Whether its Lesley, the prehistoric turtle, or Jake, the megaraptor – you will bump into a series of stop-motion, animated characters as you explore the beach. But don’t let these characters fool you, each is voiced by a scientist who has studied the site for years. The characters are modelled on each of the scientist’s favourite prehistoric animal that lived along the bass Coast, 125 million years ago. These digital dinosaur hunters will reveal how their work fits into a collaborative effort, to discover, extract and decipher the fossils embedded in rock below. If visitors can’t get to the beach, or if the tide is in, characters can be accessed via a digital map near the Caves carpark, So you can still have an adventure without getting your feet wet!
Jake Kotevski is passionate about megaraptors – carnivors that were bigger than a horse! Jake has discovered megaraptor teeth on the beach, and believes they hunted along river banks at the Caves site, millions of years ago.
Mike Cleeland is a prospector, his job is to find fossils. Mike has a habit of dreaming of the bones he will find, then finding them! His next wish is to find the skull of a theropod.
From William Ferguson’s discovery of Australia’s first dinosaur fossil, nearby at Eagles Nest in 1903, to the hundreds of volunteers with the Dinosaur Dreaming project; fossils continue being discovered today. The challenging nature of this work makes these discoveries even more remarkable. Hours of hard, rock-breaking work may find a worthwhile fossil, but often results in ‘shoulder bone’; the practice of throwing away unwanted fossil fragments. Pocket Palaeontologists provides heartfelt, individual insights into discovering dinosaurs, and how the thrill discovery fuels a dinosaur hunter’s passion and perseverance.
"Speaking with the palaeontologists and other scientists has been a really joyful eye-opening experience and we haven’t even properly begun! Their passion for the discovery of knowledge and their delight at the fossil evidence of extraordinary creatures is so exciting, it will be an honour to capture it for visitors to The Caves. "
Shaped like rocks to echo the landscape, these hands-on installations will include cast fossils that dinosaur hunters discovered at the site.
Augmented reality helps visitor visualise what’s involved in the discovery of fossils. Being a dinosaur hunter is hard, rock-breaking work!
Lesley, Jake and Mike are just the beginning. Overtime, other dinosaur hunters like Pat, Tom, Melissa, Alan, Mike and Doris, will be introduced to provide further insights into fossil discoveries at The Caves. So, stay tuned for more Pocket Palaeontologists!
Lesley Kool was among the first to investigate the fossil potential at The Caves. Lesley’s favourite prehistoric animal is the turtle. These ancient turtles were relatives of the turtles we see today.