Where Is The Best Place to See Dinosaur Fossils in the UK?

The United Kingdom is renowned for its rich geological history and the abundance of dinosaur fossils that have been discovered within its borders. For paleontology enthusiasts and curious individuals alike, the UK offers numerous sites where one can explore and marvel at the remnants of these ancient creatures. Let’s delve into some of the best places in the UK-Natural History Museum in London to see dinosaur fossils, providing a glimpse into the fascinating world of these prehistoric giants.

Journey back in time to an era when colossal creatures roamed the Earth. The Natural History Museum in London beckons visitors with its remarkable collection of dinosaurs, offering a rare opportunity to come face to face-with these prehistoric giants. In this article, we will embark on an exciting adventure as we explore the captivating world of dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.

Diplodocus:

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The 85-foot-long plaster cast of a diplodocus skeleton was first put on display in the London Museum in 1905.
Dippy the Dinosaur has returned to the Natural History Museum as part of a new installation following a four-year tour of the UK.

The new installation, Dippy Returns: The Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur, will be on display until January and celebrates the landscapes visited by Dippy on his national tour, during which he was seen by more than two million people.

Stegosaurus:

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The museum acquired the world’s most complete Stegosaurus for an undisclosed sum with help from a hedge fund manager

More than 100m years ago she was lumbering around a subtropical forest in what is now Wyoming, ceaselessly chewing plant matter while keeping her terrifying spiked tail at the ready to swat any predator that dared to try its luck. Today, Sophie the Stegosaurus has a new home, London’s Natural History Museum, where her stunning presence dominates the Earth Hall.
With 85% of her skeleton intact, she is the world’s most complete specimen of the instantly recognizable dinosaur, famous for the huge plates cresting its back and the four spear-like horns on the end of its tail.
Although museum scientists do not actually know the sex of their Stegosaurus, “she” has been informally named Sophie after the daughter of the wealthy hedge fund manager whose donation made the acquisition possible.

Triceratops:

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This Triceratops is not an original skeleton or a cast—it’s a papier mâché model. Frederic Lucas of the United States National Museum (now the National Museum of Natural History) created this replica in 1900 for the Smithsonian display at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo, New York. He likely used O.C. Marsh’s published illustration of a Triceratops skeleton as his primary reference. The model made a second appearance at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri, but was rendered obsolete shortly thereafter when Charles Gilmore finished the world’s first real Triceratops mount in 1905. While constructing the skeleton, Gilmore learned that Marsh and Lucas’s straight-legged interpretation was physically impossible—Triceratops actually had partially sprawling forelimbs.
Nevertheless, exhibit models like this rarely go waste. Two years later, NHM received Lucas’s model as a gift from USNM. It has been on nearly continuous display ever since.

Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis:

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Mantellisaurus is a genus of iguanodontian dinosaur that lived in the Barremian and early Aptian ages of the Early Cretaceous Period of Europe. Its remains are known from Belgium (Bernissart), England, Spain and Germany. The type and only species is M. atherfieldensis. Formerly known as Iguanodon atherfieldensis, the new genus Mantellisaurus was erected for the species by Gregory Paul in 2007. According to Paul, Mantellisaurus was more lightly built than Iguanodon and more closely related to Ouranosaurus, making Iguanodon in its traditional sense paraphyletic. It is known from many complete and almost complete skeletons. The genus name honours Gideon Mantell, the discoverer of Iguanodon.

The centerpiece of the 1924 Hooley acquisition is the holotype skeleton (R5764) of Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis, known at the time as Iguanodon atherfieldensis. Hooley found the 85% complete skeleton in 1914 on the Isle of Wight, in several blocks that had already eroded out of a cliff. It was—and still is—the most complete dinosaur skeleton found in the UK. Like the Hypsilophodon, the Mantellisaurus was originally mounted in the 1930s with a kangaroo-like posture. It was remounted for the 1992 exhibit in a horizontal walking pose.

Gallimimus bullatus:

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Like Massospondylus, this Gallimimus arrived at NHM as an unarticulated cast in an exchange with a peer institution, in this case the Polish Academy of Sciences. The original skeleton was discovered on a Polish-Mongolian joint expedition led by trailblazing paleontologist and all-around incredible person Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska.

When NHM was beginning work on the 1992 dinosaur hall, the fossil prep team elected to hire Research Casting International to mount the Gallimimus. Rather than using the plaster casts, RCI made a plastic duplicate of each bone and assembled them on an aluminum armature. The skeleton’s running pose meant that the mount’s weight had to be carefully managed. All the weight rests on the left leg, which was molded around a 22-pound steel rod to compensate.

Baryonyx:

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Baryonyx was named by British palaeontologists Alan J. Charig and Angela Milner, based on about 70 percent of the skeleton. The holotype was originally known as BMNH R9951, however, it was later re-catalogued as NHMUK VP R9951. It remains one of the most complete theropod fossil skeletons known from the British Isles. It is also one of the most complete examples of a spinosaurid known to science.

The museum Baryonyx exhibit (pictured above), is not made up of the actual fossil bones. Instead, the mounted skeleton is made up of casts and reconstructed skeletal material.

Discovering Ancient Life:

Beyond the iconic dinosaur skeletons, the Natural History Museum’s dinosaur exhibits showcase a wide variety of species from different periods of Earth’s history. From the formidable Allosaurus to the armored Stegosaurus, visitors can explore the incredible diversity of these long-extinct creatures. Engaging displays allow visitors to understand their behavior, diets, and the fascinating evolutionary adaptations that made them successful in their respective ecosystems.

The dinosaurs of the Natural History Museum in London spark the imagination and ignite a sense of wonder in visitors of all ages. The exhibits not only entertain but also educate, fostering a deeper understanding of Earth’s history and the importance of preserving our planet’s biodiversity. As visitors explore the dinosaur displays, they are encouraged to contemplate the connections between the past, present, and future, and the role we play in protecting our natural world.

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The Natural History Museum in London offers an unparalleled opportunity to step into the mesmerizing world of dinosaurs. Through its awe-inspiring exhibits, engaging displays, and interactive learning experiences, the museum invites visitors to embark on an unforgettable journey through time. Immerse yourself in the remarkable stories of these ancient creatures, marvel at their size and diversity, and leave the museum with a renewed appreciation for the wonders of Earth’s past.