AMNH Exhibit Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World

The new exhibition "Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World" at the American Museum of Natural History features live species of crocs as well as fossils, life-sized models, and interactive stations.

Crocs Ancient Predators in a Modern World Exhibit American Museum of Natural History

photo credit: © AMNH/C. Chesek

Note: I was invited as media to this event. However any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Crocs Ancient Predators in a Modern World Exhibit American Museum of Natural History

During a media preview, I had a first look at the exhibition and was amazed. There's SO much to learn about modern crocodilians, a group that including crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials.

Crocs Ancient Predators in a Modern World Exhibit American Museum of Natural History

To learn more about the Crocs exhibition, I listen to a panel of "Croc" experts including
  • Mark A. Norell, Chair and Macaulay Curator, Division of Paleontology
  • Evon Hekkala, Research Associate, Department of Herpetology, American Museum of Natural History; and Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Fordham University
  • George Amato, Director, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics

Crocs Ancient Predators in a Modern World Exhibit American Museum of Natural History

The panel shared about
  • The evolutionary history; crocodilians ancient relatives included galloping land predators, jumping insect-eaters, pug-nosed herbivores, and dolphin-like animals that hunted in the open sea.
  • How the exhibition also covers how researchers are studying crocs in ways that may benefit humans including fighting antibiotic-resistant infections, tooth renewal, and blood substitutes.
  • How crocodilians also lead intricate social lives, communicating with a range of sounds and subtle changes in body posture; battling over territories; engaging in lengthy courtship rituals; and providing their young with parental care.




After listening to the panel, I toured the Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World" exhibit. Here are a few things you can look forward to:

Crocs Ancient Predators in a Modern World Exhibit American Museum of Natural History

photo credit: © AMNH/R. Mickens

Live crocodiles visitors will encounter in this exhibition are
  • The Siamese crocodile Among the most endangered crocodilian species; 
  • The American alligator Females of this species are serious about motherhood, standing guard for two months until their babies hatch, then taking care of them for months or even years
  • An African dwarf crocodile These crocs, unlike most crocodilians, do most of their hunting on land, prowling the forest at night, far from water.
  • An African slender-snouted crocodile These highly aquatic crocs live in rivers and coastal waters surrounded by dense vegetation, often basking on logs overhanging water and leaping into the pool at the first sign of danger. Little is known about these secretive crocodiles in the wild.

Crocs Ancient Predators in a Modern World Exhibit American Museum of Natural History
Crocs Ancient Predators in a Modern World Exhibit American Museum of Natural Historyg

photo credit: © AMNH/C. Chesek

The exhibition will also include life-sized dioramas featuring models of the Australian freshwater crocodile, Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, Indian gharial, and Estuarine (saltwater) crocodile.

Crocs Ancient Predators in a Modern World Exhibit American Museum of Natural History
Crocs Ancient Predators in a Modern World Exhibit American Museum of Natural History

photo credit: © AMNH/C. Chesek

Visitors will also be able to
  • Test their strength against a croc in an interactive station.
  • Learn how to speak “croc“.
  • Get up close to a model of Gomek, the largest crocodile ever exhibited in the Western. Hemisphere after he was caught on the Fly River of Papua New Guinea in the 1960s.
  • Test their crocodilian IQ with fun facts and croc trivia.
Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World, created by Peeling Productions at Clyde Peeling’s REPTILAND, opened on May 28, 2016, and will close on January 2, 2017.

For more information about AMNH exhibits, call 212-769-5100 or visit www.amnh.org

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