Australian Museum/博物馆

We visited the museum in the city. Considering its fame in Oz, it is not a big one. However, it has a quite comprehensive collection of mammal skeletons, among other animals. Also, reflecting the fact that Oz is a huge mining country, we have seen a lot of different minerals, some of them are quite beautiful!

There is also an exhibition of dinosaurs, but many of the fossils are cast. Nevertheless, I marvelled at the thought about the lives of the owners of those body remains. I was also amazed by the accounts like “towards the end of the Mesozoic, …”: (1) “the end of Mesozoic” is defined by a meteoric clash caused a mess extinction wiping out 90% species on the earth, and (2) despite what the innocuous wording “towards …” indicates, the span of time we are concerned with is literally millions of years. We feel sorry about the dinosaurs at a time they were happily enjoying their Cretaceous dinner, unaware of the doom millions of years away. “Stupid reptiles blessed by blatant ignorance”, homo sapiens pity dinosaurs condescendingly and retrospectively, 65 million years later, busying themselves baking planet earth at a rate unseen in the last 650 million years.

They also have an interesting collection of Oz dangerous animals. Among them are snakes, sharks, croc, etc. Oz has a variety of snakes, the second most deadly animal species to human, after homo sapiens.

It was an enlightening visit.

橘子和大梨去了澳大利亚博物馆(Australian Museum)。就其名声而言,馆子规模不大。进门不免有一点点失望。但是逛博物馆忌贪多嚼不烂。走进去发现这个博物馆的哺乳动物骨架收藏还是蛮有意思的。澳大利亚是一块分离的大陆,在殖民者到来之前,欧亚非大陆的哺乳动物被大海所隔绝,不能到达。本地哺乳物种是有袋类(marsupial)。并不限于袋鼠这一代表,有袋类乃是一个大族,基本上我们常见的胎生哺乳动物( placental)在有袋类里面都能找到对应的物种。这是平行进化的结果:只要造化容得下,总会有机会主义者去填空的,跟自由市场差不多。在我们的骨盆的地方,有袋类有一块小枝桠一样的骨头,撑袋子的。有一个人类女性骨盆跟袋鼠的有趣对比,骨盆那里分别放置了两个球,代表两种物种初生婴儿(幼崽)的头的大小。在人类这边,感觉就是一个保龄球要通过一个大号糖果罐的口,勉强得很。而小袋鼠的头跟眼镜架上最小的螺丝差不多大,袋鼠娘生上百八十也不是问题吧。

澳大利亚是矿产大国,这里还有非常丰富的矿石展出。让人顿时觉得中学化学课本流光溢彩。

总之,除了橘子抗议这里的蛇真是太多了(甚至有蛇形抱枕!),这是一个非常有意义的星期天午后。