Spotted a few dinosaurs in downtown Winnipeg on Tuesday? It's not your eyes playing tricks on you — the giant creatures have indeed landed at Manitoba Museum for a new exhibit opening this month.
Crews spent the morning carefully unloading plastic-wrapped life-sized triceratops and Mamenchisaurus, along with parts of other dinosaurs, from trucks outside the Main Street museum in advance of World's Giant Dinosaurs, which opens May 19 and runs to Sept. 4.
"We have one shipping container at a time coming, each of which has, I think, one dinosaur in it or at least the parts of one and maybe the parts of a couple of others. All the bits are moving into Alloway Hall and some of them are being put together right here on the plaza," said Jody Tresoor, a communications specialist with the museum.
"So far in Alloway Hall it looks like there's enough pieces to make a couple of dinosaurs; we have only one on the plaza. We're going to have as many as … around 20 creatures for the exhibit, so it's going to take all day."
The exhibit will feature robotic re-creations, skeletal reconstructions and statues and casts illustrating some of the world's largest known dinosaurs.
Many of the specimens, including the 18-metre-long Mamenchisaurus, will be housed in the museum's newly expanded Alloway Hall, while the triceratops will hold court in the museum's outdoor plaza once it's unwrapped and fully assembled in the coming days.
"The triceratops is a robotic so it will be life-size. It will be, I understand, motion-activated, so it will move if you come close to it. It might even talk to you a little bit — roaring, not actual speaking — and it's how we imagine the triceratops would have looked back in the day," Tresoor said.
It's not the first time dinosaurs have come to Manitoba Museum. In 2012-13, its Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit included life-sized models of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex and other animatronic replicas.
Tresoor said in a first, the museum will be open Friday evenings for the duration of World's Giant Dinosaurs.