Meet the Skeletons
There are 17 skeletons of prehistoric animals in Dinosaur Walk, but not all of them are dinosaurs. Explore these prehistoric animals by clicking on a skeleton above or on a name in the left menu.
The oldest animal is a mammal-like reptile Inostrancevia from the Permian period before the dinosaurs, when a variety of reptiles lived. Its ancestors were to become the mammals that scurried around at the feet of dinosaurs, and ultimately over millions of years of evolution, led to a great variety of mammal species, including humans.
Around the world during the Mesozoic Era, a great diversity of dinosaurs dominated the land. Up above, the pterosaurs, another group of reptiles, took to the sky. Dinosaur Walk has nine dinosaur skeletons, three pterosaur skeletons and one partial dinosaur skeleton still encased in rock.
A mass extinction event 65 Million years ago, probably triggered by a massive meteor hitting earth, led to the extinction of dinosaurs and pterosaurs. Some birds, mammals and non-dinosaur reptiles survived and continued to evolve. Some of these animals grew very large over the tens of millions of years after the dinosaurs and we give them the name ‘megafauna’. In Dinosaur Walk there are three examples of megafauna from Australia during the relatively recent Pleistocene period.
The study of animals from the past, like those which feature in Dinosaur Walk, is called Palaeontology. It is an exciting field as new discoveries continue to change ideas about how these animals behaved and their bodies functioned.