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Handout image from "Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries" a new exhibit at Royal BC Museum, in Victoria. (Handout/Handout)
Handout image from "Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries" a new exhibit at Royal BC Museum, in Victoria. (Handout/Handout)

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Come face to face with a Tyrannosaurus, walk through one of the largest-ever re-creations of a forest in Mesozoic China, and marvel at the most scientifically accurate robotic model of a moving dinosaur at Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries – an American Museum of Natural History exhibit that just opened at Victoria’s Royal BC Museum.

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“The first person in was this five-year-old boy, and the first thing you see when you go in is a full sized T. rex,” says director of exhibitions Tim Willis. “He just stopped dead. It was wonderful.”

But far more than an eye-popping show of paleontological heft, the exhibit delves deeply into the latest science of dinosaurs and looks at what they really looked like, how they moved and behaved, and which of their ancestors still roam the Earth today. It also explores how they disappeared – and how a similar mass extinction could happen again today.

“They were incredibly exotic, but they are connected to us,” Mr. Willis says. “So it respects them as living creatures – and it sort of puts you in your place.”

Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries is at the Royal BC Museum until Sept. 16 (dinosaurs.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca).

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