Dinosaur invades Queen Mary London University’s Mile End Campus

T Rex at Queen Mary's University's Mile End campus

T Rex at Queen Mary's University's Mile End campus - Credit: QM

A life-size cast of a dinosaur’s skull has dropped in at Queen Mary London University, ready for snap visits to schools in London’s East End.

The replica Tyrannosaurus Rex skull at the Mile End campus delivered last week was custom-made in the US for biologists at Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.

“We will take our new Tyrannosaurus to schools to give pupils a chance to get close to and learn more about these amazing animals,” palaeontologist Dr Dave Hone said. “The T Rex will be an important addition to our collections and a huge plus for our undergraduates.”

He has published more than 30 research papers on dinosaur behaviour, ecology and evolution.

T Rex was one of the largest predators of all time, living around 66 million year ago — just before dinosaurs were wiped out by natural disaster.

The cast delivered to Queen Mary’s is from the famous Devil Rex, excavated in Montana in 1988 and currently on display in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

The original animal would have measured 25ft long with a 5ft long head and tipped the scales at around six tons. Palaeontologists put its age around 18 years when it died, so the specimen still wasn’t completely grown.

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Dr Hone runs a third-year field course for Queen Mary’s students in Dinosaur Provincial Park in Canada, where his students found a rare hadrosaur skull during their trip in September. Hadrosaurids are known as the duck-billed dinosaurs because of the shape of their heads, similar to modern ducks, and were common herbivores in the Upper Cretaceous Period in what is today’s Europe, Asia and North America.