An eight-metre high, 20-metres long Tyrannosaurus rex newly-installed at Canberra's popular dinosaur museum would have towered above the real thing millions of years ago.
The new animatronic version of the species that terrified its Cretaceous prey stands outside the attraction greeting visitors as a temporary addition to its collection of models.
Children at the neighbouring daycare centre have watched at the fence as the T-Rex took shape while a crane helped assemble its body, according to National Dinosaur Museum manager Ben Wardle.
“It is the biggest thing to happen at the museum in a long time – no pun intended,” he said.
“Dinosaurs grab the imagination of kids, they get taken away by it."
The new dinosaur model, the largest in Australia, was designed to be what “the public expected to see”.
“This is probably an outdated image... there is a lot of evidence to these dinosaurs being feathered,” Mr Wardle said.
But this meant museum staff could talk about differences between dinosaurs in movies, and how science imagined them.
The T-Rex will be larger than its real life counterparts once were, at up to six metres tall and 12 metres long.
It came in several parts, and museum staff helped piece the giant beast together. The Tyrannosaurus is made of a large steel frame, weighs 3.8 tonnes and is coated with silicon rubber.
Staff hand-stitched the tail, legs, body and head together, using more than 10,000 stitches.
The animatronic T-Rex will help mark the museum’s 25th anniversary, and the same milestone since audiences first saw the species chase the hapless humans of Jurassic Park.
While the museum's new T-Rex doesn’t have a nickname, Mr Wardle said it would get one when it was installed.
The museum, which has 23 complete skeletons and more than 300 displays of individual fossils, will have the model for between six and 12 months before it is moved on.