Lufengosaur from Yunnan makes Hong Kong Science Museum home
The Government of Yunnan Province in June donated the Lufengosaur fossil found in Lufeng, Yunnan Province in June 2007 to mark the first major cultural exchange activity under an “Agreement on Closer Cultural Partnership Arrangement” signed in April between the Home Affairs Bureau and the People’s Government of Yunnan Province.
This 180 million-year-old Lufengosaur fossil is now on display in the lobby of the Hong Kong Science Museum for free viewing from tomorrow (October 24) to April 29, 2009. The fossil will then be relocated to the Life Sciences Hall of the museum for permanent display.
The “Treasure from Chuxiong – Lufengosaur” exhibition and “Colourful Yunnan – Enchanting Chuxiong Prefecture in Hong Kong” activities was officially opened today (October 23) by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mr Donald Tsang. Other officiating guests were the Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, Mr Li Gang, the Vice-Governor of the People’s Government of Yunnan Province, Mr Liu Ping, the Secretary of the CPC Yunnan Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefectural Committee, Mr Deng Xianpei, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Tsang said: “Lufengosaurus are among the oldest dinosaurs found. They are the first species of dinosaurs excavated, conserved, studied and mounted in China, thus giving them particular importance in both scientific and historical aspects. It is noteworthy that after the careful selection by the Yunnan Government the Lufengosaurus fossil donated to us is the best conserved. This is also the first time that a Lufengosaurus fossil has been given as a gift to a jurisdiction outside the Mainland. For all these, we are extremely grateful for Yunnan Province’s kindness and the motherland’s care about and support for Hong Kong.”
He added that the exhibition of Lufengosaurus fossil in the Hong Kong Science Museum would arouse the interest of Hong Kong citizens, especially the young people, in the study of paleontology, who could make contributions to scientific research in China.
The first dinosaur fossil skeleton in China was unearthed in Lufeng by palaeontologist Yang Zhongjian in 1938. To extend his gratitude to his German Professor F von Huene for the latter’s assistance in the course of the excavation and research, Yang named this dinosaur species Lufengosaurus huenei at the completion of the mounting. Since then, the Lufengosaur has been known worldwide as the Chinese dinosaur, while Yang is known as the “Father of Dinosaur Research in China”.
Lufengosaur was a prosauropod that lived in the Early Jurassic period about 180 million years ago. It had a small head, a long neck and short forelimbs. The strong hind legs enabled it to stand upright and walk. The large tail helped to balance the body when running. The dinosaur was herbivorous and had small, flat teeth with coarse serration that facilitated shredding plants. Its sharp claws might be used to rake foliage from trees or for defence.
Lufeng is an inland basin located in the Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan and is famed as the“Homeland of the Dinosaurs”. It is renowned for its great diversity of dinosaur fossils that span across several geological periods. The burial sites are concentrated and contain well-preserved fossil specimens.
The dinosaur presented to Hong Kong is a Lufengosaurus magnus unearthed in Lufeng in June 2007. Measuring 7.8 metres long and 2.2 metres tall, the fossil skeleton is preserved in excellent condition with bones of the lower extremities fused in a natural posture. With the exception of the skull and parts of the tailbone which are replicas, the skeleton is almost entirely made up of more than 300 pieces of genuine bone.
The Science Museum is located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. It is open from 1pm to 9pm from Monday to Friday and from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays).
For enquiries or further information, please call 2732 3232 or visit the Science Museum's website at http://hk.science.museum.
To tie in with the exhibition on Lufengosaur and the cultural programme,“Colourful Yunnan – Enchanting Chuxiong Prefecture in Hong Kong”initiated by Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, an exhibition entitled“Cultural Relics of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture”will be held at the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre.
