THEY were big, they were nasty, and thank goodness they died out tens of millions of years before homo sapiens arrived on this planet.

Tyrannosaurs were the most feared of all dinosaurs, with Tyrannosaurus rex always acclaimed as the biggest meat eater ever to walk the Earth.

There were plenty other tyrannosaurs, however, as will be shown in the most comprehensive exhibition ever mounted on the big beasties which will come to Edinburgh next year.

Opening at the National Museum of Scotland on January 24, 2020, Tyrannosaurs will bring the latest palaeontological discoveries to life and challenge preconceptions about these ferocious predators.

While the most famous of the species is the mighty T-Rex, tyrannosaurs came in all shapes and sizes, and their history extends over 100m years.

The exhibition will feature extremely rare fossil specimens, cast skeletons including one of Scotty, one of the largest and most complete T-Rex skeletons in the world – as well as incredible models of feathered dinosaurs.

Visitors will be able to explore the diversity of tyrannosaur skulls and find out what variations in structure can tell us about different hunting and feeding strategies.

Tyrannosaurs uses cutting-edge technology, including hands-on and multimedia experiences that will engage and excite children and adults alike.

It is a major coup for the National Museum to have secured the exhibition from the Australian Museum and will be on show 30 years following the hugely successful dinosaur exhibitions in Edinburgh.

Dr Nick Fraser, keeper of natural science at National Museums Scotland said: “Tyrannosaurs will show visitors not only the mighty scale of T-Rex, but also their fascinating family tree, including early Asian feathered tyrannosaurs which are some of the most exciting recent discoveries in dinosaur palaeontology.”

Director and chief executive of the Australian Museum, Kim McKay, said: “The Tyrannosaurs exhibition will not only take visitors on a remarkable journey to our earth’s ancient past, but will also provide a real sense of scientific enquiry and discovery from the latest breakthroughs.”