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American Museum of Natural History
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Media Inquiries:  Aubrey Gaby Miller, Department of Communications
April 2015




PLEASE NOTE: All information provided below is subject to change; please confirm with the 

Department of Communications, 212-769-5800 or communications@amnh.org.


Life at the Limits: Stories of Amazing Species
April 4, 2015–January 3, 2016

Imagine holding your breath for an hour and a half. Enduring temperatures above 300° F and below -458° F. Or seeming to cheat death by repeatedly cloning yourself. Life at the Limits: Stories of Amazing Species explores the diverse and sometimes jaw-dropping strategies animals and plants employ to find food, fend off predators, reproduce, and thrive in habitats most would find inhospitable, even lethal. The exhibition, overseen by Curator Mark Siddall, a parasitologist, and Curator John Sparks, an ichthyologist, introduces visitors to bizarre mating calls, extreme examples of parasitism, and other extraordinary means of survival, using specimens, videos, interactive exhibits, and models, including a climbable Hercules beetle. Live animals on display include the surprisingly powerful mantis shrimp; the highly mobile nautilus; and the axolotl, an entirely aquatic salamander that breathes through external gills. Life at the Limits tells the stories of these and many more creatures across the tree of life—and their unusual approaches to the challenges of living on Earth.

LeFrak Family Gallery, fourth floor

The Museum gratefully acknowledges the Richard and Karen LeFrak Exhibition and Education Fund.

Generous support for Life at the Limits has been provided by the Eileen P. Bernard Exhibition Fund.

Life at the Limits is proudly supported by Chase Private Client.

Spiders Alive!
July 4–November 29, 2015

For centuries, spiders have inspired storytellers from Ovid to E. B. White to the creators of Spider-Man. But their actual role in diverse ecosystems around the globe is just as captivating. Spiders Alive! immerses visitors in the fascinating and complex world of spiders, among the most versatile animals on the planet: these invertebrates inhabit every continent but Antarctica and are able to survive in environments that range from deserts to rain forests to crowded cities. Scientists have identified more than 45,300 species of spiders to date, and there are at least as many more to be discovered.

Among the live spiders visitors will encounter in this exhibition are the goliath bird eater, one of the largest spiders in the world, whose prey includes snakes, mice, and frogs; the venomous western black widow, one of the few North American spiders harmful to people; and species from other arachnid orders, including African whip spiders, whose whip-like feelers, up to 10 inches in length, help the animal find its way. The exhibition will also include larger-than-life models, videos, interactive exhibits, and fossils. Museum staff will be handling live arachnids for visitors to see up close. Gallery 77, first floor

The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter
September 5, 2015–May 29, 2016

This exhibition, an annual favorite, features up to 500 live, free-flying tropical butterflies from the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The butterflies are housed in a vivarium that approximates their natural habitat, includes live flowering plants that serve as nectar sources, and features controlled artificial light, temperature, and humidity. Featured species include iridescent blue morpho butterflies, striking scarlet swallowtails, and large owl butterflies. Text panels located immediately outside the vivarium offer information about the evolution and life cycle of butterflies, including explanations of mimicry, diversity, and butterflies’ important role in conservation. Whitney Hall of Oceanic Birds, second floor

The Secret World Inside You: The Human Microbiome
November 7, 2015–August 14, 2016

Our bodies are home to approximately 100 trillion bacteria living inside us and on us—along with even more viruses and other microorganismsThis vast community is referred to as our microbiome. Many of us think of all microorganisms as “germs” that cause disease, and that eliminating these microbes is essential to improving health. But really only a tiny fraction of the microbes we harbor could, and do, make us sickFascinating new research is revealing how many of these microbes work with the body to manufacture vitamins, bolster our immune system, help digest food, and even moderate moods and behavior. The Secret World Inside You: The Human Microbiome will explore the rapidly evolving science that is revealing complexities of the human microbiome and redefining our notions of human health. This perspective will prove critical in preventing common health problems including allergies, asthma, and obesity. Interactives will explore where the microbes are in the human body and how they interact and affect our bodies, and a live presenter will examine the world of microbes. Gallery 3, third floor

This project is supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World
May 28, 2016–January 2, 2017

