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ABC - Eromanga Natural History Museum finding its dinosaur feet through crowd funding

Thursday, October 06, 2016

 We have been featured again on ABC NEWS with an interview by Josh Bavas with Robyn Mckenzie. Below is the extract of the article. Read the full article at ABC News.

Eromanga Natural History Museum finding its dinosaur feet through crowd funding

By Josh Bavas
Updated 27 Sep 2016, 7:15am

Operators of Australia's newest dinosaur museum are hoping the generosity of strangers will literally help them find their feet.

The Eromanga Natural History Museum — which is home to the fossil of Australia's largest dinosaur 'Cooper' — has already attracted thousands of tourists since opening in March.

But the museum's operators are now appealing to the public to crowdfund a project to get a set of 3D printed replica dinosaur legs.

Museum manager Robyn Mackenzie said the ultimate plan is to build a complete skeletal replica of Cooper, the Titanosaur discovered there in 2007, starting with one hind leg and one front leg.

"We're really keen to get this project up so we can show everybody the size of Australia's largest dinosaur," she said.

"This is a dinosaur that grew up to 30 metres and around about six-and-a-half metres high — so it's in the top 10 dinosaurs in the world, it's absolutely massive."

The operators are looking to get the bones 3D printed from a company in Sydney, which would cost about $40,000.

Ms Mackenzie said they would like to raise the money before the end of the year

"We really want to get it up and going before the tourist season next year which means we only have a couple of months to raise the money now," she said.

The museum has been collecting and storing fossils for more than a decade and only came to fruition after collecting about $1.75m in donations and in-kind support.

Recent State and Federal grants also helped towards establishing on-site accommodation at the museum, to build on tourism growth.

The small town is on Queensland's outback western fringe, about 12 hours drive from Brisbane.

It now employs six local staff and is looking to hire a seventh.

Ms Mackenzie says the enterprise has kept the town going through years of drought.

"Things are tough on the land and tough with the resources companies and the local businesses that depend on them, so there's a lot of people that are looking for extra income so we're actually able to provide that through this project," she said.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between megafauna fossils and dinosaur fossils?

Dinosaurs are reptiles that went extinct 64 million years ago. They grew to gigantic sizes.  They lived in a time when Australia was a very different place to what it is today, and part of the ancient landmass called Gondwana. The Eromanga dinosaurs are estimated to be 95-98 million years old and lived during the late Cretaceous.

Megafauna are the group of animals that evolved after the dinosaurs died.  They were very large marsupials, reptiles and flightless birds and went extinct about 20,000 years ago.  Some of their descendants still exist today in much smaller forms such as kangaroos, wombats, komodo dragons and crocodiles.  The Eulo megafauna lived during Pleistocene approximately 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. 

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