A new exhibition showcasing rare ANU fossils and 3-D modelling techniques opened at the Canberra Museum and Gallery on the third of December, and I wandered over today to have a quick look.
It’s a small but fascinating gallery, a collection of rare 400-million-year-old fish fossils showing the evolution of various features in both humans and fish. One of the more notable features is the eye capsule of a prehistoric fish with eyestalks shown with photos of the original and two replicas, one life-sized and another much larger to show all the details.
The fossils are remarkably clear and features are easy to make out, and some are so well-defined each scale can be made out. On a 400-million-year-old fossil, that’s pretty impressive.
The real highlights, though, are the 3-D printouts of X-Ray scans that allow you to see inside the skulls and eye capsules of the various fish. There are also screens showing how the X-Ray procedures work that I found surprisingly engrossing: how a skull is discovered, removed from rock, and X-Rayed, followed by a description on how 3-D models are printed.
There are some fossils that could have used some more descriptive labels on the features to give a better idea of what you were looking at (parts are labelled, but without a clear idea of what each term means you’ll be a little confused with one or two of the fossils) but they’re worth looking at nonetheless.
There’s also a small spot-the-eyeball game hidden among the fossil display to keep younger kids amused and some of the models are engaging for kids old enough to understand, so it’s a whole family exhibit.
It’s definitely a must-see for anyone interested in fossils or evolution, and it’s worth a look for anyone in the area.