Journalists at the Kazan City Press Center received an opportunity to learn about the interactive platforms of the Tatarstan Museum of Natural History. Museum experts showed them how the extinct saber-toothed cat can be brought back to life; journalists were also offered a chance to take a selfie with a mammoth calf.
Alsu Safina, chief expert at the Kazan Kremlin museum and reserve and employee at the Tatarstan Museum of Natural History, said that the museum now has two interactive platforms: the Ice Age and the Prehistoric Aquarium. Alsu brought a laptop with a web camera to display the 3D technology the museum uses.
Holding up to the web camera postcards with a baby mammoth, a spotted saber-toothed cat and a prehistoric rabbit Alsu rotated them and the animals began to move on the computer screen.
She said that in the museum, large areas are devoted to the augmented reality technology; and are called the portals to the past. Visitors can walk around glacial lands as well as take photos with prehistoric animals.
"The animals behave differently. The tiger can lie down and you can pet it. The rabbit can scratch its head or will sniff your bag in search of food. The baby mammoth sits next to you, greets you and reaches out to you with its trunk," Safina said.
There are only three inhabitants in the Ice Age. Journalists were especially interested in an unusually large rabbit.
"They inhabited Spain. They were large and corpulent. Its Latin name is Nuralagus Rex," Safina explained.
The museum experts do not control the animals, leaving this task to software. The museum also has skeletons of prehistoric animals, but the live Ice Age fauna seems more interesting. According to Safina, the museum also plans to include a bear to their Ice Age menagerie.
"We have an entire bear skeleton and people will be able to compare it to the live image of the bear. Bears are also known and loved by both adults and children," Safina says.
The second interactive installation, the Prehistoric Aquarium, allows visitors to see the prehistoric shark-like fish and the placoderm fish Dunkleosteus using special plates with the names of the underwater fauna. You can also feed them to each other.
"Children love to stage fights between the fish. They believe a shark will eat a shark, but they are mistaken. Our fish are smart," Safina says.
In conclusion, she showed journalists an interactive magnet with a dinosaur that can be brought to life using a free app.