Belfast Telegraph

Let’s hang out with the flying dinosaur at the Ulster Museum

By Linda Stewart

Manoeuvring a sofa up a winding staircase is one of the most difficult feats of dexterity known to man.

But it’s nothing compared to wrangling a 7ft wingspan model of a gigantic flying dinosaur through two sets of double doors and a single door — in preparation for hoisting it into position, hovering above the crowds queuing at the Ulster Museum.

This is the first exhibit to be hung from the ceiling of the museum’s new atrium.

‘Age Of The Dinosaur’ features seven full-scale animatronic dinosaurs, along with more than 60 unique specimens from London’s Natural History Museum, and many objects from the Ulster Museum’s own collections.

The exhibition — which is running in partnership with the Natural History Museum — opens at the Ulster Museum on Friday, May 18, for a four-month period. The museum will open on Mondays throughout July and August to accommodate the expected demand.

Monday saw two flying Pterosaurs hoisted into position in the entrance atrium by a small army of rigging specialists from Unusual Rigging.

The team has hoisted everything from missiles, aircraft and satellites, to the world’s largest mirror at the Tate Modern and the world’s biggest advent calendar at St Pancras railway station in London.

Age Of The Dinosaur will be accompanied by a dedicated hands-on discovery zone. Events will include lectures, movies and walking tours. Tickets and timeslots are now available for booking online at www.nmni.com

Factfile

  • Pterosaurs were winged reptiles — the first vertebrates to evolve powered flight.
  • The evidence for flight comes from their light, hollow bones, large brains and an extremely long fourth digit providing wing support.
  • Species ranged from the size of sparrows to the largest known flying creature of all time - with a 12-metre wingspan.

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