This exhibition will explore the complex lives of crocodilians—the group including crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials—their evolutionary history, biology, behavior, and precarious relationships with human societies. Crocs have flourished for more than 200 million years, once including a rich diversity of specialized forms from galloping land predators and jumping insect eaters to pug-nosed herbivores and dolphin-like pelagic hunters. Today, all modern crocodilians are built for the water’s edge. These stealthy aquatic predators have rugged bodies, keen senses, and incredible strength. They also lead intricate social lives, communicating with a range of pips, grunts, hisses, bellows, and subtle changes in body posture; battling over territories; engaging in lengthy courtship rituals; and providing their young with parental care. Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World will immerse visitors in the world of crocs, with engaging interactives, models, artifacts, and living specimens, including an African dwarf crocodile, Siamese crocodile, and American alligator hatchlings. Gallery 77, first floor



Twenty-second Annual Family Party
 Monday, October 20, 20155–7:30 pm

The Family Party features educational activities and entertainment for children of all ages. Children will have the opportunity to explore the Museum’s magnificent halls; interact with live animals; dig for gems; look through a microscope; and explore the Family Party’s Museum Science Center, which showcases Museum scientists’ ongoing work through hands-on activities. Tickets to this special benefit event are $85 for children and $175 for adults. For event and ticket information, please call 212-313-7161, or email familyparty@amnh.org.

Special thanks to Tiffany & Co.

39th Annual Margaret Mead Film Festival
October 22–25, 2015

The 39th Annual Margaret Mead Film Festival, the preeminent showcase for contemporary cultural storytelling, features international documentaries, multi-media performances, installations, receptions throughout the Museum, intimate conversations with filmmakers and film subjects, and the presentation of the annual Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award.

The Margaret Mead Film Festival is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Support for the Margaret Mead Festival is provided, in part, by the May and Samuel Rudin Foundation, the Sidney, Milton, and Leoma Simon Foundation, the family of Frederick H. Leonhardt, and The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation.

Halloween Celebration
Saturday, October 31, 2015

More than 30 of the Museum’s popular halls will be open for trick-or-treating, arts and crafts, fun with roaming cartoon characters, and live performances. Past performers and characters have included Curious George®, Clifford the Big Red Dog®, Miffy, Peter RabbitTM, David Grover and the Big Bear Band, Big Nazo, Louie & Subanda, a magician, stilt walkers, and performers from the Big Apple Circus.

Made possible with support of The Rudin Foundation, Inc.

Origami Holiday Tree
November 23, 2015–January 10, 2016

An annual tradition and major tourist attraction, the delightfully decorated Origami Holiday Tree has marked the start of the holiday season at the Museum for decades. Volunteers, including local, national, and international origami artists, begin folding in March to complete around 1,000 creations that will be displayed on the tree. Each year the tree features a different theme relating to the Museum’s special exhibitions or to its collections, which topped 33 million artifacts and specimens this year. Past themes have included Origami Night at the MuseumWicked, Wild, and Wonderful; The Museum’s Biggest and Best; Fantastic Creatures: Mythic and Real; Origami in Flight; Under the Sea; Flowers for New York; Origami A to Z; and Origami Safari. During the holiday season, volunteers will be on hand to teach visitors of all ages the art of origami.

Kwanzaa 2015
Saturday, December 26, 2015

This year’s cultural festival of African and African-American heritage marks the Museum’s 37thannual Kwanzaa celebration. Attendees can join in the fun and experience the rich traditions of Kwanzaa, honoring the holiday’s seven guiding principles. The festivities will include family-friendly activities, exciting performances, a special film screening, and an international marketplace. In addition, special Kwanzaa foods will be available in the Museum Food Court. Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, first floor

Support for Kwanzaa is provided, in part, by the May and Samuel Rudin Foundation, the Sidney, Milton, and Leoma Simon Foundation, the family of Frederick H. Leonhardt, and The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation.

First Wednesdays of the month, October through June

SciCafe is the American Museum of Natural History’s popular after-hours series featuring informal talks on current topics in science, amazing stories from the field, cocktails, and conversation. The series draws on the unique expertise of the Museum’s staff of more than 200 active scientists as well as their vast network of colleagues across the globe. Recent SciCafe topics have included understanding autism, collective behavior in ant colonies and beyond, and exploring the evolution of human irrationality by watching the way our primitive relatives make decisions.

