Prehistoric Permians Draw Thousands

12 March 2014

Artist impression of a Pareiasaur

More than 26,000 visitors have flocked to the South Australian Museum to meet new Permian friends such as Dinogorgon, Edaphosaurus, Sclerocephalus and Eryops and learn about a crucial period in evolutionary history.

The Museum’s blockbuster summer exhibition Life Before Dinosaurs: The Permian Monsters was a key fixture in South Australia’s tourism industry from 14 December 2013 – 10 March 2014.

Packed with life-sized, moving models of Permian creatures, as well as interactive digital technology, fossil dig pits and beautiful illustrations, the show offered visitors a hands-on experience in the world of the dinosaurs’ ancestors, 290 million years ago.

South Australian Museum Director Mr Brian Oldman says the exhibition, produced by Gondwana Studios, is an example of how the Museum is working to bring science to life for visitors of all ages.

Life Before Dinosaurs: The Permian Monsters transported our visitors to the time before the biggest extinction in the planet’s known history.

“It’s pleasing to see the thousands of visitors, particularly enthralled children, learning the names and physical structure of these plants and animals and experiencing the wonder of a period they would never otherwise see. Ninety per cent of the Permians were wiped out by global warming.

“It’s about combining science, education, art and entertainment to bring evolution to the forefront of children’s minds as they are building an understanding of the world around them.”

Visitors were thrilled with the Permian craze:

“Came to Adelaide just for this, it was totally worth it” – Brad Bone, Melbourne VIC
“I learned so many interesting things” – Sophie, Adelaide, SA
“It was cool and helped me keep faith in science” – Vicki, Windsor Gardens, SA
“I liked digging up the fossils” – Lachlan, Adelaide SA

Since it opened on 14 December 2013, Life Before Dinosaurs: The Permian Monsters contributed to an exciting range of prehistoric–themed activities in Adelaide over summer, together with the Adelaide Zoo’s Dinosaurs Alive display, and with the release of the Walking With Dinosaurs movie, to which the Museum gave out tickets to lucky competition winners.

The Museum also offered a special free pack of Permian species cards to every child who had seen the exhibition, helping them to better familiarise themselves with the names of Permian animals.


Life Before Dinosaurs: The Permian Monsters is a travelling exhibition produced by Gondwana Studios.