When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth

The Botanic Gardens in Wellington have a little exhibit about dinosaurs at their visitors center, aptly called the tree house. My colleagues and I decided to have a little wander  there over lunch one day, as the tree house is only a couple hundred of million years away.

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They had some pretty spiffy fossils from some plants and animals that were breathing this air ages ago. The exhibit started with plants, since they pre-dated the dinosaurs too.

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IMG_20170316_133303There was a paleontologist, Joan Wiffen, who was an integral part of the understanding of the presence of fossils here in New Zealand and there was a short discussion of her work. In light of my feminist manifesto from a couple of posts ago, I noticed that there was what appeared to be a bit of a faux pas. On the decal discussing this paleontologists work, they described Joan as a ‘talented paleontologist’. I would contend that if the blurb were describing a male paleontologist, the word ‘talented’ would have been omitted as most readers would assume a male who’s a paleontologist with his face on a poster, would be, in a word, talented. *Sigh*

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Like any exhibit I like, there was an opportunity to touch some of the fossils, like a piece of wood and forearm bone.

My favorite would have to be a gastrolith, an object from the Jurassic period that dinosaurs swallowed to help them break down tough plant fibers. Moral of the story, the object in my hand, that I touched, was in the stomach of a feathered beast!

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Also, for my many Pokemon readers, I found an Omanyte and Omastar among the exhibit! For my non-Pokemon readers, there was this really cool creature called an ammonite! They had a number of these fossils around the room.

There were still a lot of other bits and bobs around the tree house as well sticking to informing visitors about the gardens. They had some magnifiers and some tanks of various tradescantia beetles. These beetles eat and damage the pest tradescantia weed. I picked up the magnifying glass and took a peak:

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I found a beetle… or two. LOL

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The Botanic Gardens are a great spot to visit, and I’ve spent heaps of time wandering the various pathways, but the tree house is a good spot to stop more than once!

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It was gratifying to see one of my plants at home doing well that afternoon too:)

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