Coming up this Spring:

Wednesday, May 6Mollusks to Medicine. Biochemist Mandë Holford discusses her research into relatively unknown predatory marine snails such as cone snails, the toxins they produce in their venom, and how those toxins are used for discovering new therapeutics (or drugs) for pain and cancer.

This project is supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Wednesday, June 3Flipping the Genetic Switch: Discovering the “Rules” of Human Variation. How and why do the same genes work differently in different people? What causes a gene to be turned “on” or “off,” and how can that affect disease risk? Geneticist Tuuli Lappalainen from the New York Genome Center explains how genetic variants shape how our genes are expressed and how her lab is seeking to uncover the “rules” of human variation.

The SciCafe series is proudly sponsored by Judy and Josh Weston.

One Step Beyond

The Museum’s popular One Step Beyond is an ongoing party series that features the biggest names in techno, electronica, and hip hop. Guests can dance in the Museum’s Rose Center for Earth and Space while cocktails keep the party going. Check amnh.org for dates.

Astronomy Live
The last Tuesday of each month, from October through June6:30 pm

Take a tour of the universe with a live presenter or view the constantly changing night sky in this monthly program series. Learn about what is visible in our nighttime sky with the brilliant stars of the Zeiss Mark IX star projector or travel to the edge of the observable universe with the world’s largest scientifically accurate cosmic atlas, the Digital Universe, assembled at the Hayden Planetarium. Programs vary each month; visit amnh.org for descriptions. Hayden Planetarium Space Theater

For a quick journey into space, view the Museum’s The Known Universe—a short video with more than 13 million views on YouTube. The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang.

Frontiers Lecture Series
Select Mondays monthly, 7:30 pm

This dynamic lecture series in the Hayden Planetarium features prominent scientists, authors, and Museum experts. Learn about cutting-edge research and more. Hayden Planetarium Space Theater

Support for Hayden Planetarium Programs is provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Endowment Fund.


Nature’s Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters
November 15, 2014–August 9, 2015

From earthquakes and volcanoes to hurricanes and tornadoes, nature’s forces shape our dynamic planet and affect people around the world. Nature’s Fury uncovers the causes of these natural disasters, explores the risks to humans associated with each, and examines how people cope and adapt in their aftermath. Interactive displays and animations help visitors understand how natural phenomena work. By monitoring earthquakes around the world in real time, manipulating an earthquake fault, generating a virtual volcano, standing within the center of a roaring tornado, and recognizing the power of Hurricane Sandy via an interactive map of New York City, visitors will learn how scientists are helping to make better predictions, plan responses, and prepare for future events.Gallery 3, third floor

Nature’s Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters was originally created by The Field Museum, Chicago, with additional content developed by the American Museum of Natural History (amnh.org).

Nature’s Fury is proudly sponsored by Travelers.

Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease
January 13, 2015–January 3, 2016

The challenges of eliminating devastating diseases are enormous, but successful strategies can bring about colossal social and economic benefits. Countdown to Zero, a new exhibition developed in collaboration with The Carter Center, highlights scientific and social innovations that are ridding the world of ancient afflictions. The exhibition focuses on several global efforts that have been able to contain, eliminate, or eradicate disease. Chief among these is the 30-year campaign that may soon eradicate Guinea worm disease, positioning it to become only the second human disease ever eradicated, after smallpox. The exhibition also highlights the ongoing programs to eliminate polio and prospects for more localized elimination of river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and malaria. Akeley Gallery, second floor

Countdown to Zero is presented by the American Museum of Natural History in collaboration with The Carter Center.

The presentation of Countdown to Zero at the American Museum of Natural History is made possible through the generosity of the Arthur Ross Foundation.

Natural Histories
October 19, 2013–September 13, 2015

Inspired by the book Natural Histories: Extraordinary Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library, published in October 2012, this exhibition includes exquisite reproductions from more than 20 rare and beautifully illustrated scientific works.

The works featured in Natural Histories span from the 16th century to the early 20th century and cover scientific disciplines from anthropology to astronomy to zoology. Reproductions of rare scientific illustrations displayed in the gallery include a rhinoceros taken directly from Albrecht Dürer’s 1515 woodcut, lithographs of the mysterious aye-aye lemur from Sir Richard Owen’s Monograph on the Aye-aye, and Robert Hooke’s engraved images of what were once startling microscopic views of familiar items and animals in MicrographiaIMAX corridor, first floor

The presentation of Natural Histories at the American Museum of Natural History is made possible through the generosity of the Arthur Ross Foundation.

