600 Million Years
- Information for your visit
The origin of life in Victoria told through fossils, models, animatronics and animations.
Starting with the explosion of life in the sea, you'll see how life went multicellular. On show are evolutionary dead ends – extraordinary body forms that have no living ancestors today – and early forms of ancient groups like crinoids, bryozoans and cephalopods. Follow the evolution of life as it moved from sea to land, and diversified into the mammals, reptiles, birds and plants we know today.
For this exhibition, our skilled museum preparators and palaeontologists created models of extinct life that are scientifically accurate works of art. Animated reconstructions show how these animals moved, ate and battled to survive. You can say hello to an animatronic Qantassaurus, a small dinosaur that lived in Victoria some 120 million years ago. There are things to touch too: the teeth of a giant shark, the skeleton of Archaeopteryx, and a sea floor that ended up high in the Grampians.
You can learn about the geological processes that moved landmasses, built mountains and transformed rocks. Rocks and fossils show how the climate of Victoria has changed, from glacial to tropical and everything between, and the effects of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65.5 million years ago. Fossils and specimens from the museum's collections, including irreplaceable skulls of giant megafauna, early whales and marsupials long-gone from Australia's mainland. Imagine a time when whales were small and penguins were gigantic!
In 600 Million Years, you'll grapple with massive spans of time and the profound transformations that made Victoria the place it is today.