Margie’s Christmas special

December 10, 2008 11:26 by Margie

Credit: Melinda Iser,  Source: Museum Victoria

Do you like my reindeer ears? I think they are quite becoming.

Also I have this wonderful Christmas tree to look at which is very nice and environmentally friendly. Using low-energy production techniques and manufactured with environmentally friendly materials, it was designed by a company in Melbourne called Buro North.

Meet the design team

December 8, 2008 06:35 by Melinda Iser

Credit:Benjamin Healley, Source: Museum Victoria

The science and life design team have backgrounds in exhibition design, industrial design, interior design and graphic design. They are creating dynamic environments for the display and interpretation of heritage collection material for this development project.

Who am I?

December 5, 2008 11:31 by Margie

Margie the Amargasaurus. You pronounce my name a-marg-a-saw-rus (Amargasaurus cazaui to be technical). I’m from Argentina and lived there in the early Cretaceous period (a long time ago).  Being a sauropod I walked mainly on four legs, but occasionally I had to reach up on my hind legs to bite taller plants. You can see me now at Melbourne Museum in the foyer standing on all four of my legs but I won’t be there for much longer! Read my blog and see where I am and what’s happening to me.

Artist: Kym Haines, Source: Museum Victoria

Designing a viewing platform

December 5, 2008 10:51 by Melinda Iser

Concept drawing & elevation of Dinosaur Walk exhibition showing viewing platform.

Credit: Richard Glover, Source: Museum Victoria


Platform template placed in space to establish hanging points in the ceiling| 3D rendered drawing of platform in space.

Credit: Melinda Iser, source: Museum Victoria | Credit: Peter Wilson, Source: Museum Victoria

Native Grasslands - field trips

December 5, 2008 10:44 by Melinda Iser

Mt Cottrell Grassland  |  Native grass tussock at Mulla Mulla  |  Convolvulus erubescens, Mulla Mulla Grassland Credit: Jenni Meaney, Source: Museum Victoria

A grassland environment will be created as part of an exhibition about Biodiversity, opening in September 2009. In order to catch the plants in flower this spring we had to research and select the best sites to photograph.

We started by driving to Mt Cottrell in Melton to look two grassland sites there. As well as a great view across the western plain to the CBD of Melbourne, we saw some unusual and intriguing grassland plants. We also visited Iramoo, in St Albans which includes a community education centre, protected native grassland and nursery.

Our next visit was to Derrimut Grasslands, a special patch of Grassland bounded by busy roads and industrial estates. These visit highlighted the beauty and the fragmented nature of Melbourne’s Grasslands.

Finding the Icthyosaur Fossil

December 5, 2008 10:15 by Melinda Iser

Credit: Tom Rich, Source: Museum Victoria

In August 2008 Dr Tom Rich headed an expedition to find and excavate an Ichthyosaur fossil in outback Queensland for display in a new exhibition.  The fossil they were looking for was of Platypterygius, a large ichthyosaur (marine reptile) which lived at the time of dinosaurs between 110 and 100 million years ago. It grew to 6 or 7 metres long in the inland sea, now western Queensland.

He was guided to a likely spot to find fossils by Dave Suter together with Tom and Sharon Hurley who had the local knowledge. They used a digger to excavate rocks which looked promising. There was no guarantee that they would find anything as there is always an element of luck in finding fossils. However, Tom has forty-seven years as a palaeontologist and extensive experience at dig sites. This combined with six experienced eyes who knew the local fossils, led to finding a fossil on the third hole they excavated. They found a skull and rostrum of the animal including wonderfully preserved teeth. The fossil was encased in plaster for a safe return journey to the museum in Melbourne. How complete the skull is, and what other bones they find, will not be known until work is done to remove the rock that surrounds the fossil.

Credit: Kate Phillips, Source: Museum Victoria

Giant Panda

December 5, 2008 10:06 by Giant Panda

Giant Panda from China, that’s me

Credit: Melinda Iser, Source: Museum Victoria

I’m part of the Museum Victoria natural science collection; been part of this gang since 1978. This is how the museum classifies me – check this out – my data sheet!

Registration Number:                           C 27435

Category:                                             Natural SciencesS

cientific Group:                                    Vertebrate Zoology

Discipline:                                            Mammalogy

Type of Item:                                       Specimen

Scientific Name:                                  Ailuropoda melanoleuca

Phylum:                                               Chordata

Class:                                                   Mammalia - (Mammals)

Order:                                                  Carnivora

Family:                                                Ursidae 

Genus:                                                 Ailuropoda

Species:                                               melanoleuca

Common Name:                                   Giant Panda

Nature of Specimen:                            Mount

Country:                                               China 

Cool hey – I got heaps of different names – you can just call me GIANT PANDA as I’m pretty big…. and I’m a panda! Did you know that I’m going to get ready for this like cool exhibition with a heap of other mammals and birds? Were going to hang out together in this WHITE exhibition space, white is cool so is black – a bit like me I’m back and white – I hope I get a spot on the wall in the exhibition that would be cool too. I’m in the store at the moment hanging out with some other bozo that keeps looking at me – think I’ll be moving on soon – catch ya next time, I’ll be back….

Dinosaur animation

December 4, 2008 10:44 by Melinda Iser

Tarbosaurus, one of the stars of the new Dinosaur Walk exhibition will ‘come to life’ with the aid of some clever animation.  Visitors will look through a viewer to see the skeleton transform into a moving animal in its environment. To create the animation, the exhibition team needed a photo of Tarbosaurus in position – but the skeleton was in pieces. Staff stayed at work late to assemble the dinosaur in the empty gallery. When Tarbosaurus was in exactly the right position they took the photos. Now the animators can do their magic.

Museum staff putting Tarbosaurs together

Credit: Melinda Iser, Source: Museum Victoria

Margie the Amargasaurus

December 4, 2008 06:47 by Margie

Credit: Melinda Iser, Source: Museum Victoria

Hi Margie here – this is my blog.

EVERYONE can see me as they walk in the door at Melbourne Museum and I’m quite the main attraction sitting here in the foyer. Though I won’t be here for that much longer….. .I’m going off display on the 15 December – getting spruced up for display in the new exhibition Dinosaur Walk.

Come in and say HI – take a picture of yourself with me as I won’t look like this in the new exhibition, I’ll be rearing up from the floor with my front legs reaching the 2nd level of the museum!

In 4 weeks I start the process of getting a new look – I can’t wait!

Time lapse photography - Mt Stirling

December 4, 2008 05:42 by Melinda Iser

The museum is undertaking a large time-lapse photographic project at Mt Stirling, Victorian for an exhibition opening in September 2009, focusing on change, changing environments, changing landscapes. It will be a fantastic way to see the changing seasons in this amazing environment – winter, spring, summer and autumn.

The camera is programmed to take a frame every 10 seconds; the photographer needs to continually adjust settings to allow for changing light. Images are captured digitally which means that image cards fill up rapidly and constantly need to be changed. In the cold weather batteries don’t last long these also need to be changed every couple of hours.

On the summit of Mt Stirling

Credit: Melinda Iser, Source: Museum Victoria