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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 a Holotype?

A holotype is a valuable original specimen that describes a new species.  It is a term used to describe a specimen that is the first known of its kind anywhere in the world.  A holotype can be any type of fossil, and it serves as the name-bearer of the species.  Even if a better specimen is found, the holotype is not superseded.  These are rare and exciting discoveries, which help fill important gaps in the fossil record. 

Every animal and plant that is scientifically described is represented by a holotype.  If a scientist wishes to study the unique traits of a species, it is usually the holotype specimen they study.  The holotypes are the crown jewels of any museum collection.  These priceless specimens need to be stored and conserved at standards that meet the Code of International Zoological Nomenclature.

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