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A prehistoric adventure at the Australian Botanic Garden
UPDATE: Please note this event is now sold out. The fascinating world of dinosaurs has been trending since around 65 million years ago. It's not hard to figure out why as you don't have to be a kid to think dinosaurs are awesome. With their majestic size, impressive names, provocative fossil records and hotly debated theories of extinction, dinosaurs are appealing to all ages.
What will you see in the Jurassic Garden? (Image Supplied. Photographer Stuart Humphreys)
While it is interesting to learn about dinosaurs from books or visit their fossils in a museum, it's even better to learn about them, and their lost world, in person. If you, or your children, are fascinated by the world of dinosaurs you will love the Jurassic Garden event being held at The Australian Botanic Garden on Saturday 20th August 2016.
Jurassic Garden is a free event being held to celebrate Science Week. It will highlight the exotic world of Australia's ancient and modern rainforests and the prehistoric plants and animals that inhabited them.
When dinosaurs called Australia home, we were part of a great southern land mass called Gondwana. Rainforest covered most of this super continent and remains the most ancient type of vegetation in Australia today.
The interactive Diversity Wall at the Australian PlantBank (Image Credit: Royal Botanic Gardens)
A visit to The Australian PlantBank is a must to discover how Australia's flora is being conserved and the important research of the "Rainforest Project". The Australian PlantBank is the largest seed bank for native species in Australia. Its role is to preserve Australia's unique plant life for the future, by storing seeds and also by researching how native plants reproduce and grow. You can learn about biodiversity issues through the interactive Diversity Wall exhibition. Self-guided and volunteer-led tours of the Australian PlantBank are also available. To check availability you can contact the Visitor Centre here.
After visiting the PlantBank you can go on to explore living examples of our ancient rainforest plants in the Connections Garden. It features plants considered to be "living fossils" from the Jurassic and Cretaceous time periods.
One such prehistoric plant is the Wollemi Pine which is often referred to as the "dinosaur tree". The Wollemi Pine was thought to be extinct and was only known from fossil records until its exciting discovery in 1994 in the Wollemi National Park near Sydney. Since 1994 scientists at the Australian Botanic Garden, have been working to learn about the trees, their ecology and biology, and have cultivated a collection of trees from seeds and cuttings. You can see living Wollemi Pines in the Connections Garden as well as in several other areas of the gardens.
But it's not only prehistoric plants you will find in the Garden. At the Jurassic Garden event you can meet some Australian dinosaurs - the Muttaburrasaurus and the Australovenator.
Winny the Muttaburrasaurus (Image Credit: Australian Museum)
Winny is a life-sized and very realistic, dinosaur puppet from the Australian Museum. She is a juvenile Muttaburrasaurus who will be roaming the Garden. She should be easy to spot as she is around 5 metres long with a lifelike dinosaur appearance including movement and sound.
The Muttaburrasaurus is thought to be Australia's most widely distributed dinosaur, having been found in both New South Wales and Queensland. In the Early Cretaceus period, around 110 million years ago, the Muttaburrasaurus would have lived in forests, near the edge of an inland sea, and would have eaten ferns and cycads. The Muttaburrasaurus was first discovered in 1963 by a farmer near the town of Muttaburra in Queensland.
Another dinosaur appearing throughout the day is the fearsome Australovenator. It is thought to have lived in the Mid-Cretaceus period, around 100 million years ago. The fossils of this dinosaur were only discovered in 2005 in Queensland. The Australovenator is seen as Australia's answer to the Velociraptor due to its speed, razor sharp teeth and long claws on each hand. The Australovenator was a carnivore and was much larger than a Velociraptor. I definitely wouldn't want this guy sneaking up on me, but if you've ever wanted to see an Australian dinosaur face to face, this is your chance.
Activities include Snake Displays (Image Supplied)
Other activities in the Jurassic Garden will include wildlife spotting, fossil finding and science experiments. There will be many local science clubs and organisations attending and you will be able to browse their wildlife displays and science demonstrations.
Explore the world of science with Fizzics Education (Image supplied)