Sharks Exhibition Coming to AMNH

By 9/28/2021 01:59:00 PM ,

Sharks, a new exhibition opening at the American Museum of Natural History this winter, will bring to life the incredible diversity of this ancient group of fishes.

photo credit: ©AMNH

The exhibit will also offer visitors a unique look at pre-historic and modern shark species, their habitats and hunting styles, and the conservation threats these magnificent animals are facing today.

Today, there are more than 500 species of sharks and more than 650 species of their close relatives—rays, skates, and chimaeras—inhabiting nearly all of the world’s aquatic environments, from coral reefs to the polar seas, and even freshwater rivers.

While the terrifying monster from the movie Jaws is what many might imagine when they think of sharks, today’s scientists are uncovering many surprising facts about this diverse group.

  • Convinced that all sharks are carnivores? (Fact: Recent research shows that bonnethead sharks eat seagrass and can digest plants).
  • Where do great white sharks give birth to their young? (Fact: By tracking females, scientists recently discovered a great white shark nursery off the coast of Long Island, New York).
  • Can shark tourism be more profitable than shark fishing? (Fact: where fishing and ecotourism are regulated, tourism can support shark communities for generations. In fact, a single whale shark has been shown to bring thousands of more dollars as a beacon for tourism than could be earned by killing it).
Sharks addresses these exciting questions and reveals more secrets of the ocean’s top predators through life-sized models, touch-free interactives, real fossils, and more.

The exhibition will showcase fossils from the Museum’s extensive collections, current Museum research, and a spectacular “parade” of sharks highlighting the diversity of ancient and modern shark species through 30 lifelike models that range from 33 feet to 5 inches long, including the prehistoric megapredator megalodon, the “Tyrannosaurus rex of the seas,” which was so large it preyed on whales.

Other exhibition highlights include an interactive that challenges visitors to hunt like a hammerhead and touch-free media that reveals distinctive shark traits with the wave of a hand.

Sharks also delves into the serious conservation issues facing sharks today, including overfishing and habitat destruction, demonstrating that while these amazing animals pose few threats to people, we represent a serious danger to them.

Sharks will open to the public on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

Museum Members will be able to preview the exhibition from Friday, December 10, through Sunday, December 12.

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