[News]: New Section for American Museum of Natural History

tonmo

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#1
Opening today in New York's American Museum of Natural History is the $25 million Irma and Paul Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life -- it includes a diorama of a sperm whale eating a giant squid, and a 65-million year old ammonite fossil. If you're close to New York, go check it out and let us know what you see!

Into the deep: Museum of Natural History submerges visitors in a virtual ocean
 

WhiteKiboko

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#2
interesting timing, a few hours ago i saw something on i think cnn about the various modifications done to the whale (nose job, redone eyes/blowhole, and belly button addition) after seeing that, i might actually consider a trip to gotham as a possibility....

gee that last sentence wasnt vague....
 

Clem

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#4
I always liked the fact that museum-goers had to look hard to see the squid vs. whale action. You'd see people standing in front of the diorama, noses pressed to the glass, muttering "What? Where is it? I can't see anything." Then, after a minute or so, you'd hear the screams.

Now that the Marine Hall is open again, I hope the AMNH will resume one of New York's sweeter traditions: sleep-overs for elementary schools. Kids and their chaperones would unroll sleeping bags on the main floor of the Hall, and sleep beneath the floating whale. Quite a few marine biologists were born that way, I'd imagine.

Come to think of it, that would be a damn fine base camp for TONMOCON...

:roll:

Clem
 

Melissa

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#5
I wish I'd been invited to that sleepover when I was a kid! And I thought From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was fiction! The adult equivalent for a short time included drinks and music under the whale on Friday evenings.

I'll try to send a report from the new exhibition at the end of this week. This part of the museum was one of my favorite places as a child, only recently eclipsed by the Hall of Evolution. The Hall of Evolution has lovely depictions of many-armed and tentacled creatures.

Melissa
 

tonmo

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#7
Hey Melissa, stevesfish, did either of you make your way over there?
 

Melissa

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#9
Funny you should ask, Tony. I was there yesterday.

The dioramas are unchanged but spruced up, with video screens the size of the dioramas above them. The screens are so large that they are best seen from across the room. The whale is awesome, in the most literal sense of the word.

My favorite new exhibition is a display of models of various sea life, from microscopic creatures to corals and jellies and "filthy vertebrates" with a complement of well-thought out interactive screens. The screens display information relelvant to the model of your choice, and get fairly detailed, from size to related creatures and more about habitat and feeding.

The ceiling is really well done. It's now blue and white, changing as the surface of water would change, and sets a lovely mood. You can rent the room for parties of 1200 or more, so TONMOcon may have to share the space with schoolgroups.

Here are three photos.

Squid v. whale is the spooky diorama of the sperm whale and Architeuthis. Children's shrieks upon figuring it out periodically made me jump all morning. It's much darker and spookier in person.

Octodiorama has some visible octos and the reflection of the new ceiling. The blue light from above is delightful, but makes humans look ghastly.

You get to the hall of marine life through the hall of biodiversity. I haven't spent enough time in that room to understand how it's organized. It feels rather random, as the flamingos surreally fly past the squid and octo.
 

Clem

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#10
Melissa said:
Squid v. whale is the spooky diorama of the sperm whale and Architeuthis. Children's shrieks upon figuring it out periodically made me jump all morning.
Heh heh heh.

Looks like the squid vs. whale diorama has been re-worked. If I remember it correctly, the squid's color was a solid red, and the whale's head bore many fewer scars. (Although this whale is chomping Architeuthis, the scars look more like those left by Mesonychoteuthis, don't they?)

Terrific pictures, Melissa.

:notworth:

Clem
 

nanoteuthis

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#11
Great stuff, Melissa! It's been a while since I've visited AMNH, though we used to do so frequently. (The Big Calamari and I were longtime members, though I'm not sure whether he renewed this year.) In fact, several years ago -- after I'd been corresponding with Richard Ellis via e-mail for a few months -- we finally met him in person at an AMNH book signing (for MONSTERS OF THE SEA) following his lecture there on real and mythical "sea monsters". He was quite gracious, and later even autographed a copy of his kids' book PHYSTY for my son (who was a wee squidling at the time).

Any TONMOer planning a trip to the Museum, feel free to send me a private message and -- schedules permitting -- perhaps we can arrange to meet there for the day. And speaking of meetings, on Monday I will be temporarily morphing into my biped form to meet Melissa at the NY (Coney Island) Aquarium -- which I suppose would qualify as "Mini-TONMOcon NY #1"! For those of you who don't believe there is intelligent life in Brooklyn, here are a couple of NYA sites which demonstrate otherwise -- the second of which even features a cute Brooklynese Octo-toon:

http://www.nyaquarium.com/

http://www.wynn.com/bol/aquarium/index.html
(Alright, so we can't spell "dolphin", "cyclone", or "community". That don't prove nuttin' nohow, and what's it to ya, anyways? If youse don't like it, fuhgeddaboudit!)

"Big Mamma" Taningia Squidprano
 

Melissa

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#12
Tani,

Warning, too little ceph content below.

I was stunned when I read the commentary next to the polar bear diorama (eating a ribbon seal) because it said that in dire instances, polar bears have been known to take down caribou, reasonable in its way, and BELUGA WHALES. :shock: Is this why there are no polar bears at the aquarium?

I have visions of an icy wrestling match between polar bear and giant squid! Visiting the Central Park Zoo may spawn nightmares!

:tentacle: :meso: :tentacle:

Melissa
 

nanoteuthis

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#13
Melissa said:
Is this why there are no polar bears at the aquarium?

I have visions of an icy wrestling match between polar bear and giant squid! Visiting the Central Park Zoo may spawn nightmares!
Hmm.... the only Polar Bears I know of in Brooklyn are flabby, hairless bipeds who congregate on the beach every New Year's Day and simultaneously morph into jackasses, after which they plunge into the icy water for the entertainment of other bipeds (known as "news photographers"). I don't know if any of these Polar Bears have tangled with Archis, but from the looks of them they appear to have gone several rounds with fried calamari -- not to mention hamburgers, pizza, knockwurst, french fries, egg foo young, chocolate fudge brownies, and beer -- and won.

Besides, a Beluga Whale wouldn't have any more of a chance against those guys than it would with real Polar Bears....

:lol:
 

Clem

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#15
Melissa said:
I was stunned when I read the commentary next to the polar bear diorama (eating a ribbon seal) because it said that in dire instances, polar bears have been known to take down caribou, reasonable in its way, and BELUGA WHALES. :shock:
Melissa,

Real bears eat nuclear attack submarines.

The image attached below was captured through the periscope of the U.S.S. Connecticut, in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

During a recent survey of Arctic ice-thickness, the boat surfaced from beneath the ice, and a local bear promptly went after the dorsal tail-fin.

:heee:

Clem
 

WhiteKiboko

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#16
the bear certainly is brave if it thinks it can take on a Seawolf Sub....afterall everyone knows it takes at least a large squid to attack a sub....


:cthulhu: :heart: :beer:
 

nanoteuthis

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#20
Melissa said:
Can't you just picture the bear with his tongue stuck to the metal sub!

Melissa
.... and a bunch of puffins gathered around, pointing their wings at him and laughing hysterically. Caption: "Hey, Nanook, betcha that's the last time you take up a dare from a harp seal!" :roflmao:

(Ah, where is Gary Larson now that we need him?)
 

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