Prehistoric ocean predator preying on shark in ocean

Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators

16 September 2023 - 28 January 2024

Recommended for all ages

Museum of Tropical Queensland

 Adult $15 
 Child (3 - 15 years) $10
 Concession $12.50
 Family (2 adults + 2 kids)  $45
 Group (10 or more adults) $13.50

About the exhibition

Earth’s oceans were home to some of the largest, fiercest and most successful predators ever. While dinosaurs ruled the land, giant reptiles and sharks hunted the depths.

Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators combines real fossils from millions of years ago, gigantic replicas including a 13m long Elasmosaurus and 9m Prognathodon, hands-on interactives and much more!

Ancestors of three types of ancient reptiles left the land and colonised the seas. They were ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs. These three groups developed into awesome sea monsters that make today's great white sharks seem small.

What can their fossilised bones tell us about how they lived?  How do they compare to today’s top ocean predators? Discover the secrets of these monsters of the deep in this new exhibition that will delight all ages!

Are you ready to meet them?

Visit as a school

Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators showcases the mighty ancient marine reptiles that hunted the oceans when dinosaurs walked the land: these were the plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs and mosasaurs.

Through a range of interpretative panels, life size models, fossils, and engaging interactive experiences you and your students will have a terrifyingly great time!

Key themes:

Palaeontology – history, study of fossils, impact of technologies
Adaptations to life in the ocean – movement, sensory information, reproduction, diet and salt excretion, camouflage
Ocean predators today – extinct and extant (living) animal groups, convergent evolution, human impacts, conservation

This exhibition supports educators to inspire STEM learning for students through up-to-date palaeontology and fascinating fossil evidence linked to both Australian and international sites. 
A discounted ticket price of $8.00 per student is available for the following Self-Guided group bookings:
  • School group (Prep – Year 12) - 10+ students
  • Children’s group (children aged 3 - 15 years) – 10+ children

School’s experiencing socio-educational disadvantage (ICSEA <1000) may be eligible for discounted tickets. Please check the box on the school booking form if you feel your school qualifies and our team will be in touch.

Please note, bookings are essential for all school and children’s group visits. We recommend you book as far in advance as possible to secure your preferred visit date and time.

Learning outcomes and curriculum

Ancient marine animals were once living things and therefore connect to Science Understanding content in past tense. For example, ancient marine reptiles had a variety of structural features and adaptations which enabled them to breathe, move, eat, reproduce, and sense their surroundings in aquatic environments. The exhibition also supports Science as a Human Endeavour content by examining how palaeontology as a scientific discipline has changed over time and refers to the individual contributions of past and contemporary palaeontologists. 

Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators links to the Early Years Learning Framework and to the Australian Curriculum (v8.4 and v9.0), supporting learning in Science and directly links to Science Understanding and Science as a Human Endeavour. 

Visiting the exhibition also provides students with opportunities to develop General Capabilities (including Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy, Numeracy, and Personal and Social Capability).

Support your learning experience

Support your Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators learning with pre or post experiences and resources that investigate the exhibition’s key themes through stimulus questions and a Curator Q&A with the Museum of Tropical Queensland’s own palaeontologist: Dr Espen Knutsen. 

Teacher Guides

Early Years



Facilitated Introduction

Students will learn about how knowledge and understanding of ancient animals can change over time, how fossils and new technologies can tell us about life in pre-historic Australia, and how ancient animals are similar to those that live today.

When: During Queensland Term 4 2023
Where: Museum of Tropical Queensland
Target audience: Primary students, specifically curriculum-aligned to Years P-2, 3-4, 5-6.
Duration: 45 min
Cost: $12.50 per student, accompanying adults free of charge.

Book Now

Supported by

  • Australian National Maritime Museum Logo
  • BHP logo
  • Queensland Museum Network and Queensland Government logo

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