The Horniman dinosaurs

The Horniman museum is rather bereft of dinosaur material. There are some Igunaodon vertebrae in rather poor condition, there’s some trackways hanging around, and though I missed it, I’m assured there is a Triceratops rib on display. Given the size of the museum vs the style of the collections that’s not a criticism, but no real natural history museum can really count as such without at least a token effort at some dinosaur display and this is no exception. There are several small life reconstruction models of dinosaurs dotted in the halls to illustrate various issues and here they are.

Yes, they are rather out of date to say the least, and it’s quite a surprise that there’s no theropod or sauropod at all, just ornithischians. Still, they are rather endearing and I really like them in terms of style, though obviously from an educational standpoint they could do with being a bit more up to date (and how long as Scolosaurus been sunk into Euoplocephalus?). The detail is nice too, though the Stegosaurus is probably the best (and appears to have walked straight off the set of King Kong) and I only find now that my photo is rather out of focus, sorry about that.

4 Responses to “The Horniman dinosaurs”


  1. 1 Mike Taylor 01/06/2012 at 12:25 pm

    Hmm. In this day and age, museums could hugely upgrade their dinosaur models just by buying top-end toys. Examples include the awesome Sideshow Apatosaurus and the new Carnegie Brachiosaurus — both of them far, far better than any of the Horniman models.

  2. 2 Derek 01/06/2012 at 5:35 pm

    When they reach a certain age, the models themselves become museum-worthy as models, though perhaps they should be transferred to a “Museum of outdated museum exhibits”. But if you took that attitude to the Horniman, delightful though it is, what would be left of the museum?

    It’s appropriate that they have Iguanadon, at least, as its discoverer Gideon Mantell is buried in nearby West Norwood Cemetery.

  3. 3 William Blows 02/06/2012 at 11:09 am

    I am co-author of a paper currently in press that separates Scolosaurus from Euoplocephalus, so the label is correct. I am afraid there were a number of incorrect synonymies made which have taken decades to correct. I also gave a lecture on dinosaurs many years ago at the Horniman Museum, and left a dinosaur bone in their collection (a late Jurassic dinosaur vertebra). I wonder if its still there?

    • 4 James I. Kirkland 03/06/2012 at 6:34 pm

      For several years now, Phil Currie’s Ph. D. student, Victoria Arbor has also been looking into Euoplocephalus’ taxonomy; making use of the much improve statigraphic resolution of so many classic-historic dinosaur sites in Canada.


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