The American Museum of Natural History is one of those places that you have to visit when you are in New York. There is a good chance you will get lost and while you are lost find some of the most amazing things. The butterfly conservatory is amazing and the planetarium lways has something great showing. As all museums do, they get some pretty great traveling exhibits. One of the new exhibits is Whales: Giants of the Deep on tour from New Zealand that I really wanted to see.
Melissa and I have been watching the AMNH’s website and twitter feed for the next TweetUp at the the museum. The TweetUp’s are free and happen after hours, so there are far less people going through and you get snacks and wine after walking through the exhibit during a brief q and a. The requirements are that you have a twitter account, follow @AMNH, some times another sponsor, and tweet during the event. As luck would have it, in April the TweetUp was for the Whales exhibit. Typically the q and a is with the exhibit curators for this there was also two scientist who specialize in whales as well.
The exhibit was pretty awesome. I may be slightly prejudice since I love whales. The exhibit started with the evolution of whales and how the transitioned from land to sea with several skeletons of prehistoric species. The most interesting thing was a chart showing the timeline of the evolution of whales and other mammals including humans.
The next section was about current whales that roam the earth today. There was a video of a sperm whale diving down to catch a giant squid. There was a life size example of a blue whale heart. It is so big you can climb inside. They also have the 58 foot long sperm whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. You can read all about the different type of echolocation different whales use and all the orders and families of whales, which shows you things like killer whales are the largest dolphin.
The last final section was about whaling and the Maori’s relationship with whales. They was a step by step process of how they caught a whale and removed the blubber. Then they had artifacts from the Maori’s including jewelry and weapons made from whales. Their stories and relationship with whales reminds me of the Native American Plains Tribes that followed the buffalo. The final video before you exit is about Whale Riders. It’s all pretty cool and I am so glad I got to go see it!