The American Museum of Natural History Opens New Exhibit, Sharks

Did you know that sharks have been on planet Earth longer than trees? That’s just one of the mind-blowing facts you will learn at the American Museum of Natural History‘s new exhibition, Sharks, which opens December 15th, 2021.

President of the Museum of Natural History, Ellen V. Futter, explains, “this ancient and highly diverse group of animals is so much more than the popular depictions of them, and this exhibition uses amazing technology and techniques such as touch-free interactives and the museum’s world-renowned model-making to bring sharks up close and personal for visitors of all ages.”

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With more than 540 species of sharks worldwide, ranging from a massive 33 feet long to 5 inches small (in this exhibit at least), these majestic marine animals inhabit almost all of the world’s marine environments. While you may recognize some well-known species like the great white, tiger, and bull sharks, you’re sure to discover less known species like the dwarf lanternshark and ornate wobbegong. Throughout the exhibit, guests can explore the unique characteristics and biology that makes sharks so unique. With the help of fossils, touchless interactive displays, and lifesize models, people can get “hands on” experience without being too handsy.

Sharks, the exhibit, also uses footage from partners at Discovery’s Shark Week to supplement the exhibit, allowing guests to visually immerse themselves among the sharks. While there are games and facts aplenty to discover here, the biggest takeaway showcases not how dangerous sharks are to humans, but how dangerous humans are to sharks. Humans are responsible for hundreds of millions of shark deaths a year, largely contributing to the one third of shark species that are in danger of going extinct. As apex predators, sharks are a vital part of the ocean ecosystem and necessary for a thriving planet Earth. Luckily, conservationists are working hard to educate the public and implement strategies to save our sharks.

 

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