Tags: Animals, Bugs, Education, Environment, History, Life, Museum, Nature, Uniquely Singapore
Last week, Itchyfingers were among some of those who were invited to a special preview of the new Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum prior to its official opening today, 28 April, in appreciation of our little contribution. The museum has come a long way – possibly dating back to when Singapore was founded. It was last known as the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity and Research (RMBR), which only had a small gallery nestled in one of the obscure Science Block at the University, and was greatly in need of an overhaul and expansion. So it was indeed a good news to finally have a brand new building to house a proper viewing gallery, as well as facilities for its scientists and researchers.
Once you entered the new building at the National University of Singapore, visitors were welcomed by a huge wall mural made from photo collage of the specimens on exhibit…
The highlights of the museum are three much talked-about diplodocid sauropod skeletons, nicknamed “Prince”, “Apollonia” and “Twinky”. Each of them is about 80% complete, making them a rarity in dinosaur discoveries. They were the first thing you would see once you entered the gallery behind a glass wall. But you would have to maneuver your way through the plants section before you could come close to them.
Another smelly flower that we want to see too! This is a model of the Titan Arum, the “largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, reaching over 3meters in height. The inflorescence blooms at night, releasing an odour of rotting meat that attracts carrion-eating beetles and flies to pollinate it”. Few years back, our Botanical Garden had one, but it kinda withered prematurely, hence we didn’t have the chance to experience the rotting smell…
From the ground floor main gallery, we could see the dinosaur skeletons, which are considered a rarity for sauropod dinosaurs fossils as two of them come with skulls. These three skeletons were found between 2007 and 2010 in a quarry in a small town of Ten Sleep in the United States and are believed to be part of a herd or even a family. According to reports, the “American sellers had asked for $8 million but the Museum would not say what the final deal was”.
Not a great fan of dinosaurs, I wasn’t really excited to see the trios though… :p Despite having a new building, somehow, the space available for displaying the trio still feels very small and cramp. I was expecting to be able to really stand further to look at the sheer size of them. To make up for the lack of space, visitors can still view them from the second floor though. There is a light show at regular intervals but personally I thought it was a bit meaningless and doesn’t add any value to the exhibit. :p
Ahhhh…finally see a real Mud Lobster….albeit a dead one…Well…it was once alive! :O
I like the way they displayed these specimens in nice glass jars and arranged neatly on the shelf. But the names of the specimen were put too far at the extreme left, so whenever you need to find out the name, you have to walk all the way to the left. Why don’t they just label it below? It’s easier to change single labels if they want to change the exhibits, rather than to change the whole panel right? I also don’t really like the tv screen in the middle. Don’t think it is interactive cos no one seems to be touching it…
The squids and octopuses specimens were a letdown after looking at the beautiful set ups earlier. This Bobtail Squid could have been made more attractive if only they could spread out the tentacles and make it look as it was floating in the jar, like the frog above…
How can I missed this Orange-spotted Grouper! Such a big fish! But luckily I saw it at an earlier exhibition some time ago
And showed the colour and pattern variation between the young and adult, like this Wild Boar family
The Heritage Gallery is located at the upper floor with five exhibit zones that pay homage to the museum heritage. The gallery presents an account of the museum’s development and traces the relationship between Singapore’s development and natural history.
The Heritage Gallery’s layout is intentionally styled like an old-school museum with specimens on display in dark wooden cabinets.
You can check out the cabinets and drawers for more exhibits and information
Itchyfingers spent less than 2 hours in the museum, a rather short time for our liking cos our free and easy tour started about 3.50 pm. Our tummies were beginning to make noise so we had to cut short our visit. Was a little disappointed that they didn’t put up more specimens for exhibit. Hopefully there will either be rotating exhibits or new ones will be added later, or even better still, new gallery space will be created in the 7-storey building. There are many more interesting specimens not featured here and if you are really interested in plants, animals and natural history, a visit to the new the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is definitely highly recommended! Check their website for ticketing details, as you can’t just pop by any time you wish and get tickets on the spot! A little inconvenient, but let’s see if they will adjust this later on.
Also see related posts:
> The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity and Research
> Hunters & Collectors – The Origins of the SouthEast Asian Collection
Tags: Life, News, Uniquely Singapore
While the majority of Singaporeans were soundly sleeping on our beds, our Former Prime Minister and widely acknowledged as the Founding Father of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, passed away on the bed at the Singapore General Hospital at 3.18am local time. Hospitalised since February 5th this year for severe pneumonia, Mr Lee had missed the Lunar New Year celebration with his family. News of his hospitalization was only made public much later, about 17 days later. Since then the Prime Minister Office has been keeping the public informed and updated of Mr Lee’s condition. Though we read that his condition was critical and deteriorating at times, many Singaporeans were still praying and hoping for his recovery so that he can celebrate with us at our 50th National Day this coming August. So it still came as a shock for many of us when we woke up to the news of his passing this morning.
To Mr Lee Kuan Yew, rest in peace Sir, thank you for what you have done for Singapore.
‘I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There’s nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.’ – Lee Kuan Yew
Tags: Life, Sports, Uniquely Singapore
I don’t think I ever remembered smiling so much during a run…normally will only smile widely when there are photographers around, especially if you are those who breathe in or out through the mouth when running. But last Saturday, I was smiling a lot…
Itchyfingers were at the Jurong Lake Run. Just 11 days ago I had a bad fall in East Malaysia and suffered from a swollen shin and multiple big bruises on the left leg. After coming back, I did a 5km super slow walk and was glad that I could still do a slow 4km run despite the injury. But I wasn’t too sure if I complete 10km, cos the shin was still swollen though there wasn’t much pain….
I didn’t wanna strain my leg too much so was running at a rather slow pace…The evening was hot and humid when we started running at around 6:30pm. But as I ran, I couldn’t help but felt so glad that I was still able to run…The fall could have been much worse…That really brought on a big smile on my face…hahah….
When I finally saw the 9km distance marker, I was really so happy! One more kilometer to go! The sky had long turned dark…hahah…
Tisu Girl completed her run with a big smile!
This was the first time the organiser changed the race to a night race. But I think I prefer my experience running in the morning cos you can appreciate the garden better…
I think there were some MediaCorp artistes running with us since they are one of the sponsors, but I never seen any one of them. Maybe they were all so fast that the slower runners couldn’t catch up… :p