Visitors to Maropeng have a wonderful, world-first opportunity to see the fossil of a new species of dinosaur, known as “Earth Claw”.
It was only on November 11, 2009 that the University of the Witwatersrand announced the discovery of this new species of dinosaur.
From December 1, 2009 until January 31, 2010 the creature’s femur and foot bone will go on display at the Maropeng exhibition. These bones in particular tell us a lot about the animal.
The new fossil is estimated to be 195-million years old. Scientists are excited about it because the anatomy of this 7 m (23 ft) vegetarian creature, which mostly walked on two feet but also dropped onto all fours, sheds light on the development of the huge sauropods.
Voyage to the stars with Maropeng
Aspiring astronauts and space explorers of all ages are invited to join Maropeng for an expedition to the stars.
Maropeng has been granted the rights to host the StarLab, a portable inflatable planetarium providing children and young adults with an opportunity to learn more about the fascinating topic of astronomy.
StarLab is kindly on loan from the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) from December 5 until January 10, with lift-off just in time for the school holidays.
Up to 20 people can be seated on the floor inside the inflatable dome, akin to a spherical spaceship. Once the intrepid voyagers come aboard through the igloo-shaped entrance, they are taken on a “journey” of discovery of galactic proportions.
The StarLab is fitted with an overhead star projector, and “passengers” will feel as if the sky has opened up above them. Maropeng’s resident astronomer, Vincent Nettmann, will give a 45-minute presentation on various astronomical themes, including stars, planets, the sun, galaxies, the speed of light, the distance of stars from the earth and the age of the universe.
The StarLab will be housed in the Tumulus building at Maropeng , with daily sessions at 11h00, 12h00, 13h00 and 14h00. Tickets for the 45-minute ‘journey’ will be R25 per person (children and adults), and bookings can be made in advance. The StarLab is ideally combined with a tour of the world-class visitor centre, open daily from 09h00 to 17h00.
For further information follow the links alongside.