Open daily, 10am–5pm, Free

419 Great King Street Dunedin, New Zealand

Life before Dinosaurs: Permian Monsters to land at Otago Museum

Website panel LONG


Step back 290 million years when bizarre-looking animals dominated life on land and sea in Life before Dinosaurs: Permian Monsters, open at the Otago Museum from Saturday 26 August.

This unique international touring exhibition, produced by Gondwana Studios, brings the past back to life with fossilised skeletons and life-size animatronic models of the animals that ruled the world millions of years before the age of dinosaurs, in a time known as the Permian.

The Permian period ended with the largest extinction Earth ever experienced, which wiped out 90% of all species on the planet. The cause of the end-Permian extinction had baffled scientists for the past 20 years. A recent discovery shed new light on the cause of this catastrophe – global warming. Started by a huge volcanic eruption, it set off a chain of events that led to the greatest extinction on Earth.

The exhibition blends art and science with a collection of new artwork that offers a glimpse back in time through the eyes of award-winning paleo-artist Julius Csotonyi. View fossilised skeletons and reconstructed models of these strange and amazing creatures; and dig and identify fossils in the interactive dig pits throughout the exhibition.

“We are thrilled to be bringing a touring exhibition of this calibre to Dunedin,” says Otago Museum Director, Dr Ian Griffin.

“Who isn’t fascinated by all things monsters and dinosaurs? This exhibition is made even more interesting as it introduces people to creatures from the relatively unknown Permian period before dinosaurs.”

Life before Dinosaurs: Permian Monsters will be open in the Museum’s Special Exhibitions Gallery from Saturday 26 August 2017 to Sunday 25 February 2018. Admission charges will apply.