People are now able to take a closer look at the famous Crystal Palace Park dinosaurs after they were turned into interactive 3D models.
The 29 Grade I-listed sculptures were created between 1853 and 1855 and sit on an island in the south London park.
Historic England carried out numerous digital scans of the beasts to create the photogrammetric models.
The body said the work meant it could study “the sculptures’ conservation problems” and aid restoration work.
The creatures were created by artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and are thought to be the world’s first attempt to model extinct animals at life-size, based on fossil remains as evidence.
While commonly known as the Crystal Palace dinosaurs, only four of the sculptures are technically dinosaurs with the others being ancient mammals, amphibians, and marine and flying reptiles.
While knowledge of dinosaurs has improved since their creation, meaning several of them have inaccuracies, they are still considered by many to be an important moment in the history of science.
However, being nearly 170 years old, the models are very fragile and have suffered damage.
Historic England says the new interactive models mean people can “get up close and personal with the ‘dinosaurs’ without disrupting the vulnerable animal artworks or their setting”.
“The models also allow conservators to benchmark the condition of the fragile creatures, decide where repairs are most needed, and help shape plans for their maintenance into the future.”
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