10 Tiny Dinosaurs

Uh oh! The tiny dinosaurs have got themselves into trouble. They’ve activated a digital scanner and uploaded themselves directly into the Melbourne Museum website. Where could they be hiding? Follow the clues until you have discovered all ten!

Join the rescue mission

They moved around with purpose past every known display
Then closed in on each target like a tiger stalks its prey.
100 tiny dinosaurs was what they came to find
And that’s exactly what they did ‘till 10 were left behind.

So, when the doors closed again, and everyone went home
Ten undetected dinosaurs began once more to roam.
To discover a new hideaway- a fresh place to retreat
Where visitors just could not go, where only staff could meet.

Past the office tearoom and past each office space
Exploring new surroundings until they found a place.
A room of 3D scanners, tablets, phones with apps
Until one tripped on a button and all of them went “ZAP!”

When they awoke, they knew they’d changed, their bodies glowed with light
Every tooth and claw and horn now pixel, bit and byte.
Now they’re trapped in cyberspace; Who knows where they have gone?
This search is now a rescue; Are you ready to log-on?



Use the clues provided to navigate the Melbourne Museum website and find the 10 tiny dinosaurs. Once you have located a dinosaur, be sure to note the letter below its name. Then unscramble these letters at the end of your search to form the code word to enter the competition.

The Clues

Each dinosaur can be located using one of the three clues provided. Choose one set of these to set the difficulty of your search or combination to create your own bespoke experience. Will you discover the 10 tiny dinosaurs using:

  1. Cryptic clues that incorporate themed word puzzles and may require further research or discovery?(Very hard)
  2. Hard clues that build upon the existing personalities and/or backstories of the dinosaurs themselves?
  3. Easy clues that direct you to the next location by referencing the relevant page on the website?

Hints and Tips

  • As you work through the clues, look closely for keywords and any interesting or unusual uses of spelling, grammar or punctuation.
  • Become familiar with the website’s search function. It will speed up your search and help you find those dinosaurs much sooner.
  • If a clue leads to a web page but there are no dinosaurs to be found- don't give up! Some pages have links to other sections that may be worth exploring.

Meet the gang and get the clues


The back story: If dinosaurs entered beauty contests, then Speckles would surely take the crown. When she’s not strutting her stuff, this proud Archaeopteryx spends most of the day preening her lavender-blue plumage ensuring not a feather is out of place.

Dino facts: Archaeopteryx was an evolutionary link between non-avian dinosaurs and modern-day birds that lived approximately 150 million years ago. Its fossils show a combination of features from both groups including the bony tail and toothed jaw of a dinosaur and the wishbone seen in birds.

Cryptic: I wait amongst this parliament, a feathered quill in hand, there are no politicians here, just perches where I stand.

Hard: It’s hard being the only feather dinosaur in the group; no one understands the preening that’s required. Maybe Speckles has decided to speak to those birds that are having their portraits drawn.

Easy: Can I please have assistance? We need a clean-up at the Let's draw an owl activity page. There are speckled feathers everywhere!


The back story: She knows she’s right and there isn’t anything you can say to convince her otherwise! This young, head-strong Triceratops loves nothing more than to engage in a debate with her fellow dinosaurs, unless of course it’s to sing her latest dino ditty.

Dino facts: Triceratops was a ceratopsian dinosaur, a horned and frilled dinosaur, that first appeared during the late Cretaceous period, approximately 68 million years ago. It is likely that these horns and frills were used in combat against other Triceratops, and as a visual display for mating, communication and recognition.

Cryptic: Shhh! We have to whisper; the trees here all have ears. Through flood and flame they’ve stayed the same and will for many years.

Hard: Cera doesn’t want to be rescued like some helpless ‘dino in distress.’ She’s going to find her own way out! Perhaps the best place to mount an escape is at the ‘heart of the museum.’

Easy: "La, la-la, la-la!” It’s no Forest Secret that someone likes performing for all those curious little animals. 


The back story: Just as his name suggests, Tank is the super heavy, armoured dinosaur that acts now and thinks later. Though this sometimes gets him into trouble, he always acts in the best interest of the group ensuring that if mistakes are made, it is he, and he alone, that will wear their consequences.

Dino facts:Talarurus was an ankylosaur dinosaur, known from several fossils unearthed in Mongolia in the 1950s. Ankylosaurs were the most heavily armoured dinosaurs, and Talarurus was one of the best equipped of these with thick bony plates and short protruding spikes covering the body.

Cryptic: The horns above these brows are tired; it’s clear that they are worn, PerhaPs it’s time to choosE a crown that I can soon adorn.

Hard: As the self-appointed security for the group, Tank takes the health and safety of his prehistoric pals very seriously. Word from the web is that he was last seen looking at some helmet options for Petri.

Easy: Why would an armoured dinosaur be investigating helmets on the Ride Safe web page?

Reg and Spike

The back story: Hamish and Andy; Lano and Woodley; Kath and Kim. These stegosaurus siblings may be prehistoric, but their comedy (just like their heroes) is certainly current. Always laughing and ready to turn that frown, upside down.

Dino facts: Stegosaurus is among the most well-known of dinosaurs easily recognized by its spiked tail and the series of large triangular bony plates that run along its back. Growing to a length of about 6.5 metres, it probably used its toothless beak to feed upon a variety of plant life including mosses, cycads and ferns.

