Dinosaurs, DeLoreans, Deep Space and Debate

The Times Cheltenham Science Festival (June 2nd to June 7th 2015) returns with a line up bigger and better than ever, with over 165 different events scheduled, including talks from Professor Alice Roberts, Professor Brian Cox and Lord Robert Winston.  Joining a very eminent line up will be a number of leading scientists from the field of palaeontology, plus a seven metre long specimen of the fearsome tyrannosaurid Gorgosaurus.

Over the six days of the festival, visitors will be able to explore, engage with and be entertained by some of the greatest thinkers of our time, with everything from ground-breaking research to debates on the big science conundrums facing our species.  Cheltenham’s pop-up tented Science Village in the Imperial Gardens will be dominated by the Festival’s brand new “DinoZone”.  University of Manchester in a collaboration with the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research (South Dakota) will be highlighting their research on the Gorgosaurus specimen that they have been working on.  Distantly related to Tyrannosaurus rex, Gorgosaurus was a fearsome carnivore more than capable of feasting upon the remains of other tyrannosaurids that shared its Late Cretaceous habitat.

Recently, Everything Dinosaur team members wrote a short article which covered the research carried out on the fossilised skull and jaws of another Tyrannosaur (Daspletosaurus), by Dr. David Hone (School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of London) and Darren Tanke, an expert in vertebrate fossil preparation at the Royal Tyrrell Museum (Drumheller, Alberta, Canada).  The carcase of the Daspletosaurus was scavenged, the tell-tale postmortem feeding marks on the bones and teeth could have been a case of cannibalism, but it could also have been as a result of a hungry Gorgosaurus feasting.  The 7.4 metre long specimen of Gorgosaurus on display in the tented Science Village would have been more than capable of making a meal of the Daspletosaurus.

To read more about a potential case of a Gorgosaurus feeding on a tyrannosaurid: Tyrannosaurid Bite Marks on the Remains of Daspletosaurus

Phil Manning and Victoria Egerton (University of Manchester) will be on hand to discuss some of the latest research and they will be presenting a one hour lecture on Friday 5th June all about their various dinosaur activities and adventures.

Professor Phil Manning Next to the Beautiful Gorgosaurus Dinosaur Display

Gorgosaurus making a guest appearance.

Gorgosaurus making a guest appearance.

Picture Credit: University of Manchester

Everything Dinosaur team members had the pleasure of meeting up with Professor Manning and the University of Manchester team at the Royal Society (London) last summer.  The exhibit is extremely informative and the Dinosauria is one of the main themes of the Festival, where you can learn about mass extinctions, discover what dinosaurs really looked like (expect a few feathers to fly) and stare into the eye sockets of a Triceratops.

The other major themes include “Life”, “the Universe” and “Time Travel”, a DeLorean is even flying in to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the first of the “Back to the Future” films and the question “why don’t we have flying cars today?” will be explored.

To read more about The Times Cheltenham Science Festival: The Times Cheltenham Science Festival

The extremely talented Pete Larson, will also be attending.  “Paleo Pete”, one of the world’s leading authorities on Tyrannosaurs, will be speaking at the EDF Energy arena on June 2nd (6.30pm to 7.30pm), his subject, “T. rex Appeal”, the story of “Sue” perhaps one of the most famous fossils ever found.

A Fantastic Communicator – Pete Larson

A fantastic and generous communicator.

A fantastic and generous communicator.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

American Pete Larson has had a most colourful career, he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of vertebrate fossils and is a wonderful communicator, always patient and prepared to answer questions from dinosaur fans, young and old.

Joining Professor Alice Roberts to explore what dinosaurs may have actually looked like, will be palaeontologist Professor Mike Benton (Bristol University) and the gifted palaeoartist Bob Nicholls,  whose job is to illustrate dinosaurs once the fossil evidence has been interpreted.  Historian Joe Cain will be on hand to guide the audience through nearly two hundred years of dinosaur research.

By the time The Festival comes around, the world premier of the eagerly awaited film “Jurassic World”, will be just ten days away.  As well as being an advisor on the entire “Jurassic Park” movie franchise, dinosaur expert Jack Horner, on whom the film character Dr. Alan Grant was partly based, will be talking about his own dinosaur discoveries as well as giving audiences a behind-the-scenes look at “Jurassic World”.

Guest Director, BAFTA award winning Steve Backshall, one of television’s most respected wildlife presenters commented:

“I’m really excited to be Guest Director; it’s a brilliant opportunity for me to share my passion for wildlife and explore everything from giant telescopes to dinosaurs.”

The full Festival line-up is at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival.

Tickets go on sale to Members on Wednesday, April 15 and to the general public on Wednesday, April 22 available at The Festival website or at 0844 880 8094.

Share This!Pin on Pinterest98Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Facebook0Share on Google+6