Permian Monsters

08 Nov 2014 - 01 Feb 2015

Step back in time 290 million years when bizarre-looking animals dominated life on land and sea, and find out about the greatest extinction the world has ever seen.

Permian Monsters: Life before the Dinosaurs brings the past back to life with fossilized skeletons and full size life models of the animals that ruled the world millions of years before the age of dinosaurs, in a time known as the Permian.

The Permian period ended with the largest extinction Earth ever experienced, which wiped out 90% of all species on the planet. The cause of the end-Permian extinction had baffled scientists for the past 20 years but a recent discovery shed new light on the cause of this catastrophe: global warming. Find out how this familiar phenomenon, started by a huge volcanic eruption, set off a chain of events that led to the greatest extinction on Earth.

The exhibition blends art and science with a collection of new artwork which offers a glimpse back in time through the eyes of award winning paleo-artist Julius Csotonyi. View fossilised skeletons and reconstructed models of these amazing but bizarre creatures that dominated land and sea; and dig and identify fossils in the interactive dig pits throughout the exhibition.

Permian Monsters showcases an amazing collection of fossils and models from this relatively unknown time period, from giant insects, bizarre looking sharks to strange reptiles with mammal-like characteristics. Meet the top predator of the time, the giant saber-toothed gorgonopsid ‘Inostrancevia’ and find out what nearly killed them all to make way for Earth’s next rulers, the Dinosaurs.

Admission Prices

  • Child $2.50
  • Concession $3
  • Adult $5
  • Family $12.50

Education Program

Fossil Fun!

How do we know about the creatures and their environments that lived on Earth such a long time before humans? Your students will learn about the process of fossilisation, investigate real fossils and see what can be learnt about how life was millions of years ago. Students will make their own ‘trace fossil’ to take home.

Suitable for: K-Yr 6
NSW Science K-10 Syllabus Outcomes: Ste-4WS, St1-4WS, St2-4WS, St3-4WS, ST1-10LW, ST2-10LW
Duration: 1 hour (K-Yr2), 1.5 hours (Yr3-6)

Cost: $50 per class
Max. No: 1 class per program
Available: Terms 1 – 4

Fossil Fun! Can also be taught as an outreach program at your school.

Contact our Public Programs team on 4974 1422 to find out more and to make your group bookings.

Adventure Pack

Download the Adventure Pack to help you explore the exhibition


  • Child $2.50
  • Concession $3
  • Adult $5
  • Family $12.50


Newcastle Museum
6 Workshop Way