JURASSIC GARDEN: Attack of the Augmented Reality App

Families visiting Sydney’s iconic botanic gardens can journey back through time and experience Australian dinosaurs and megafauna come to life through a child-friendly augmented reality App, Jurassic Garden.

Download the App and take photos with huge augmented reality Australian dinosaurs and megafauna across the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.
At the Royal Botanic Garden you can encounter the Muttaburrasaurus, eating the Wollemi Pine, known as the ‘dinosaur tree’. The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden and Australian Botanic Garden will feature all six creatures matched to plants including:

Minmi paravertebral, eating soft tree ferns
Procoptodon goliah, located within Sclerophyll forest
Muttaburrasaurus, eating the Wollemi Pine
Diprotodon optatum, eating Saltbush
Australovenator, amongst cycads
Pteranodon, with Coccolithophore (seaweed).

Collectible cards (available for $6 for a set of six) will further engage children, encouraging them to visit all three gardens in order learn about the dinosaurs and their plant food sources and habitat.

“Dinosaurs are a monumental hit with youngsters. The Jurassic Age in general fires their imaginations and helps them develop a deeper curiosity for the world of science,” Dr Greg Bourke, Curator of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah said.

“The Jurassic Garden app has been in development at the Gardens for well over a year, where it has been trialled and tested with great results. Certain species of plants even had to planted as dinosaur food, to make the connection possible. Now the Jurassic Garden is being rolled out across the Botanic Gardens sites to highlight the plants that once served as a food source or habitat for these ancient creatures,” Bourke said.

How it works:

• Download the free Jurassic Garden App at Google Play or Mac App Store
• Head to your local botanic garden
• Pick up a map from the Visitor Information Centre
• Follow the signs to the Dinosaur
• Scan the marker /AR code with your smart device camera to make the dinosaur appear
• Take a snap and share on social media #jurassicgarden

This initiative is made possible thanks to Inspiring Australia

About the Jurassic Age:
The Jurassic was a geologic period and system that spanned for 56 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 Mya.

The Jurassic constituted the middle period of the Mesozoic Era, also known as the Age of Reptiles.

About Augmented reality:
Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

Augmented reality enhances one’s current perception of reality, whereas in contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one. 

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney featured creature is just next to the garden gift shop and restaurant:

FOOD SOURCE: Wollemia nobilis 
Common name: Wollemi Pine or ‘dinosaur tree’.

Family: Araucariaceae.

Relatives: Kauri, Norfolk Island, Hoop, Bunya and Monkey Puzzle pines.

Age: The Wollemi Pine belongs to the Araucariaceae family which reached maximum diversity and distribution during the Jurassic and Cretaceous time periods.

Oldest known fossil: 90 million years.

Wild population: Less than 100 mature trees.

Characteristics: Conifer with unusual dark green foliage, and bubbly bark that looks like chocolate. It can sprout multiple trunks from its base (coppicing) which provides vital defence in withstanding damage from fire.
The Wollemi Pine was known only from fossils until 1994 when David Noble discovered the trees in a canyon of the Blue Mountains.

Size: The largest wild Wollemi Pine is 40m tall with a main trunk of 63cm in width.

DINOSAUR: Muttaburrasaurus langdoni 
Hadrosaur (duck-billed) dinosaur

Characteristics: Muttaburrasaurus was a large ornithopod (bird-hipped dinosaurs) that had an unusual, rounded bony snout with a hollow internal chamber. This may have enhanced the volume of its calls or its sense of smell. 

Size: 7m long and 2.5m tall.

Fossil evidence: 110 MA.

Diet: Plants. There is no direct fossil evidence for the diet of Muttaburrasaurus although it probably included ferns, cycads, club-mosses and conifers.

Habitat: Araucarian conifer forests near the edge of the inland Eromanga Sea that covered vast areas of central Australia 110 million years ago.