‘Offensive and defensive’
strategies that evolved in dinosaurs

This exhibition explains the frontiers of dinosaur research, contrasting the evolution of herbivore dinosaurs in which some had armor covering their whole body as the ‘ultimate’ defense, with that of carnivorous dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus and Megaraptors who had to fight them. The keywords here are ‘offense and defense’.



Check 01

Zuul, the perfect ankylosaurid dinosaur
Real full-body fossils land in Japan for the first time!

This is the first ankylosaurid specimen to be discovered whole, all the way from their head to their tail club. The degree of completeness and great preservation makes this dinosaur one of the major clues to understanding the evolution of ankylosaurs. The word cruri in Latin means ‘tibia’, while vastator means ‘destroyer’.

Zuul crurivastator

Classification:Ornithischia Ankylosauria Ankylosauridae
Estimated length:6m Time period:Late Cretaceous period

© Royal Ontario Museum


Check 02

The ‘king of the Northern Hemisphere’, the Tyrannosaurid dinosaurs

Tyrannosaurus rex

Classification: Saurischia Theropoda Tyrannosauridae
Estimated length: 13m Time period: Late Cretaceous period

Tyrannosaurid dinosaurs grew even larger during the Latest Cretaceous period, rising to the very top of the food chain in North America. In this exhibition, the evolution of ‘offensive’ strategies in Gorgosaurus, and the heaviest Tyrannosaurus individual in history, ‘Scotty’, is presented.

Full-body skeletal reconstruction of the Tyrannosaurus named ‘Scotty’ (Mukawa Hobetsu Museum collection)
©Courtesy of The Royal Saskatchewan Museum


Check 03

The ‘king of the Southern Hemisphere’
Japan debuts a new species of carnivorous dinosaurs!

Maip macrothorax

Classification: Saurischia Theropoda Megaraptoridae
Estimated length: 9m Time period: Late Cretaceous period

Exhibition supervisor Makoto Manabe (the deputy director of the National Museum of Nature and Science), and his research association journeyed to Argentina in 2020 for an excavational dig. In 2022 they named a new species of carnivorous dinosaur. Its estimated 9m length makes it the largest within the Megaraptorid group and is thought to have been one of the last Cretaceous species of the group. When the Tyrannosaurids were the king of the Northern Hemisphere, Megaraptorids were the top predators in the Southern Hemisphere.

The excavation site of Maip macrothorax (2020) photographed by Matias Mot ta, 2020photographed by Matias Motta, 2020


Reproduced by full-body skeletal reconstructions

Zuul versus Gorgosaurus

Zuul and the Tyrannosaurid dinosaurs they confronted

Gorgosaurus libratus

Classification: Saurischia Theropoda Tyrannosaurid
Estimated length: 9m Time period: Late Cretaceous period


Zuul crurivastator

Classification:Ornithischia Ankylosauria Ankylosauridae
Estimated length:6m Time period:Late Cretaceous period

Check 04

New revelations on the mystery that is the dinosaur extinction

Tyrannosaurus, Maip, and other large dinosaurs were extinguished worldwide approximately 66 million years ago following a meteorite impact. Due to decreasing forestation, many bird species within dinosaur groups also went extinct. The newest research on this topic will be introduced here, where even the smallest variances play a part in unraveling the mysterious mass extinction.


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