Behind some serious looking doors on Piccadilly, you can find a full size skeleton of the first dinosaur that was officially recognised as such — and it’s free to visit.

The dinosaur is on display because this month marks the 200th anniversary of the lecture that first identified the bones as belonging to a distinct animal — what was to become known as a dinosaur. It’s on display in a very unusual location for a dinosaur skeleton – in a library, but for a very good reason.

This is the library of the Geological Society, and it was here that William Buckland, Professor of Geology at Oxford University — and coincidentally, president of the Geological Society gave a lecture which identified the “great lizard” as a distinct animal for the first time. The bones of the great lizard — the Megalosaurus — had been discovered near Oxford, and William Buckland was the first person to write a complete account of what would later be called a dinosaur.

All that took place 200 years ago, and this month, the Geological Society is hosting Megalosaurus Month.

Standing at over two metres tall and approximately seven metres long, the replica is a life-sized model of an adult Megalosaurus – or rather a reconstruction of what palaeontologists think it would have looked like, as a complete skeleton has never been found.

You can visit the Megalosaurus on Tues, Wed or Thur from 10am to 5pm until 29th February, and there’s also an open day on Saturday 24th February for those who can’t visit during the week.

Entry is free, and apart from seeing a dinosaur in a very unusual setting, it’s a chance to see inside the Geological Society as well. There’s also a second room full of child-friendly events taking place, although I got rather excited about the dinosaur Christmas tree lights, which it turned out are sold by loads of places.

The Geological Society is next to the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly, with its entrance on the main road (next to the MG cars showroom). Just go in and ask for the dinosaur, and you’ll be sent up the grand staircase to the first-floor library.


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One comment
  1. David Cantrell says:

    There’s also one in Crystal Palace park that you can visit

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