What's On

The incredible 110 million-year-old dinosaur skeleton that Manchester Museum hopes to display

She'll be a new companion for Stan the T-Rex.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 21st September 2022

Manchester Museum is hoping to install a full Tenontosaurus skeleton, dating back around 110 million years.

The incredible skeleton dates back to the Cretaceous period and has affectionately been named April, after the wife of Barry James, who originally prepared the fossil for display.

April was previously displayed in the landmark museum standing upright – much like a T-Rex.

But research from Earth Sciences students at the University of Manchester has found that she would actually have walked around on all fours.

ADVERTISEMENT

It means that a huge restoration and installation project is needed to get April the right way up, where she’ll be the focal point of a new dinosaur display at the refurbished museum when it reopens in February 2023.

Manchester Museum is asking for public support to raise the £10,000 needed to get April installed in the Dinosaurs and Fossils gallery.

She’ll join Stan, the museum’s legendary T-Rex mascot, who towers way above the heads of visitors.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Tenontosaurus (pronounced Ten-ON-tuh-sore-us) would reach up to seven metres in length and was a herbivorous dinosaur.

As well as seeing April’s impressive frame, visitors will also be able to come face-to-face with prehistoric giants, get hands-on with objects, and learn more about palaeontology.

The display will also look at the history of British dinosaurs that would have once roamed our homeland, and the story of how they became extinct.

ADVERTISEMENT

The restoration is part of Manchester Museum’s capital development project hello future.

David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Science Collections, says: “April is a Tenontosaurus purchased by Manchester Museum in 1999 and was previously displayed standing upright.

“Over the past few years, we have been working with a team of Earth Sciences students from the University of Manchester to carefully study April’s bones and find out more about her.

Read more: You can dance in space and go on a nocturnal nature tour at this year’s Manchester Science Festival

“Using their palaeontology skills and computer modelling, their research shows us that she would have moved on all fours.

ADVERTISEMENT

“As well as changing the way the skeleton stands, over 10,000 hours of careful conservation work is required to restore its bones.

“We’re asking for any donations, big or small, to support the project and help bring April back to the museum floor.”

To play your part and contribute to April’s restoration, please visit Support Manchester Museum. Every donation will go towards helping to put April back on display.

Featured Image – The Manc Group