Would we have dinosaurs in Singapore? – by Tan Swee Hee

This comment from a young museum visitor to New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) got me thinking (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/dinosaur/2011/04/why-the-moma-should-have-dinosaurs/). It is interesting to me that children usually associate museums with dinosaurs. While Annabelle was probably not informed that she was not visiting a natural history museum, as noted by some online commentators (http://thehairpin.com/2011/04/calm-down-annabelle), this stereotypical idea of expecting to see a dinosaur in a museum is probably a common occurrence in Europe, America and perhaps in Asia.

As the planning for Singapore’s new natural history museum gathers momentum, I have often wondered: what iconic display would I like to see in a natural history museum? In fact, my own wish is also to be able to see a dinosaur! In my line of work, I have been very fortunate to have visited several of the larger natural history museums around the world. In practically all these museums that I have visited, the quintessential exhibit is that of the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs have this strange magical hold on people that cannot be easily explained. People are fascinated with these large beasts that were rulers of the Earth in their prime, but for some reason (and there are many theories!), all went extinct in a geological blink of an eye. Their demise is a poignant reminder to us that even these creatures that once ruled the Earth is not immune to environmental factors not within their control.

The RMBR has now been offered the opportunity to purchase three real and near complete dinosaur fossils. These three represents some of the most well preserved (up to 85%) sauropod dinosaurs of their kind. Sauropods are some the largest animals to have ever lived on Earth. Complete sauropod fossil finds are very rare. There has been suggestions that sauropods formed herds and that they might have looked after their young. The three dinosaurs offered to us are thought to be the same species but with some marked differences. These three could even possibly be a family group consisting of a father (27 m length), mother (25 m length) and child (12 m length).I believe that there will be much interest, especially from children, in seeing real dinosaurs in Singapore! There will be no need to travel to Europe and the US just to look at real dinosaurs. If Singapore’s natural history museum is successful in obtaining these majestic beasts and exhibit them at the new natural history museum in 2014, hopefully, young museum critics like Annabelle will be pleased! And just think of the enormous (pun intended) educational benefits they will bring with them!




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9 Responses to Would we have dinosaurs in Singapore? – by Tan Swee Hee

  1. Neo Mei Lin says:

    I really enjoyed my trip to the natural history museum in Brussels, and definitely, the entire dinosaur exhibit was enthralling… It’ll be so cool to see our very own collection in the upcoming museum! :)

  2. Tisu Girl says:

    Why do we need to purchase something that does not ever exit in Singapore? Do we have to please everyone? What relevance does it have on our own nature history?

  3. Tisu Girl says:

    By the way, going by the comments that all natural history museums should have dinos, then does it mean that all art museums must have picasso, van gogh, all history museums should have mummies, terracotta warriors? We could always loan, and no need to buy and waste much precious funds on something irrelevant to our own natural history. Just my two cents of thoughts.

  4. JJ Huang says:

    I read from the chinese newspapers that the committee is raising cash to bring these fossils into Singapore. Will RMBR consider canvassing for donations from the public?

  5. Ivan Kwanan says:

    Have these diplodocids been identified to any of the currently known genera yet? Dinosauria International’s attempt to overhaul the taxonomy of diplodocid dinosaurs has faced some criticism from the paleontological community.

    Having a mini herd of sauropods at the new natural history museum would be a nice complement to the cast of ‘Stan’ the Tyrannosaurus at the Singapore Science Centre.

    • Rex says:

      Good call on the identifcation; these are almost certainly new species of diplodocid type dinosaurs.
      The Dinosauria Internation paper was meant to be thought provocking more than set in stone.

  6. Andrew says:

    I’m donating because I want to see real dinosaur fossils in Singapore. Simple as that. =)

  7. Albert Wu says:

    As a boy, I used to watching dinosaur cartoon and movie, and wonder is it rear? And alway hope to collect dinosaur fossils as a gift of memorable ones. Now I had already collected dinosaur and bird fossils egg in Singapore that had buried million years ago on our land, isn’t it wonderful? A rare collection to enjoy the fun liked Phoenix egg from late Cretaceous period. Good try.

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