Cryptic: Which dinosaur slept all day? The dino-snore I bet! Let’s add this zinger to our listies so we don’t forget.

Hard: The group’s resident jokesters, Reg and Spike are always on the hunt for new material. Perhaps they’ve some inspiration in another comedy duo, Matt & Rich.

Easy: I didn’t realize there was so much ‘dinosaur’ on The Listies audio guide web page.


The back story: A descendant of the royal line of Mongolian tyrannosaurids, Chomper was born to rule his fellow tiny dinosaurs. Unlike his predecessors, however, this Tarbosaurus chooses to lead through friendship rather than fear.

Dino facts: Tarbosaurus was a large carnivorous theropod dinosaur from Mongolia. Like its close North American relative, Tyrannosaurus rex, it had a very large head and powerful jaws, but was not top heavy as its huge skull was comparatively thin and light, with large air pockets.

Cryptic: I’m keeping calm; we’ve been through worse- extinction, ummm… hello? I’ll simply contact someone who will tell me where to go.

Hard: Chomper exhibits several impressive leadership qualities, including an ability to remain calm under pressure. Consider, that as his friends nervously scattered across the pages of Melbourne Museum’s website, Chomper was the only dinosaur to try and contact the outside world. That’s one together tarbosaur! 

Easy: First they come alive and now they’re trying to make phone calls via the Contact Us web page! 


The back story: Blink and you’ll miss him! The smallest member of the tiny dinosaurs is also the most elusive. Frightened of nearly everything (including his own shadow), this little Hypsilophodon only seems to calm down when his friend, Tank is nearby.

Dino facts: Early palaeontologists thought Hypsilophodon looked like a tree kangaroo, and for a brief period thought that it may have perched in trees. These ideas were discounted though, and it is now thought that Hypsilophodon instead lived very successfully on the ground as a small, fast sprinter.

Cryptic: I’m as scared as a rabbit in a wolf’s den so it's time that I retreat, I’ll surround myself with smaller friends equipped with jointed feet.

Hard: Contrary to popular opinion, the name Petri is not shorthand for petri-dish but rather an abbreviation of the work petrified. As in terrified. As in scared. Kind of like the reaction some visitors have when visiting the Bugs Alive gallery.

Easy: Those virtual tours of the museum are great. I’m not sure why that little dinosaur was there though!


The back story: As the brains of the outfit, the tiny dinosaurs often depend on Ducky to make sense of the world around them-be it Lost World or World Wide Web. She may not have all the answers, but you can be sure this purple Parasaurolophus won't rest until she finds out.

Dino facts: Parasaurolophus was a hadrosaurid, part of a diverse family of Cretaceous duck-billed, dinosaurs known for their range of bizarre head adornments and unique set of teeth. Parasaurolophus evolved a ‘battery’ of teeth that served as huge files for grinding coarse plant material. These teeth were constantly replenished by new teeth growing from below.

Cryptic: Their official names are tabs and blanks but call them what you will, if you want to reach the end, you’ll need a lot of skill.

Hard: Ducky is one quick-witted, quack mouthed Parasaurolophus. She began rumbling only minutes after exiting the egg and hasn’t stopped since. The only time she’s really quiet is when she has a mouthful of river-weed or a puzzle in front of her.

Easy: I didn’t realize dinosaurs were so intelligent- I just saw one completing a 200-piece jigsaw on Melbourne Museum's Puzzles web page..


The back story: Don’t let the missing teeth fool you, this cheeky Pteranodon is all smiles. Maybe it’s the powered flight. Maybe it’s the impressive crest. Whatever it is, this tiny “dinosaur” is keeping something close to his chest.

Dino facts: Pteranodon belonged to the Pterosaurs- a group of flying reptiles with skin-covered wings that existed during most of the Mesozoic period. It is believed that Pteranodon consumed mainly fish (due to the fossilized remains found in their stomachs) but how exactly they caught these fish is unclear.

Cryptic: A great man said about my friends “that life… uh… finds a way,” Just like flying with new friends with ancient DNA.

Hard: Who care’s that Goldblum isn’t a real dinosaur- flying reptiles are just as impressive. Particularly if your cousin is a Quetzalcoatlus that has a 12 metre wingspan!

Easy: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Whatever it is it just landed on the Ptero-draw activity web page.


The back story: It’s hard to get lost in the crowd when you have this enormous Mamenchisaurus walking by your side. Everyone's favourite Saurischian signpost is always there to lead the way but what most fail to see (from their lower vantage point) is that though he puts on a brave face, the tallest tiny dinosaur is a little homesick.

Dino facts: Mamenchisaurus was a giant sauropod with a very long neck — amongst the longest of any animal that has ever lived. Measuring up to 11 metres, the neck was almost half the overall length of the animal.

Cryptic: When I feel nostalgic about the home I trust, it helps to read this story that began with gas and dust.

Hard: The group often hears Richter before they see him- his heavy footsteps clap like thunder and shake the ground like an earthquake or a volcano...no a meteorite! Maybe he’s gone to learn which one.

Easy: Who’s that shaking the ground as they walk through the Dynamic Earth resource page?