Philadelphia is a city with a rich cultural heritage, as it’s one of the oldest metropolises in the United States. There are dozens of world-class museums scattered throughout the various neighborhoods of the city, and each one offers something unique. When our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers feel like escaping city life, we like to visit the Academy of Natural Sciences so we can appreciate the natural beauty outside of urban areas. Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences it’s the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the Americas. We recently visited here on a day off and thought we’d share some of our favorite current exhibitions.
As soon as you enter the Academy of Natural Sciences, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a real Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. These legendary predators measured up to 42 feet long and could weigh up to 7.5 tons. This magnificent skeleton is one of more than 30 species that are represented from the Mesozoic period – about half of them are full skeletal mounts. Other skeletons on display include the Avaceratops, Chasmosaurus, Corythosaurus, Deinonychus, Pachycephalosaurus, Tenontosaurus, and Tylosaurus.
Visitors to Dinosaur Hall can also view dinosaur eggs, footprints, sculptures, murals, paleontologist tools, a life-size model showing the internal workers of a Stegosaurus, and a green-screen video where you can project yourself into the world of the dinosaurs.
Drawn to Dinosaurs
Drawn to Dinosaurs is an exhibit which educates viewers on the art and science of constructing an image of a living animal based on fossil fragments. It shows how scientists can use evidence from fossil records to create a reconstruction of a skeleton or model of what the creature might have looked like. The main treat of this exhibit is the full cast of a plant-eating dinosaur called Hadrosaurus foulkii, which was discovered in 1858 in Haddonfield, NJ. The Academy created a full cast of the creature and put it on display in 1868 – the first time the public had a chance to view a dinosaur.
Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World
The ancient history of crocodilians began 200 million years ago, and these creatures remain some of the most ancient creatures on the planet. In this exhibit, visitors will have the chance to get close looks at live crocodilians. Today, crocs come in all types – ranging from small forest dwellers to mega-predators that eat wildebeasts, buffalo, and sometimes even humans. This exhibit features a Siamese crocodile and Albino American alligator, and you’ll have the opportunity to look at a real American alligator nest. Visitors will also learn how these creatures communicate with each other and have the opportunity to view skulls, simulate a croc’s bite, and create a 3-D animation of an extinct prehistoric croc.
Throughout December, the Academy is hosting a Winter Wonderland in Butterflies exhibit. The entire exhibit has transformed based on the changing of season, including a pale white butterfly called Morpho polyphemus. The rest of the garden matches this eye-catching creature, including white flowers and lights. This exhibition’s tropical atmosphere is a welcome way to warm up from the cold of the outdoors. There are six of these beautiful butterflies on display, which are originally from butterfly farms in Mexico and Central America.