Sunday, November 10, 2013

Titans of the Past

Many years ago, I visited an exhibition at the Science Centre featuring dinosaurs and many animals from the prehistoric age. The name of that exhibition was Dinosaurs! A T-rex named SUE and Friends. I have written about that visit on this blog, Back to the Ancient World. That was a pretty memorable visit which acquainted me with the replica of a gigantic T-rex.

Recently, I learnt that yet another exhibition on dinosaurs is now being showcased at the Singapore Science Centre. This exhibition, Titans of the Past: Dinosaurs and Ice Age Mammals, focuses on the growth and behaviours of dinosaurs. The exhibition features the original research conducted by the Museum of Rockies Paleontologist, Dr Jack Horner, and his research team.

I went recently to this exhibition and was pleased with myself for making the visit. What has left the deepest impression on me was the display of the replicas of the skulls of the triceratops which illustrated how the face of the Triceratops would change from juvenile to adult stages. The theory is that Triceratops being social animals, will need ways to recognize when a young Triceratops reaches sexual maturity. To allow visual differentiation between the juvenile and the adult Triceratops, the horns and the epoccipitals of the Triceratops would look different. When you are at the exhibition, please check out "The Juvenile Triceratops Mini Theatre". This section illustrates how the triceratops grew using animation. I have found the animation pretty entertaining.

The admission to this exhibition is possibly on the higher side at $25 per adult because of the animatronics. I learnt that these animatronics were from Kokoro in Japan. The animatronics looked realistic. These animatronics help visitors to imagine how the various prehistoric animals might have looked like.

In one of the exhibition's galleries, life-sized dinosaur skeletal casts stood close to one another as if they were competing with one another. While I have no idea what competition these dinosaur skeletal casts were involved in, it was humbling to stand beside these giants! The cast of the Argentinosaurus stood 36 metres in length and 7 metres in height. The Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex) stood 11 metres long and 4 metres high.

Children visiting this exhibition can look forward to a hands-on activity that would allowed them to role-play as fossil hunters. Instead of playing with the sand to build sandcastles, children were seen totally focused on uncovering the 'fossils'.

In comparison, I have found the section on the Ice Age Mammals less intriguing. Although the animatronics in this section were brilliantly done, I felt that this section did not give me much insights to the general behaviours of Ice Age Mammals. Maybe not much studies have been done on these animals from the Ice Age than the T-Rex? Then again, maybe it was because I was rushing for time by the time I have reached this section?

In general, please set aside at least two hours for this exhibition. Although I had finished walking through this exhibition in about one and a half hours, I felt I was rushing through the exhibition. 

This is quite an interesting exhibition to visit if you are interested in the growth and behaviours of the dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period.

Dinosaurs and Ice Age Mammals
25 Oct 2013 - 23 Feb 2014
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily
Science Centre Singapore, The Annexe
15 Science Centre Road
Singapore 609081

Admission Charges (inclusive of Science Centre entry):
$25 - adult

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