Location: Te Papa Museum
Gallery: Geologywell after wandering te papa for nearly 5 hours, going through its maze like layout multiple times, i FINALLY found the hall i was most interested in seeing... the geology hall.
as though to mock me for not finding it... exhausted from my DAY long wandering the botanic garden, the beehive, city and sea museum, and than finally checking out all of te papa... i enter the geo hall a little on the tired side to be confronted by this giant maori statue.
don't get me wrong he's cool, and drives home the maori people's respect and recognition of the geologic forces of new zealand. at the same time when you consider the things i've seen and run into during this museum quest you can understand why i wasn't happy to run into this guy RIGHT inside the entrance!
i of course thought it was real and nearly passed out... fortunately he didn't move or turn out to be alive... still not a fun intro to the place. especially after i spent so long looking for it!!!
the highlight of this hall was of course the mesozoic new zealand display case. i've already posted about the dinosaurs within, and explained this pterosaur model. i just included a few new pics because it is such a nice pterosaur sculpt and i figured i put the dinosaur display in context for you people of the innerweb if you visit te papa. that way when you visit you don't spend all day looking for the display too!!!
again i just liked this statue of new zealand's probable anhanguerid i snapped a few photos of it!
a lovely nearly completely complete prognathodon overtoni skull.
cool as, but thinking about him alive makes me scared to go swimming!another awesome specimen is a complete skull of tuarangisaurus keysi, an elasmosaur unique to new zealand (again they may not have a lot of dinosaurs down here but they've got TONS of marine reptiles!).
both the prognathodon and this tuarangisaurus are from the late cretaceous though we're not sure if from the campanian or maastrichtian.
i'm not PALAEO facting about these two at moment because i've got a HUGE one coming about all of new zealand's marine reptiles coming in relation to events that happened after the museum quest...
new zealand as i've been seeing throughout the museum quest has tons of ammonite fossils. te papa had a great sampling of these, plus a modern nautilus to compare them too.
they also had a cast of new zealand's largest ammonite. i'd see the real fossil soon...
of course the display of ancient new zealand won't be complete without a moa skeleton. this was one of the smaller known moa species.
they also have in this hall yet another amazing moa statue (the others being in the blood earth fire gallery) in here. with all the moa-ness in the te papa i was beginning to wonder if they beat us at the otago for the most moa-tastic museum of new zealand.
you'll also note the haast eagle attacking this poor moa. that new zealand was the world's largest known bird of prey. it was flying the kiwi skies until just a few hundred years ago... kinda makes me realize moving here to new zealand (the land of birds) due to its lack of dinosaurs may not have been such good reasoning. granted i'm thinking outside the cube here people of the innerweb...
than came a display case which brought home the fact i'd been lallygagging around the te papa all afternoon... turning around there was a tuatara. now don't get me wrong people of the innerweb. i think these fellow survivors of the mesozoic are cool...
however as in maori mythology and legend these reptiles are the messangers of whiro in the mortal world i could have been in trouble. i think part of the reason whiro was able to track me down on the south island was due to the tuataras in invercargill... here i was right in front of this one. flax baskets in pocket...
i needed to hit the road, and quick. whiro would no doubt figure out a way to get to the north island sooner or later... i was sadly willing to put money on later.