REASON 20 TO VISIT #ULTIMATEDINOS: THE OTHERS!
Often when speaking about the prehistoric world we get caught up in dinosaurs. The word “dinosaurs” has sort of turned into an umbrella term for everything Mesozoic. But it wasn’t just dinosaurs that lived in the prehistoric world. No, there were a ton of “others” as well. But unfortunately most just end up being called dinosaurs anyway.
- If you lived during the Triassic Jurassic, or Cretacious, you’ve probably been called a dinosaur at some point.
- In fact, if you lived in the Permian era, right before the dinosaurs, you’ve probably been called a dinosaur.
- I mean, really, if you’re big, and have sharp teeth and look ever so reptillian, you’ve probably been called a dinosaur.
But’ it’s not the kids who are getting this wrong when they come to the Museum and visit Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants of Gondwana. It’s actually the kids who get that Quetzalcoatlus isn’t a dinosaur. Or that the Mosasaur is actually just a swimming reptile. You see, it’s often the parents who make that mistake.
This isn’t necessarily a problem either. I actually think it’s just a great learning opportunity! Dinosaurs, I believe, are the gateway to science. Soon after falling in love with dinosaurs, you start to learn more and more about them.
- What makes a dinosaur? How did they evolve? Who are their ancestors and descendants?
Because dinosaurs are so alluring to kids, they quickly learn all these things, and start to explore deeper sciences, taking interests in chemistry, or physics, or math (actually a thing that’s HUGELY important to palaeontology).
There’s such a wealth of information out there about dinosaurs, that kids can quickly absorb it all, unlike many of their parents, who grew up before things like wikipedia. So it’s no wonder they can’t tell the difference between a dinosaur and a not dinosaur. What this does create is a wonderful opportunity for kids to teach their parents, which is always a beautiful sight.
And with that, we have a whole set of wonderful prehistoric animals, that, though ferocious, or beastly, big or small, are not dinosaurs.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS PHOTOSET!
- First two photos are the impressively ferocious Prestosuchus! His head is absolutely giant. It’s honestly startling to see a carnivore on four feet, when compared to all the other meat eaters in the exhibit. Really only dinosaurs, and their bird descendants hunted on two feet! And humans too, obviously.
- You can learn more about what that circle thing in Prestosuchus’ eye here!
- Then we have a whole wack of crocodile cousins. Maybe you’ve noticed this too, but prehistoric crocodiles have been getting a ton more press recently. Secretly, @ROMPalaeo has some very special prehistoric crocodiles they’re studying. I hope to talk about them some day!
- Hamadasuchus has been described as a very opportunistic creature, filling the role that the fox does today, hunting and scavenging.
- Elosuchus looks much more like the crocodiles we’re used to, with that distinctive long snout.
- Aegisuchus is the shield croc! A very recent find. The current idea is that this part of his skull would have been able to change colours, perhaps to entice a mate, or scare away a predator Check out this article!
- I’ve written to great length about Simosuchus, the pug like crocodile. Perhaps you’ve seen the post, you know the one with all the pug gifs?
- The Stereosternum find is absolutely stunning. Look at the detail preserved in this wonderful skeleton. Not only does Stereosternum have a great name, but he’s also a swimming reptile! See those great swimming feet?
- The last two bizarre lumpy fossils are the remains of two incredible creatures! The one of the left is the skull of a therapsid, an early, EARLY mammal (yes, this our ancestor, from WAY back). And the one on the right is the skull of rhynchosaur, a type of herbivourus reptile!
Have you visited? What’s your favourite part of #ultimatedinos?
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