Pterosaurs: Dragons of the Air

Friday, June 25, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Saturday, June 26, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Sunday, June 27, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Monday, June 28, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Thursday, July 1, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Friday, July 2, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Saturday, July 3, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Sunday, July 4, 2010 – 10:00-20:30
Venue: Southbank Centre Square
Cost: Admission free
Pterosaurs depicted flying through the air above a sea

Pterosaurs are taking over Southbank Centre!

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth are creating five life-sized pterosaur models, including one with a wing span of 10 metres, to better appreciate what these animals may have looked like when alive.

There are over 100 different species of pterosaurs, ranging in size from a sparrow to a Spitfire airplane.  They ruled the skies for nearly 150 million years, from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous (220 to 65.5 million years ago).  The researchers are studying pterosaurs to better understand how their skeletons withstood the stress and strain of flying.

“Creating these models help us better to understand how these ancient reptiles were able to achieve such gigantic proportions and still be able to fly with great manoeuvrability.  Studying the skeletons of these amazing creatures could help engineers to design stronger and lighter aircraft frames,” says Dr Dave Martill, School of Earth and Environment Science, University of Portsmouth.

Visitors will be able to see several life-sized models and touch real pterosaur bones.  They will learn how fossils are helping scientists to understand how these amazing creatures lived, what they ate and how they flew.

Presented in association with University of Portsmouth and Griffon Hoverwork Ltd, Isle of Wight.

See further information

The BBC have been following the team of researchers as they build the giant pterosaur models. Watch on the BBC News website:

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