Dinosaur Encounter
24 September 2016 - 26 February 2017

This exhibition has now finished


The Giants are here!

Te Manawa has hatched its biggest exhibition yet. Dinosaur Encounter, proudly supported by City Partner Fly Palmy.

Developed by the London Natural History Museum, Dinosaur Encounter features nine moving dinosaur models brought to life by state-of-the-art animatronics, and gives visitors a thrilling glimpse at the prehistoric beasts of seventy million years ago. Designers and scientists worked closely together to create an unprecedented level of realism.

Meet them in person, for the very first time in the Southern Hemisphere !


Dinosaur Encounter runs until 26 February.

Visitor Information

Exhibition charges – $12 adult, $10 concession, $6 child under 17. Family passes (2 adults and 2 children) are $30.

Children must be supervised by an adult. Please note that younger children may find some of the larger models frightening.

Click here for information on getting to Te Manawa

*Exhibition information subject to change.


So many teeth!

thumb-t-rexThe ¾-size Tyrannosaurus Rex – Broadway Radiology
This famous creature was one of the largest land-dwelling meat-eaters that ever lived. Adults grew to 12m long, stood 5m high and weighed about seven tonnes. Tyrannosaurus had large powerful back legs, with clawed feet that were probably used to hold down its prey. It fed by biting huge mouthfuls of flesh, its 15cm teeth ripping through skin and muscle. Lower jaws were hinged in the middle to allow an even wider gape. Tyrannosaurus probably lived a solitary existence or settled in small family groups.
This fearsome animatronic model is 6.1m long and 4.5m tall.



thumb-anklyAnkylosaurus – Inspire.Net
Ankylosaurus was a short, sturdy-legged creature with bands of bony studs or plates to protect its body. It had large triangular horns at the rear corners of its skull, with the sides of the head completely closed in by bone. The heavy bony club at the end of the tail was probably used as a defensive weapon, which it could swing with enough force to inflict a crippling blow. These animals were surprisingly agile creatures for their stature. They lived in what is now North America and Mongolia.
This three-quarter-size model is 4.5m long and 1.5m tall.


thumb-baryBaryonyx – Copthorne Hotel
Baryonyx lived in the warm floodplains of England, France and Belgium, prowling through conifer and cycad forests, ferny glades and horsetail meadows fringing rivers, lakes and swamps. It waded into water to catch fish up to 1m long using its great thumb claw. The long mouth, narrow pointed teeth and the s-shaped curve of the jaw gave it strikingly similar features to that of modern fish-eating crocodiles.
The 3/5-size animatronic Baryonyx model is 4.8m long and 1.85m tall.


thumb-ornithOrnithomimus – More FM
Ornithomimus lived in the late Cretaceous Period in western North America and Mongolia, part of a broader family of dinosaurs known as Ornithomimids (“bird mimics”). These slightly different species were very similar in size and appearance, reaching body lengths of about three to four metres and bearing a strong resemblance to modern ground-dwelling birds such as the ostrich or emu. The Ornithomimus could run faster than an Olympic sprinter.
The full-size model is 3.25m long and 1.88m tall.


thumb-t-rex-23/5-size Tyrannosaurus Rex  E Tech
Tyrannosaurus’ height was coupled with acute vision and a good sense of smell, ideal for ambush predation.  Although scientists hold different views on the subject, it probably combined this with scavenging to obtain a meal.
The model is 4.54m long and 2.85m tall.




thumb-triTriceratops – Ricoh
Triceratops, a horned plant-eating dinosaur, lived in western North America. Tyrannosaurus certainly preyed on Triceratops, which used its three horns and large bony neck frill to protect itself. A five-tonne charging Triceratops could have deterred one of the largest predators, much as a rhino defends itself today. The Triceratops scene also includes two Triceratops young.
The half-size model is 4.33m long and 1.79m tall.


thumb-oviOviraptors – Fly Palmy
One of the most unusual dinosaurs, Oviraptor measured 1.5 to 2.3 metres in length. It had a short head, and its jaws were bigger than those of Ornithomimus. The jaw was completely toothless, but might have been covered with a horny sheath. This, and the massive curved shape of the lower jaw, suggests that Oviraptor could exert a very powerful force on its food. Its name means “egg thief” – but while Oviraptor may have fed on the eggs of other dinosaurs, which it crushed by biting, latest findings indicate these dinosaurs had a varied diet and may have been protecting their own nests rather than stealing eggs.
The full-size animatronic Oviraptor is 2.6m long and 1.45m tall. It is joined by two static Oviraptors.