Dinosaurs of Patagonia Exhibition

Northern Suburbs Branch, 28 September 2022

After the “Peregrination” excursion five days earlier, a much smaller group attended the Dinosaurs of Patagonia Exhibition at the WA Museum.

This time we were left to wander on our own, watch the videos and read about the herbivores and carnivores from the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic depicted by the 16 life-size skeletal casts or crane our necks to view the skull of the largest-ever dinosaur, Patagotitan.

The first part of the display sets the scene by describing the difference between the two orders of dinosaurs, Ornithischians (dinosaurs with bird hips) and Saurischians (dinosaurs with reptile hips). While Ornithiscians was named because, in general, their pubic and ischiac bones are developed parallel to each other as in birds, this similarity is only superficial as birds evolved from Saurischians who have hips with a similar shape to lizards, in which the pubic bone points forward, and the pelvis has a triangular shape. Excavations have shown Saurischians were the dominant order in the Southern Hemisphere.

In addition to explaining what was known about each species, such as diet, social habits and distribution, we also got to see the position of the tectonic plates and an estimate of the CO2 levels, some of which were double today’s level! So how did the dinosaurs survive?

Don Poynton