarasaurus and this is the form seen in the Age of the Dinosaur exhibition.

Camarasaurus lived during the late Jurassic period 150 million years ago.  Fossils of adult and juvenile animals are found from the same localities, suggesting that, like elephants today, these dinosaurs lived and travelled in protective family groups.

Read more…

Dino-tastic Weekend

2 February 2012 by Alison

If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, look no further than World Museum.

To tie in with the current exhibition Age of the Dinosaur there is a jam-packed weekend of dinosaur themed events, talks and activities.

On Saturday from 11.30am – 4.30pm the whole family can have their picture taken with a dinosaur! Using green screen technology your picture will be superimposed onto a picture of a fearsome dino! (Prints will be priced at £2 or free on production of a ticket bought that day for the Age of the Dinosaur). Read more…

Michael Bublé and his dinosaur friends

27 January 2012 by Lynn

hand written letter

After enjoying the amusing adventures of Michael Bublé and his raptor friend we started trying to imagine what it’d be like if they came to face to face with our resident tarbosaurus!

We don’t think he’d be scared! Would you be?

If you love dinosaurs and you love Michael Bublé why not print out this photo and keep it in your wallet! And if you want to visit tarbosaurus and some raptors, get yourself down to World Museum before 15 April. Read more…

Membership News

21 November 2011 by Lucy

Our Fundraising and Membership Officer Matt Dunn has an update for anyone thinking of signing up for National Museums Liverpool membership. A great idea for a Christmas present!


Families have been signing up in droves recently for our special £20 membership offer, which is available to buy until the end of the year. Family members can visit Age of the Dinosaur as often as they like and because a family ticket normally costs £14, it’s a fantastic money saver. Read more…

An Eggs-Traordinary Mistake!

15 November 2011 by Alison

Our ‘Age of the Dinosaur‘ exhibition has been open since 22 October and dino-excitement is everywhere at World Museum!

Here curator and dino-expert Geoff Tresise talks about one of the smaller stars of the exhibition, the Oviraptor.


In 1929, American scientists found a rich trove of dinosaur bones in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Most were those of the small horned dinosaur Protoceratops. More exciting still was the discovery of nests of dinosaur eggs – the first ever found. There were also a few fossils of an odd-looking dinosaur which had no teeth, and was thought to have fed on dinosaur eggs. 

It was given the name Oviraptor which means “Egg Thief”. This seemed proved when an Oviraptor skeleton with a crushed skull was found near a nest of eggs – the would-be thief seemingly trampled to death by the angry parent dinosaur.

However in the 1990s this belief was challenged by two startling new discoveries.  A dinosaur egg was found containing the tiny bones of an unhatched embryo.  Unexpectedly this embryo proved to be that of Oviraptor, not Protoceratops. Then an Oviraptor fossil was found crouched over a nest, seemingly killed while trying to protect its eggs during a sandstorm.  The supposed “egg thief” was in reality the devoted parent.

Visit the ‘Age of Dinosaurs’ exhibition to see Oviraptor defending its nest here threatened by a giant predator. Read more…

Velociraptor: the film star dinosaur

19 October 2011 by Lisa

Our Age of the Dinosaur exhibition opens this Saturday 22 October and dino-excitement is reaching fever pitch at World Museum!

Curator and dino-expert Geoff Tresise has taken a breather to tell us about Velociraptor, one of the stars of the exhibition…


Animatronic velociraptor

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ brought dinosaurs back to life with impressive realism. It was also the film that made Velociraptor a star!  Tyrannosaurus was shown dismembering a goat and chasing after a jeep.  However, it was the much smaller raptors which unexpectedly proved to be the more dangerous. These raptors were shown as intelligent and inventive, very blood-thirsty and given to hunting in groups.  Read more…

Dinosaurs: The big, the bad and the ugly

28 September 2011 by Lisa

This week’s dinosaur blog focuses on the biggest and most ferocious dinosaurs in our blog series so far. Read on to see what our curator and dino expert Geoff Tresise has to say about these predators…


Tarbosaurus

Tarbosaurus

Tyrannosaurus rex is the one dinosaur that everyone knows.  What is often forgotten is that it is also one of the rarest.  Predators at the top of the food-chain are much fewer in number that the animals they prey on.  It was also one of the last of the dinosaurs.  It lived late in the Cretaceous period and by the end of that period all dinosaurs were extinct.

Tyrannosaurus bones come from the American Mid-West but very similar fossils found elsewhere have been given different names.  The late Cretaceous sediments of Canada yield Albertosaurus, those of Mongolia Tarbosaurus.  They all walked on powerful hind-legs and had tiny two-toed forefeet.  They had large skulls with a predator’s pointed teeth.  One difference is in the position of the eyes – those of Tyrannosaurus looked forward giving it bifocal vision.  Tarbosaurus, by contrast, had eyes on the side of its head. Read more…