Currently, I am in Brussels. Yeah, in Belgium. Eric Snively and I are taking a nice trip to a bunch of great places, and Brussels is our first stop. We arrived yesterday in a nice little rental car, an Audi A3 – great fun to drive, but why oh why does the navigation only have a map for Germany? And why is the CD drive blocked?
Anyways, we made it here safely, found our hotel, and zonked out in preparation for a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong day today: some sightseeing on the way to the shops, where we wanted (and did) stock up on chocolate, then on to the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences museum. I’ve been there before in 2009, giving a talk at a conference titled European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists Extraordinary Meeting “Tribute to Charles Darwin and Bernissart Iguanodons: New perspectives on Vertebrate Evolution and Early Cretaceous Ecosystems”.
Phew – even for a conference, that’s quite impressively long! You can find the circulars and the abstracts volume here. My talk was on sauropod rearing, that’s all now in the nice sauropod research group’s book.
Anyways, Brussels: the town is nice, and I’ll show a few pictures later. Last time I didn’t bring a camera, today I took 1919 pictures in the museum alone. I am NOT kidding! I brought four 4GB CF cards and six batteries for the camera for a reason! Obviously I can’t post them all, but here’s a teaser.
and, because that exhibit is just soooo cool, another one.
Aside from a huge number of Iguanodons, nine alone mounted in a huge “glass cage” to protect them from decay and a bunch below in position as found, the museum has all the classic stuff to offer: galleries full of minerals, stuffed mammals and birds, molluscs and insects, a gallery focusing on evolution and – uncanny resemblance to a currently-up special exhibit in the MfN Berlin – a special exhibit titles Biodivercity, highlighting biodiversity in urban environments (I didn’t go in, I was busy taking pics).
Aside from a ton of Iguanodon pictures, of which I will tell you more at a later date, I also took tons of pics of the mounted casts of dinosaurs they have, including a mount of Stan the Tyrannosaurus rex, a Maiasaura peeblesorum, a Stegosaurus sp. (a composite, too), a Diplodocus sp., and so on. I’ll blog them all in due course, here’s just one more picture for today. I started playing with HDR, and luckily I managed to shoot a few hand-held exposures of the Rex mount that aligned well. Here’s an image created from that little experiment.
compare to a simple greyscale version of a well-lit single image – and remember, I am a total noob at this, so things should get much better once I know what I am doing.