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GALLERY: Dinosaurs get a check-up at Workshops Rail Museum

TUCKED in beside an old train, some prehistoric guests have checked in for a tune-up with the technicians turned dinosaur vets at The Workshops Rail Museum.

Aussie carnivores such as the Australovenators are one of 20 different species who have spent time at the workshops over the past few weeks to recover from six months as the stars of Queensland Museum's Dinosaur Discovery exhibition.

Already built to look after big beasts, the workshops were chosen to house the massive dinosaurs while they are repaired and revitalised from teeth to tail for another exhibition opening on June 21.

Lucky visitors to the workshop would have spotted a few scaly-looking heads peeking out from behind the workshop doors as staff gave them a makeover.

As a campus of the Queensland Museum, workshops staff teamed up with their Brisbane colleagues to give the A-list treatment to their roaring guests.

All 20 species will begin the slow trek back to Brisbane today to be reassembled for the next showing of Dinosaur Discovery.

Ahead of their return to the Queensland Museum on 21 June 2016, the ferocious dinosaurs from Dinosaur Discovery: Lost Creatures of the Cretaceous have been spotted getting a makeover amongst the locomotives at The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich.
Ahead of their return to the Queensland Museum on 21 June 2016, the ferocious dinosaurs from Dinosaur Discovery: Lost Creatures of the Cretaceous have been spotted getting a makeover amongst the locomotives at The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich. Rob Williams

Technicians such as Manfred Jahke and Alister Newman have spent weeks quite literally climbing into the belly of the beasts to repair sensors, skins and electronic elements of each dinosaur.

Mr Newman said it was wonderful to work on dinosaurs and a real challenge to make them feel like they're alive.

"It's a lot of preparing the skin and patching it up to make it try and look as good what we think they once looked like," he said.

Queensland Museum chief executive officer and director Suzanne Miller said the animatronic dinosaurs were unique because of their range of movement.

Professor Miller said the biggest challenge for workshops technicians had been repairing the sensors and electronics in each dinosaur.

"These are incredibly unusual dinosaurs in that they don't just do the one thing. They react to the crowd," she said.

"Getting that right has been a big challenge but we want to make sure it's a really special experience.

"There is a very strong metal framework with lots of mechanical components and then there is very high density foam and then there is a latex skin on top of that.

"The skin and everything else is based on really high-level research.

"They're as life-like as you can possibly get."

Topics:  dinosaur queensland museum workshops rail museum


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