Sunday, March 30, 2008

Palaeontological Treasures from Russia Exhibition in Seoul

From December 14th to February 10th of this year, the Russian Natural History Museum held its "Paleontological Treasures from Russia Exhibition" in Seoul. I was lucky enough to attend this amazing exhibition of many rare and valuable fossils from Russia - including Tarbosaurus, Permian therapsids, and Dima, the exceptionally well-preserved baby mammoth.

This was the largest overseas exhibition of Russian natural history in 70 years, with a combined material weight of over 10,000 tons. Unfortunately, photography was not permitted in the exhibit, but I managed to get a few shots off before seven Korean "attendants" swarmed me! The highlights represented in this post are only a fraction of the entire show. (The last time I was asked to stop taking pictures was in le Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle en Paris! Zut Alors!)


Tarbosaurus bataar -
The Asian relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, Tarbosaurus lived 70-65 million years ago in Mongolia and China. It is so similar to it's North American cousin that some scientists believe it is the same genus! This cast was beautiful and a highlight (as I had never seen a Tarbosaurus before), but was mounted in an (incorrect) semi-erect pose with its tail dragging on the ground. It was an amazing introduction to the Russian Exhibition.

Tarbosaurus bataar in life- by Peter Bond

Intro to Palaeontology -

Me in the Jurassic - Blue-screen technology!

After the basic 'Origin of Life on Earth' exhibit, the Russian Exhibition showcased many great fossils of Russian plants, invertebrates, fish, and amphibians.


Scutosaurus - A plant-eating therapsid (mammal-like reptile closely related to us) with armour on it's head and back. Scutosaurus lived 250-248 million years ago in Russia, before dinosaurs evolved.
Scutosaurus in life - by Peter Bond

Gorgonopsid - A carnivorous theraspid that lived contemporaneously with Scutosaurus in Russia, Gorgonopsids had well-developed 12-inch long incisors. It is not sure if they were covered with scales, skin or fur.
Gorgonopsid in life - by Peter Bond

Estemmenosuchus - An omnivorous Therapsid who lived in the Permian in Russia as well, Estemmenosuchus had a surprisingly unusual face with multiple horns projecting outwards.
Estemmenosuchus in life - by Peter Bond

Woolly Mammoths -
Woolly Mammoth in life - by Peter Bond

Dima, the Baby Mammoth -

The most notable artifact in the Russian Exhibition was the exceptionally well-preserved body of a baby mammoth, named Dima. From what I could tell, this was not a cast, but the actual specimen with its trunk and skin intact. There was even a small amount of actual hair around the back feet. Besides being slightly squished, the mammoth's last meal of chewed grass was still preserved, 40,000 years later!

a family of Mammoths

a family of Mammoths - cute style!

As well as the mentioned highlights, the exhibit also contained another juvenile Tarbosaurus, an ornithomimid, an Asian duck-bill, and a Deinonychus climbing a tree!

There was also a hilarious children's play area...

Tyrannosaurus rex Play Head!

It's amazing how happy this child is in the JAWS OF DEATH!


Paul Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Clarke said...

Love your dinosaur sketches, Pete!

Did you start those while you were at the exhibit, or did you do them later at home?

Peter Bond said...

Thanks Paul!
I did the sketches yesterday at home right before uploading the post. I tried to match the animal's pose from the photograph.

Angelica said...

Hey Peter, I don't know if you remember me. We were at the Tyrrel Museum, living in the farm, in the summer of 2004. I am Angelica, the spanish girl. I am very happy to know about you! You have traveled a lot!!
Lots of luck!!

Abulafia said...

Hei, Peter. That's not Dima. This mammoth is Liuba, found in 2007. Dima is black and was found in 1977.