A kid has to know his Plateosaurus

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When I read the following piece of news about a brand new Plateosaurus skeleton that’s more than 200 million years old, I knew our fate had been sealed: we had to pay our obligatory visit to the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels, our third visit so far:

A new dinosaur skeleton is now on view at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels. “Ben the Plateosaurus” was unveiled on Friday in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the museum’s Dinosaur Gallery.

Ben the Plateosaurus was found in Switzerland and is 80% intact, making him an exceptional dinosaur fossil. Because he is in such good condition, he is being exhibited without a glass case.

Plateosaurus is one of the earliest of the large dinosaurs to roam the earth. Previous to this genus, dinosaurs were no more than 1.5 meters long. Ben is some 210 million years old.

Ben is named after the paleontologist who discovered him at a quarry in Frick, Switzerland. The site is known for its excellent preservation of dinosaur bones: More than 30 Plateosaurus skeletons in various stages of completeness have been unearthed there in the last 40 years.

My 6-year-old was as enthusiastic as he’d been in his first visit. We both admired the skeleton and tried to imagine how the Earth looked like when Plateosaurus walked around freely. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones that were into dinosaur discoveries during that last week of December, 2017; the museum was pretty crowded!

I will always cherish those moments, not only because I can spend good time with my kids there, but also because it never fails to provide us human beings with a perspective on matters relating to what “long term” and “extinction” mean.

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Space Expo @ Brussels

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We had a great time at Space Expo in Brussels this weekend. I wish I was a kid again and run from one space artifact and simulator to another for hours (though I’ll never understand his being scared of Space Shuttle landing simulator (I had so much fun 🙂 )). We also considered going to German Aerospace Day at Cologne, but considering the tempo of a 4-year-old, decided to postpone it to his 6th year, that is 2017. But taking into account his enthusiasm, maybe our next stop will be Euro Space Center.

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