Team building and a visit to the Otago Museum – Sam B

Team building exercises 30/07/2013

Today we split into small groups and did team exercises. Firstly we had to set a mouse trap with our eyes open and then with our eyes closed. We had help from the group and set it off by gently placing our hand down on the trap and removing it when there was a click. We then did the same thing with our eyes closed. After this, we made paper airplanes which had to fly across an allocated distance. Some did a nose dive while others flew off course. Only one plane could be entered per group and there were some different variations made! Within our group of four, we split into pairs and had to navigate through a minefield. Different objects were placed on the ground, including a globe, bag and two set mouse traps. Thank goodness no one stood on those! One person was blindfolded and the other had to direct that person from the start to the finish without stepping on any of the objects. If that happened, you had to start again. We then swapped over so we could have a go at both roles.

Otago Museum: Flora and Fauna 02/08/2013

Led by an enthusiastic tour guide named Kim, we viewed various exhibitions involving fish, insects, birds, a seal and a crocodile. First off, we did a master chef styled challenge. We broke off into small groups and had to create an entrée, main course and dessert using food found in New Zealand before Europeans arrived. During this time, the Maori lived on the coastline. This is due to the large amount of forest which covered the land. They would hunt birds and catch fish. They would also eat the base of cabbage trees. Moa were mainly hunted as a food source due to their size. This is because they could feed many. Their bones were also used to make weapons. When the Moa became extinct, so did its predator; the Haast Eagle. It was first thought that there were more species of moa than there actually are. This is because of the variation in size; the male moa is smaller than the female. One of the entrées was whitebait patties held together with moa eggs, while an example of a main course involved blue cod cooked in a hangi. One of the desserts was wedges made from the base of cabbage trees.
We then shifted and saw an exhibited leopard seal and a model of a crocodile. Leopard seals usually live around Antarctica, but one washed up on the Otago coastline. It had a spike in its mouth which had pierced the skin and is also on display. We learned that penguins have ridges on the top and bottom of their mouth to stop fish from slipping and falling out. It is thought that Otago was subtropical millions and millions of years ago. This is because a bone from the jaw of a freshwater crocodile was found near St Bathans.

Leopard Seal  Moa

Picture 1 – Although leopard seals usually live in the waters around Antartica, they occasionally venture north and are sometimes seen resting on Otago Beaches.  This leopard seal dies on Waikouaiti Beach and came to the museum with the support of Kati Huirapa Runaka Ki Puketeraki.

Picture 2 – Moa are the only birds known to have entirely lost their wing bones.  They grazed on plants, from ground level to shrubby bushes and trees.  The South Island giant moa was one of the largest standing over 3m tall and weighing as much as 250kg.

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