Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Hey everyone!

This week we visit a ‘hidden-gem’ of a museum in Singapore, located in the heart of the National University of Singapore! The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum hosts a collection of preserved animal and plants species, but its most spectacular exhibits are the three ancient sauropod skeletons, which hover over the visitors in the in the main hall.

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The museum was opened about a year and a half ago, although its history and origins date back to the late 1800s. It was reputedly known as the “Raffles Library and Museum”, initiated by the founder of modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. The museum is dedicated to exhibiting Southeast Asian biodiversity, as well as raising awareness about biodiversity-related environmental issues. The museum also conducts research on various plant/animal species, and publishes widely.

Nevertheless, this is Singapore’s first prominent natural history museum, so we decided to check it out, and brought our usual camera companions along!

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All that symmetry is rather dizzying…
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The skeleton of a manatee…
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Sandra, inquisitive as ever, checking our tree bark with a microscope!
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Smelly, smelly! The corpse flower derives its name from the foul stench of a decomposing corpse, which it emits when it blooms! It is also one of the tallest flower in the world.
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When someone is captured in the dark standing behind shelves of preserved fauna in glass jars… creepy!
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Meet the sauropods! Believe it or not, they have names: Twinky, Apollonia and Prince. Hmm.
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A rock from outer space!
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An ominous-looking pterodactyl hanging from the ‘sky’…
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The magnificent sauropods are more than 80% complete, which is a rarity for fossil finds! They were all found in the USA.
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The museum was really spacious, and we had gone during a public holiday, so it was not busy!
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The Japanese spider crab, whose leg span is the longest in the world!
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Damian pointing to his crew of turtles and tortoises; we spotted some live ones at the recently closed Underwater World at Sentosa!

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This skeleton was preserved after a sperm whale had been found dead off the shores of Singapore last year; the glowing orange part of the tail depicts a grievous wound it had suffered.

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… WOAH! So life-like!
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We saw a beautiful old medium format camera with exquisite bellows!
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Two happy folks enjoying a short but enlightening trip!

Our instant film companion was our Lomo’Instant Wide, which presented a challenge in the dark environment of the museum. Here are some of our attempts at capturing the fascinating creatures on display:

This museum visit was certainly more unique than the other museums we had visited. So far, we had visited art and history museums, but to be able to learn more about the biodiversity in Singapore and around the world was refreshing and educating for us city-dwellers! We definitely recommend visiting this place if you have the time (although it is not free)!

Till next time,

Damianwithsandra

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