21st June: Australian Museum, Sydney
Today, we went on a natural sciences education tour at the Australian Museum and boy, did di-di & I enjoy it!
There were just so many things to see and touch there... Do you see the bat in the above picture? That was made using parts of a real bat, including its fur. Freaky.
Well, besides showcasing a large variety of specimens - which Daddy told me actually means natural objects, such as minerals, animals and fossils - the museum also has a large collection of cultural items, which are essentially artifacts that have been made by people for a particular use. Much like these weapons that were used for hunting long long time ago.
But it was the vertebrate collection that intrigued me the most.
Vertebrates are animals with backbones, as I have come to learn. And the Australian Museum vertebrate collections include specimens of birds, mammals, fishes, reptiles and amphibians.
I got the opportunity to see how many bones exactly made up the long neck of a giraffe.
But I stopped counting after I got to the mid-neck section. Hahaha...
While Mummy & di-di were busy debating if the skeleton below belongs to Manfred, the woolly mammoth from Ice Age. :P
But seriously, we did enjoy our time looking at all the skeletons... well, maybe more for me since I am able to appreciate them more.
There was also a hands-on corner where we could have a feel of some of the bones that made up certain parts of the skeleton.
Di-di, though, was busy assembling his own skeleton.
And with success too! Hee.
Then the skeletons must have triggered the hunger in me, 'cos I thoroughly enjoyed my roasted garlic Tomato soup and bread when we had a short snack break. Burp.
Creepy crawlies were up next, and it was definitely interesting to view them really up close.
It helped too that they were dead and so kept still enough for us to view them properly. Kekekeke...
And finally, it was the mother of all attractions!
The Dinosaurs collection! Which I had set my eyes on from the moment I stepped into the museum.
Fossils, bones, replicas... it was Dinosaur heaven!
Besides the usual suspects like the T-Rex, triceratops, stegosaurus dinosaurs, the collection also features dinosaurs that were discovered to be living in the Australia region long long time ago. Like this dinosaur that di-di was riding on.
It's a Minmi paravertebra, a 3 metre long plant-eating ankylosaur. It was armoured for protection against predators. Minmi was unique in having small, bony projections (paravertebrae) along the backbone. These faced backwards and provided extra attachment for back muscles. These paravertebrae were similar to the bony structures found in today's crocodiles that strengthen and support the back during the 'high walk'. This allows the crocodiles to lift their body clear of the ground to get over obstacles like rocks or logs and also allows them to run fast for short distances.
And how could I not take a photo with one of my fave Dino - the T-Rex?
I was cupping my ears 'cos I was afraid that it would suddenly roar to life! Hee hee...
And if you think that your feet are big, think again. :P
After all the education stuff, it was time for some play. And the museum has a special corner for those under 5 years of age - Kidspace.
Not only are there play sets to entice the young...
... you may spot the occasional Ninja Turtle there too.
Now this 5th Ninja Turtle definitely loves pizza too! HAHAHAHA...
Ok ok... there are also other play pods scattered in the play space with various themes like Volcano, Imagination, etc...
Or you may just want to unwind and relax by just reading a book in a quiet corner after one whole day of fun.
And oh yes, FUN was definitely the word of the day. And di-di & I will see if we get to top that when we visit yet another museum the next day! :)