Wednesday, November 19, 2014

We survived another trip. I like giant sea scorpions. And mummies!

We made it out for another trip to the Royal Ontario Museum. Nat and I just read about the rise of the New Kingdom of Egypt so I wanted to try and get back to the Egyptian area. We did, and there was only minor complaining. And Geoff came, too!
Frosty morning

Waiting for us to finish the coat check.
 Thomas wanted to know what those big stone things were, so were detoured briefly through the Chinese wing. Geoff says it wasn't ancient China, because the tomb on display was constructed about 1650, but whatever. We read a Chinese fairytale about the zodiac yesterday, and I kept trying to pull it in.

Tomb of a Chinese general

 And then we hauled them all up to Ancient Egypt, where there were lots of volunteers hanging around. One of them asked if we'd like to see their oldest mummy, who is probably a woman, a commoner, buried about six thousand years ago. Not embalmed, and we can tell she's female because she wasn't buried with weapons.

Recreation of a Roman coin hoard, probably buried around AD 70
To get to Egypt you have to pass through Ancient Rome. We didn't really look, because Nat has a Doctor Who driven fear of statues. Next time. Next time maybe we can see Byzantium, too.

Elizabeth and butterflies
And then on to Natural History, where we spend the most time, because it has the children's play area and the most hand-on stuff. Plus more volunteers, who explained the difference between body, wing, and tail feathers, and how birds have hollow bones.

Miriam visits the bees
There's a built-in beehive, with a tube for the bees to enter and exit. They're all sort of hibernating, but we still got to see the,, and Nat found the queen bee.

Matching noises to woodland animals

All the children drawing

 Miriam and her friends the little dinosaurs.
After the kids' section, we had lunch in the cafeteria, and then returned upstairs for a quick run through the dinosaurs and ice age mammals. I didn't take pictures of the giant ground sloth, even though he's my favourite. I have lots of pics of him.

The giant sea scorpion
I'm really grateful that the giant sea scorpions died out hundreds of millions of years ago. We learned about them from a BBC show, Walking with Monsters. It said that they were the first large creatures with real eyes. Six feet long, and the top predators.

Another top predator. Hi, Rexie!

Dunno this one, but similar to a triceratops

The above is a theropod, one of the type of dinosaurs that eventually evolved into birds. It's a model, of course. A really neat-looking model. 

All in all a very satisfying trip, even though we couldn't have pho. There used to be a wonderful cheap Vietnamese restaurant facing the museum, and it was bulldozed to make some of the endless condo buildings going up all over Toronto. Still, the cafeteria isn't bad, and we had a wonderful time, with disturbingly angelic children. I love that we have such an amazing resource only half an hour away from home.


Jenny said...

I am so jealous of places that have coat checks.

lissla lissar said...

I guess Tennessee doesn't need them? In Canada now we're all wearing coats and hats and mittens. I may have been nearly shrieking at people trying to get them dressed and ready to go out. I miss summer, when all you need is sandals.

Jenny said...

We could definitely use them in the winter. Regular winter temps are in the 30s (-1C to 4C) so it isn't like we don't need coats, but I have never been anywhere with a coat check in my entire life. Cultural thing, I guess.

lissla lissar said...

Like taking off your shoes when you enter a house. Canadians do this automatically. The museum strongly discourages people from carrying bags around- you're required to check them, for security reasons. So a bag and coat check is necessary.