The award winning Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum in Winton has a stunning new attraction.
The museum now has 13 life-size bronze dinosaurs including two long-necked sauropod dinosaurs, a 10m-long sub-adult sauropod, emu-sized ornithopod dinosaurs and chicken-sized carnivorous theropods.
Digitally sculpted by palaeo-artist Travis Tischler, the bronze models were cast at a foundry in Thailand and took nearly a year to complete.
The new dinosaurs were made using modern 'lost-plastic' technology that involves 3D printing of digital models in meltable plastic, instead of the 'lost-wax' method traditionally used in bronze casting.
At 17m long and nearly 4m high, the largest sauropod was too big to fit in a standard open-top 40-foot-long container and had to be transported with its neck and tail removed.
After a month at sea the dinosaurs arrived at Townsville and finished their journey to Winton by semi-trailer. The immense size of the sauropods needed a crane to lift them out of their containers and place them into position at their new home at Dinosaur Canyon.
The dinosaurs will become part of the future March of the Titanosaurs exhibition, centred on a newly discovered 60m-long sauropod trackway being relocated from a creek bed on a property west of Winton.
The trackway, which contains the best-preserved sauropod tracks in Australia, will be enclosed in a 900sqm solar-powered air-conditioned building at Dinosaur Canyon.
The March of the Titanosaurs exhibition forms part of the Museum's Dynamic Destination project funded by the Queensland Government's Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund and is due for completion by mid-2021.
It will be a prelude to the future Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History.
Executive Chairman of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, David Elliott, who is overseeing the sauropod trackway relocation and Dynamic Destination project, said the safe arrival of the bronze dinosaurs was very exciting.
"The logistics in getting these models built and transported all the way to Winton from Thailand has been very intense so having them finally arrive without a scratch is a huge relief" he said.
Mr Elliott said that visitors will soon be able to see the sauropod trackway and then stand next to the dinosaurs that made them.
"The sauropod models are based on the bones of Diamantinasaurus that were discovered near Winton about 15 years ago," he said.
The models are massive and they are incredibly detailed - they will be a significant drawcard for tourism in the region well into the future."
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