The exhibition covers the themes of Yuanmou Man, Bronze Culture, and Yi Culture. Through the display of about 30 selected exhibits including the replicas of the incisors and stone tools used by the Yuanmou Man, the replicas of the earliest and most primitive bronze drums, the costumes and the ritual objects of the Yi-ethnic group selected from the Museum of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, visitors would learn more about the history and culture of the Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture.
The earliest Homo erectus (“upright man”) found in China is the Yuanmou Man of 1.7 million years ago. He made the first page of China’s history. Unearthed from the tombs at Wanjiaba, Chuxiong city, the bronze drums and bells dated about 770 to 221BC bear witness to a flourishing bronze culture in China and the world. The Yi is the most populous ethnic group in Yunnan province, who boast a legacy of ancient scripts, the mysterious culture of the Bimo (diviner) and rich ethnic costumes.
The exhibition is jointly presented by the People’s Government of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and is organised by the Museum of History, Antiquities and Monuments Office, and Museum of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture. It will stage from October 24 to November 3 at the Museum of History, and from November 8 to 30 at the Heritage Discovery Centre. Admission is free to the exhibition.
The Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays except public holidays. The Heritage Discovery Centre is located at Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. The centre is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays).
For details, please visit the Museum of History’s website at http://hk.history.museum or call 2724 9042.
Ends/Thursday, October 23, 2008
The fossil skeleton of Lufengosaurus magnus on display at the Hong Kong Science Museum.
The fossil skeleton of Lufengosaurus magnus on display at the Hong Kong Science Museum.
A bronze drum of Wanjiaba (replica) of late Spring and Autumn period (770 -476 BC). The original artefact was excavated at Wanjiaba, Chuxiong city, Yunnan province. The bronze drums of Wanjiaba are the earliest and most primitive bronze drums ever discovered. The body of the drum is divided into three sections. The head is small but protrudes from the main body, the diameter of which is greater than its length. The drum is decorated with simple patterns with a relief sun motif on the surface. The base is slightly damaged.
The maxillary central incisor of Homo erectus yuanmouensis (replica). On May 1, 1965, members of the Geological Mechanics Research Institute under the Ministry of Geology of China discovered two fossilised incisors when they were carrying out geological research in the Yuanmou Basin. The two fossils were the maxillary inner incisors from either side of the jaw of an adult male after verification. Named Homo erectus yuanmouensis, this adult male has become known simply as Yuanmou Man. Yuanmou Man is the earliest ancient hominid discovered in Asia.
The chime bells (replica) of late Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC). The original artefacts were excavated at Wanjiaba, Chuxiong city, Yunnan province. The six bells in a set are of the same form but in different sizes. They feature a different shape from bells found in the Central Plains. Smaller at the top and bigger at the bottom, they feature an oval shaped cross-section. On the top is a pair of horn shaped knobs, while a rectangular aperture can be seen on the side towards the bottom. The bells are plain on the surface, with mould lines on both sides.
Some women's clothing of the Gesu branch of the Yi ethnic group. This set of Yi ethnic clothing for women was made and used in the 1990s. The hat is butterfly-shaped, embroidered on the side with symmetrical flower patterns and trimmed with red wool thread. The blouse is pink, has a round collar and a large left-over-right overlap. The shoulder pads and the collar are made of blue cloth featuring two strips of silk-thread embroidery in a pattern of alternating red and pink Maying flowers with large petals. They are laced and trimmed with green thread tassels. The cuffs are embroidered with two strips of Maying flowers patterns. The waistband is embroidered with Maying flowers and a four-petal pattern. The loose-cut trousers are made of vermillion red cloth. The silver accessories include a pair of silver screens, a silver band and more than 100 silver sequins.
The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang (fourth left), officiates with Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Tsang Tak-sing (fourth right) and Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Mr Thomas Chow (right), at the opening ceremony of the “Treasure from Chuxiong - Lufengosaur” exhibition and “Colourful Yunnan – Enchanting Chuxiong Prefecture in Hong Kong” activities at the Hong Kong Science Museum.