Jurassica dinosaur museum model unveiled

image copyrightAzureus Design Ltd
image captionSir David Attenborough is the Jurassica project's patron

A scale model of a proposed £80m underground dinosaur-themed museum has been revealed.

Jurassica would be built in a semi-subterranean cavern in a 40m (132ft) deep quarry in Portland, Dorset.

Set under a translucent roof, the attraction would show a snapshot of the Dorset coast 150 million years ago.

Science journalist Mike Hanlon, behind the idea, said: "What we are trying to do is to bring home just what a strange and alien planet Earth was back then."

If it goes ahead, the attraction could open in 2021.

Plans for the attraction include a seashore with ammonites and Jurassic oysters that lived in the tropical seas, lagoons and beaches with fossils, interactive displays and robot swimming plesiosaurs in an aquarium.

"The Jurassic Cove will not be a theme park display, but a spectacular and precise snapshot in time that will bring the heritage of the Jurassic Cove to life for the first time," Mr Hanlon said.

image copyrightAzureus Design Ltd
image captionPlans for the attraction include a seashore and pools with swimming animatronic plesiosaurs

The 153 km (95 mile) Jurassic Coast, which begins in East Devon and stretches to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in Dorset, attracts about 12-15 million visitors a year.

The Jurassic Coast is considered the only single site in the world that displays evidence of millions of years of the earth's history, exposed in layers of rock in its cliffs.

The attraction has the backing of the Royal Society and the Natural History Museum.

Sir David Attenborough is the project's patron and the Eden Project's Sir Tim Smit is its trustee.

It has been awarded a £300,000 grant by the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, as part of the Government's Local Growth Deal.

image copyrightAzureus Design
image captionPreliminary designs for a translucent roof over the quarry have been drawn up by Renzo Piano, the architect of the Shard in London

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