SCHOOL pupils stepped back in time into the Age of the Dinosaur at Newcastle’s Life Science Centre.
The youngsters journeyed back to the Jurassic period in a sneak preview of the attraction’s new animatronic exhibition.
Afterwards the primary school children had the chance to put their dino-questions to a fossil expert from the Natural History Museum.
“The moving dinosaurs were brilliant,” said pupil Declan Garrod, from St Oswald’s School in South Shields. “They look so real. It was also excellent meeting a palaeontologist – I think that would be the best job.”
Appearing for the first time in the North East, Age of the Dinosaur contains animatronic dinosaurs – including a tyrannosaurus rex-like tarbosaurus – and velociraptors.
There are also more than 60 specimens from the Natural History Museum collections.
And Dr Paul Barrett, the museum’s head of fossil vertebrates, said it was little wonder that people are so fascinated by dinosaurs.
“They’re big, scary and not like any other animals we know or can recognise,” he said.
“They’re mysterious because they lived so long ago and we have still so much to learn about them, with new discoveries being made all the time.”
Dr Barrett answered questions from the children, including one from nine-year-old Nathan Wilson, who asked: “Is it true that crocodiles from the time of the dinosaurs could be 50ft long?” and learned that thankfully the super-crocs were never quite that big, but “would’ve still eaten dinosaurs for breakfast”.
Wingrove Primary School teacher Alison Ainslie said: “The children had a wonderful time. And you always learn more when you’re having fun.”
:: The Age of Dinosaurs exhibition opens to the public tomorrow