In New York for the holidays? Shark exhibit gives visitors a ‘new appreciation’ of the supreme predator

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Heading to New York this week of vacation? An exhibit dedicated to sharks and Cape Cod’s favorite seasonal visitor has just opened at the American Museum of Natural History.

The new exhibit titled “Sharks” features dozens of life-size models – ranging from 33 feet to 5.5 inches long – as well as fossils from the museum’s collections and interactive touchless exhibits.

The curator of the exhibit said he wanted visitors to gain a “new appreciation” of the supreme predator through this unique look at prehistoric and modern species.

“The public perception of sharks is that they are vicious top predators – they are to be feared when you go into the water,” said John Sparks, curator in the department of ichthyology at the museum’s division of vertebrate zoology. “We want sharks to be worshiped and not feared.”

“We hope visitors leave this exhibit with a new appreciation for sharks, not as vicious eating machines, but as a diverse group of very long-lived organisms that are essential to the habitats in which they live. “Sparks added later.

The gaping jaws of a scientifically accurate model of the prehistoric megalodon greet visitors as the exhibition begins. Visitors can also enter a life-size replica of the jaws of the megalodon, the largest predatory fish of all time, known as the “Tyrannosaurus rex of the seas”.

The evolutionary history of sharks began almost 450 million years ago, over 200 million years before the first dinosaur. There are now more than 500 species of sharks and more than 650 species of their close relatives, inhabiting almost all the aquatic environments of the world, from coral reefs to polar seas to freshwater rivers.

“Sharks” visitors will explore the diversity, anatomy and behavior of sharks and their close relatives through encounters with tiger sharks, great whites and other familiar favorites as well as little-known creatures such as the torpedo ray, the long-nosed chimera and the little dwarf lantern shark, which glows in the dark and is small enough to fit in your hand, ”the museum wrote of the exhibit.

Other highlights include an interactive that challenges visitors to hunt like a hammer, and a non-contact mount that reveals sharks’ distinctive features with a wave of the hand.

“Sharks” also takes a look at the serious conservation issues facing sharks today, including overfishing and habitat destruction, demonstrating that while these amazing animals pose little threat to humans, humans pose a serious threat. danger to them.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.

Tickets for the museum cost $ 23 for adults, $ 18 for students / seniors, and $ 13 for children ages 3-12.

Face masks are mandatory for ages 2 and over, and visitors aged 12 and over must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the museum.

For more information, call 212-769-5100 or visit the museum’s website at amnh.org.

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