The National Museum of Australia is exploring new territory, staking a claim in the blogosphere. It is a mission echoing its new blog’s focus – an expedition into the desert to find – amongst other things – fossils of the large marsupial lion, Thylacoleo.
Into the desert contains regular audio reports by desert archaeologist Dr Mike Smith, sent back to the Museum via satellite phone. As well as hearing about the party’s progress – including how the camels are going! – you can visually trace the path of the party via a dynamic expedition map.
I knew there used to be BIG things out there in South Australia. I had a charming paleontologist uncle who once gave my sister some little pieces of dinosaur egg. But I’d never heard of this big marsupial lion. And one thing that does not appear on the blog is a picture of the prized object of the search. So here’s a great drawing that appeared in a book published by the Australian Museum on prehistoric animals in Australia:
It was drawn by Peter Schouten, but appears here via a website on Thylacoleo.
It is good to see the Museum out there like this. I imagine there will be many followers of the mission via the blog. Pity there seems no scope for in-blog discussion. That would have been good to see, too.