The Mosasaurus has a chin again!

I have had a 'thing' about the Crystal Palace dinosaurs since I first saw them some five or six years ago.  My second post on this blog , A Festival of Light, was about a visit to them and about how the autumn light and vivid colours made the day and the photographs really stand out.  I still get the sense of wonder that the Victorian visitors must have had!

One thing that stood out on that and previous visits, though in a not-so-good way, was the condition of some of the sculptures.  There were cracks, there was weathering, there was lichen, there was vandalism.  The front of lower jaw of the Mosasaurus had been snapped off [right] and, for instance, one of the pterodactyls had suffered the same indignity, leaving it with a real 'chinless wonder' expression.  Since then, though, the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs and their Dino Doctors have been hard at work.  They started with a fantastic repair job on Iggy, the standing Iguanodon, and have moved on to working on the various marine reptiles. Some - the Teleosaurs - are fully restored, and others including the plesiosaurs are partway through.  Living in an area underlain by Jurassic marine sediments that seem to bear a wealth of these creatures, I do rather appreciate our plesiosaurs.

My Other Half and I went to Crystal Palace this weekend - and again the weather gods and light were kind. We had fed well on the way down because there is no point in feeling all weak and wobbly while you are out, and were really looking forward to the rest of the day.  We were not disappointed and it was really good to see the repairs in progress.  I don't know why, but I was particularly chuffed to see the repair to the mosasaur (hence the 'after' photo below).  Probably because vandalism rankles more than the ravages of the elements?  This sculpture, like all of the sculptures on parade here, is life-sized; forget the exaggeration of a certain Hollywood film!  By the way - the reason it was sculpted showing its front end only was that no-one knew at the time what its rear end looked like.

Mind you, to see the full repairs and restorations, we'll have to go back after all the work is complete - such a hard thing to have to do(!).


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