Natalie Gruzlewski's visit to Melbourne turned out to be something very, very different. Some museum exhibits can be a little dull, but not this one! Dinosaur Walk is fascinating. Natalie was shown something that looked like a simple rock, but it was actually a 150-million-year-old dinosaur dropping!
Curator Wayne Gertz has a wonderful knowledge of the creatures that once roamed the earth and he loves to talk about them. There are 17 dinosaurs to learn about, most with tongue-twister names.
It's hard to imagine that the 22m, long-necked, long-tailed, quadruped, herbivore mamenchisaurus wandered around the world. Its neck bones had hollows to reduce the weight of the 9m neck. Its length allowed it to reach leaves high up in trees. A "second brain" in its spinal cord in the hip area helped control its hind legs and tail. Fitting the dinosaur into the museum was a real challenge.
Inostrancevia lived 253 million years ago. The carnivore had a deep skull, nostrils high on its head and large, sabre-like canines. It was small compared to an elephant, but huge compared to humans.
Children are fascinated with the Dinosaur Walk and there are some extra things they can enjoy. They can print and colour their favourite of the prehistoric animals at the exhibition. They can have a go at matching eggs to different dinosaurs, build one on the computer by dragging body parts and putting them together and can even have their favourite as a screen saver.
The exhibition has been such a crowd pleaser, the museum has decided to make it a permanent fixture.