LARGE-FORMAT AND 3D FILMS, Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater, first floor

Tiny Giants
Through July 5, 2015

Using the incredibly immersive power of specialist 3D cameras, audiences are transported to another world to experience the titanic battles certain “tiny giants” face to survive. A chipmunk in a wild wood and a grasshopper mouse in Arizona’s scorched deserts are both forced to grow up fast when they find themselves alone for the first time. Only by using their ingenious superpowers can our heroes not only stay alive, but also become masters of their universe.

Distributed by BBC Earth and Giant Screen Films, Tiny Giants is produced by BBC Earth.

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean
July 6, 2015January 10, 2016

This 40-minute giant-screen film in 2D and 3D provides a compelling look at a secret world within the ocean. Filmed over three years at locations around the world, including the Bahamas, Fiji, and Bimini, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean isnarrated by renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle. The film introduces audiences to more than 30 species, illuminating behaviors captured for the first time thanks to the development of new tools that allow underwater filming in 3D, ultra-HD 5K, slow motion, macro, and with motion control.

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean is directed by Jean-Michel Cousteau and produced by Ocean Futures Society and 3D Entertainment Films.

SPACE SHOWHayden Planetarium, Rose Center for Earth and Space
Dark Universe
Opened November 2, 2013

Narrated by the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson, this spectacular new Hayden Planetarium Space Show takes viewers through the recent dramatic advances in our knowledge of the universe and explores what’s to come in the future of cosmology. Gaze up at the bright Milky Way from Mt. Wilson Observatory in California—where Edwin Hubble first discovered galaxies outside of our own—and plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere with a probe from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. Through an extremely detailed, never-before-seen visualization based on new scientific data, the audience experiences how dark matter—an invisible form of matter—shapes galaxies. Viewers also delve into the mysteries of dark energy, the force that is accelerating the expansion of the universe.  Find out how a new age of discovery has begun as ever-larger instruments on the ground and in space reveal the previously unknown about our cosmos. Hayden Planetarium Space Theater

Dark Universe was created by the American Museum of Natural History, the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space, and the Hayden Planetarium.

Made possible through the generous sponsorship of Accenture.

And proudly supported by Con Edison.

The Museum also gratefully acknowledges major funding from the Charles Hayden Foundation.

Presented with special thanks to NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Dark Universe was developed by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, and GOTO Inc., Tokyo, Japan.

Dark matter visualizations developed by the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics & Cosmology at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.



The Museum is open daily, 10 am5:45 pm. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Museum admission is free to all New York City school and camp groups.

Suggested general admission, which supports the Museum’s scientific and educational endeavors and offers access to the Museum’s 45 halls including the Rose Center for Earth and Space, is $22 (adults) suggested, $17 (students/seniors) suggested, $12.50 (children) suggested. All prices are subject to change.

The Museum offers discounted combination ticket prices that include suggested general admission plus special exhibitions, IMAX or 3D films, and Space Shows.

  • Museum Plus One includes one special exhibition, IMAX or 3D film, or Space Show: $27 (adults), $22 (students/seniors), $16 (children)
  • Museum Supersaver includes all special exhibitions, IMAX or 3D film, and Space Show: $35 (adults), $28 (students/seniors), $22 (children)

Visitors who wish to pay less than the suggested Museum admission and also purchase a ticket to attend a special exhibition, IMAX or 3D film, or Space Show may do so on-site at the Museum. To the amount they wish to pay for general admission, they add $25 (adults), $20.50 (students/seniors), or $13.50 (children) for a Space Show, special exhibition, or IMAX or 3D film.

Public Information

For additional information, the public may call 212-769-5100 or visit the Museum’s website at amnh.org.


Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook at facebook.com/naturalhistory, follow us on Instagram at @AMNH, Tumblr at amnhnyc or visit twitter.com/AMNH to follow us on Twitter.

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Maralyn D. Hill, M.Ed.,  The Epicurean Explorer

Executive Editor, LuxeBeatMag.com

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