Here are the Nian? Prehistoric behemoths found in Kinmen? The first large-scale natural science exhibition to be organized for the offshore islands will be hosted in the 1F exhibition space at the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Kinmen County from January 12 to February 24, 2019.
According to the National Taiwan Museum (NTM), legends say that a long time ago there was a ferocious monster called the “Nian” with the head of a lion and the body of an ox. The Nian spends its time sleeping in the deep mountains, only emerging during the New Year to look for food. People would set off firecrackers, bang drums and gongs, and put up pieces of red paper to scare it away from crops and livestock. Was the Nian really that terrible?
The NTM said that most fear came from a lack of understanding. A better understanding of the natural environment and animal behaviors may help to preserve the bio-diversity of planet Earth.
To support the “Accessibility, Equity and Specialization (友善平權特色化)” program that forms part of the Ministry of Culture’s “Cultural Equity” policy, the NTM worked with the Kinmen County Government to organize the “Prehistoric Behemoths - Exhibition of Ancient Creatures”. The exhibition of prehistoric animal fossils or their replicas introduces the history and ecology of Earth as well as how it has evolved over time. The residents of offshore islands can not only learn about how the effects of human activity on animals and ecology, but also take this rare opportunity to get up close and personal with these prehistoric behemoths.
The NTM said it is the oldest museum in Taiwan and has an extensive natural science collection. In addition to hosting a variety of exhibitions within the museum in recent years, parts of the museum collection have also been used to develop traveling exhibitions for touring Taiwan and overseas. In this way, more people can learn about the natural history of Earth and Taiwan. This will be the first exhibition to be held in partnership with Kinmen and represents an important stop in the first large-scale natural science exhibition to be held on the offshore islands. The exhibition will hopefully provide children and residents of offshore islands with professional knowledge and learning resources on dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.
Prehistoric creatures are life forms that lived on Earth around 3.8 billion years ago to approximately 3,500 B.C., when mankind first began keeping written records. Over 99% are now extinct leaving behind only their remains, footprints or other fossils. Dinosaurs, elephants, rhinoceroses, and buffaloes are all large animals that now live or once lived on Earth. Only small numbers of them now remain.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau of Kinmen County said that the exhibition will be hosted in the 1F exhibition space of the Cultural Affairs Bureau building from January 12 to February 24, 2019. The hand-picked display includes models of the Tuojiangosaurus, Velociraptor, Archaeopteryx, Mammoth, Hayasaki’s Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros chinesis hayasaki), Teihard’s Buffalo (Bubalus teilhardi), and Saber-toothed Tiger as well as fossils of dinosaur eggs, Keichousaurus, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau of Kinmen County is located No. 66 Sec. 1 Huandao N. Rd., Jincheng Township, Kinmen County. Opening hours are 09:00 ~ 17:00. All kinds of “Nian” will be staying in Kinmen from January 12 through to February 24, 2019. For more exhibition information, please call 082-325643.