Home / News and Events / Media Releases / Dinosaur footprints exhibition comes to Lower Hutt - 06/09/2016

Dinosaur footprints exhibition comes to Lower Hutt - 06/09/2016

An exhibition of 70-million-year-old dinosaur footprints found near Nelson started a one month showing at the War Memorial Library in Lower Hutt this week.

Dinosaur Footprints: A Story of Discovery opened on September 5 at the War Memorial Library in Lower Hutt and will run until October 2. It features four dinosaur footprints discovered in coastal sandstone rocks northwest of Nelson. They are the first dinosaur footprints ever found in New Zealand, and the first evidence of dinosaurs found in the South Island.

This photo shows the exhibition at Auckland War Memorial Museum. Credit - GNS Science

This photo shows the exhibition at Auckland War Memorial Museum. Credit - GNS Science

They were discovered by GNS Science geologist, Greg Browne, who worked through a process of elimination to conclude that the marks were made by dinosaurs.

“While geologists know that dinosaurs were present in ancient New Zealand, the record of their presence is very sketchy,” Dr Browne said. Dinosaur bones have been found at only three locations so far – northern Hawke’s Bay, Port Waikato, and the Chatham Islands.

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“We’re excited to be hosting the exhibition and welcoming it back to Lower Hutt. Visitors will enjoy the opportunity to touch the replicas of the footprints and attend our dinosaur-themed events during September,” said Hutt City Libraries Manager Sandra Mann.

Sandra Mann

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The footprints were made by sauropod dinosaurs, known for their large size and long necks. This plant-eating species of dinosaur could grow to about 40m in length and weighed over 100 tonnes. Sauropods were the largest animals to have walked on Earth.

The roughly circular footprints were found at about six locations stretching over 10km of coastline northwest of Nelson.

Lower Hutt will be the last scheduled stop for the exhibition which has been on a national tour since 2014, with New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd as principal sponsor, and has been showcased at 10 venues and seen by more than 240,000 visitors. Lower Hutt will be the eleventh venue. The exhibition includes audio visual presentations.

Hutt City Libraries has organised a number of dinosaur-themed events throughout September in association with the exhibition. This includes a number of public talks, activities for children, a special day for teachers, animation and 3D workshops, plus a movie about dinosaurs.

There is more information about the events and activities here:
http://library.huttcity.govt.nz/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/WHATSON#dinofootprints

“We’re excited to be hosting the exhibition and welcoming it back to Lower Hutt. Visitors will enjoy the opportunity to touch the replicas of the footprints and attend our dinosaur-themed events during September,” said Hutt City Libraries Manager Sandra Mann.

Head of the Paleontology Department at GNS Science Dr Lucia Roncaglia said: "The story of the footprint discovery appeals to every member of the family and it has great scientific value being the only evidence we have of dinosaurs walking on the shores of mainland New Zealand.”