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Crystal Palace Park dinosaurs turned into interactive 3D models

Today in the news, Historic England has digitally transformed the renowned Crystal Palace Park dinosaurs into interactive 3D models, providing a captivating glimpse into these intriguing sculptures.

A picture of two dinosaur sculptures from Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace Park dinosaurs, which were created between 1853 and 1855 by artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, are the world’s first attempt to depict extinct animals at life-size based on fossil evidence. Only four of them are technically dinosaurs, while the other sculptures represent ancient mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.

These 29 Grade I listed sculptures have been transformed into interactive 3D models by Historic England, which can be viewed on the Historic England sketchfab site. The models are quite fragile due to their age and have suffered damage over the years. These interactive 3D models allow people to closely examine the sculptures without disturbing them, while also aiding in ascertaining their restoration needs. 

If you would like to explore one of the models yourself, the ADS holds several 3D models of one of the dinosaurs – the Iguanodon, a genus of herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 125 to 130 million years ago.

India Carpenter, Stephen Gray (2017) Crystal Palace Iguanodon condition survey [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

Use these models to print your own Iguanodon, like Iggy here who lives in the ADS office!

A picture of a 3d model of a Iguanodon