New exhibit marks 100-year anniversary of Passenger Pigeon extinction

August 15th, 2014
Passenger Pigeons

These well-preserved Passenger Pigeons mounted in the 1890s are part of a new exhibit marking the 100-year anniversary of the bird’s extinction.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Jeff Gage

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Florida Museum of Natural History gallery exhibit opening Sept. 1 illustrates how human actions can lead to the extinction of a species—even those considered common just a century ago.

“A Shadow Over the Earth: The Life and Death of the Passenger Pigeon” marks the 100-year anniversary of the bird’s extinction, and features illustrations, artwork and poetry from famed naturalists who documented the pigeon’s biology and its decline. Visitors may also learn about related Florida Museum research and view a well-preserved pair of Passenger Pigeons mounted in the 1890s.

Prior to its extinction 100 years ago, the Passenger Pigeon was one of the most abundant birds in the world, with population estimates ranging from 3 billion to 5 billion.

“James Audubon witnessed a flock that took three days to fly over a locality in north central Kentucky,” said Jessica Oswald, a former Florida Museum ornithology graduate student.

The populous pigeons couldn’t (more…)

Popular ‘Wolf to Woof’ exhibit extended to Sept. 7

August 8th, 2014

E000498GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Due to popular demand, the Florida Museum of Natural History has extended the closing date for “Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs” to Sept. 7.

Originally on display through Sept. 1, “Wolf to Woof” is the largest and most comprehensive traveling exhibit on the history, biology and evolution of dogs. It shows how dogs have secured a special place in human society as an incredibly diverse and versatile species that serves as hunters, herders, guards and companions.

“ ‘Wolf to Woof’ has been a very popular summer visitor attraction, so we’ve decided to give our community an extra week to see what all the ‘howling’ is about,” said Florida Museum exhibit developer Tina Choe.

The exhibit reveals an in-depth history of dogs and their connection with wolves through four themed sections featuring artifacts, multimedia displays, photomurals and (more…)

Museum to host Panama Canal Zone centennial celebration, exhibit

July 25th, 2014
Panama Canal

Two ships travel along the Panama Canal, which turns 100 this year.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Jeff Gage

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is celebrating the Panama Canal’s 100th birthday this August with a new gallery exhibition and family-friendly event.

Opening Aug. 9, “Panama: Tropical Ecosystem” focuses on the region’s biodiversity and the cultural importance of nature in a country of rain forests, volcanic beaches and mountains. On display through May 31, 2015, the exhibit features photographs, stereographs, plant illustrations, books and artifacts highlighting the rich variety of flora and fauna in the land between North and South America.

“Visitors will learn about Panama’s natural environment, including how it’s represented in art and (more…)

‘La Florida’ exhibit featuring state’s native wildflowers opens April 19

March 24th, 2014
American Lotus, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Alachua County, 1999. Photo by John Moran

American Lotus, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Alachua County, 1999.
Photo by John Moran

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Visitors will have an opportunity to discover the unique wildflowers that inspired Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 to name this state “place of flowers” at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s newest photography exhibition.

On display April 19 through Aug. 3, “La Florida: 500 Years in the Place of Flowers” showcases images from Gainesville nature photographer John Moran, who roamed the state to capture the beauty and mystique of Florida’s original Garden of Eden. It features 15 large-format photographs showing the timeless beauty of wildflowers along with a panel describing the history and (more…)

Museum to celebrate new ‘Wolf to Woof’ dog exhibit Feb. 22

February 6th, 2014

0e1632871_wolf-2-woof-logo.jpgGAINESVILLE, Fla. — On Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Florida Museum of Natural History is answering the age-old question of “Who let the dogs out?” with the celebration of its newest temporary exhibit, “Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs.”

The free, family-friendly event includes demonstrations by Pepe Dogs detection dogs and agility demonstrations by the Greater Ocala Dog Club. Visitors also will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, Alachua County Animal Services, Patriot PAWS, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Florida Museum and more.

“This event is an excellent opportunity for the student (more…)

Museum lets the dogs out in ‘Wolf to Woof’ exhibit opening Feb. 15

December 23rd, 2013

W2W logoGAINESVILLE, Fla. — Visitors will soon be able to uncover the mysteries of man’s best friend at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s new temporary exhibit, “Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs,” opening Feb. 15, 2014.

“Wolf to Woof” is the largest and most comprehensive traveling exhibit on the history, biology and evolution of dogs. It shows how dogs have secured a special place in human society as an incredibly diverse and versatile species that serves as hunters, herders, guards and companions.

“The canine/human relationship is something so special and unique in nature,” said Tina Choe, Florida Museum exhibit developer. “As a dog owner, I am thrilled to share this experience with our visitors.”

The exhibit reveals an in-depth history of dogs and (more…)

Museum Megalodon jaw to be displayed in new Panama Biomuseo

November 15th, 2013
Florida Museum of Natural History staff prepare the jaw of a Megalodon shark for shipment to the Biomuseo in Panama. Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Jeff Gage

Florida Museum of Natural History staff prepare the jaw of a Megalodon shark for shipment to the Biomuseo in Panama.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Jeff Gage

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History recently shipped the jaws of a Megalodon shark to Panama for display in the Biomuseo, a new science museum scheduled to open next year.

The specimen arrived in Panama in October as part of a long-term loan to the new natural history museum, expected to open during the first quarter of 2014. Florida Museum vertebrate paleontology curator Bruce MacFadden said the facility, located along the Panama Canal and designed by architect Frank Gehry, will be a world-class public exhibit space showcasing the country’s biodiversity and natural history. (more…)

Three streaming webcams added to Butterfly Rainforest

October 9th, 2013
This still image was taken from the feeding station webcam in the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.

This still image was taken from the feeding station webcam in the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s Butterfly Rainforest exhibit may now be viewed worldwide via three streaming content cameras available on the Florida Museum of Natural History website.

Visitors may view links to all camera feeds at http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/critter-cams/. The feeds include the overall exhibit on the overhead canopy camera as well as up-close views of a (more…)

Swallow-tailed Kite exhibit opens Oct. 12

September 27th, 2013
Photo by Jim Gray

Photo by jimgrayimages.com

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The story and beauty of the Swallow-tailed Kites’ annual 10,000-mile round-trip migration from Florida to South America is the subject of a new Florida Museum of Natural History exhibit opening Oct. 12.

Through paint, pictures and poetry, artist Margo McKnight and Ken Meyer of the Avian Research and Conservation Institute tell the tale of the fascinating journey and complex lives of these rare and beautiful birds of prey in the exhibit “A Swallow-tailed Kite’s 10,000-mile Journey: A Black and White Odyssey.”

“I undertook this project to simply introduce this amazing bird to a new audience,” McKnight said. “Awareness is the very first step and can turn into intention, which in turn can move people to action. Just one step can make a difference.”

Due to a sharp decline in the number of Swallow-tailed Kites over the last century, the (more…)

Celebrate new surfing exhibits Sept. 14

September 5th, 2013

Pollo Tropical will operate its "Robo-surfer" simulator from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sept. 14.

Pollo Tropical will operate its “Robo-surfer” simulator from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sept. 14.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Don your beachwear and join the Florida Museum of Natural History for a “surf’s up fun for all ages” celebration of its newest temporary exhibits, “Surfing Florida: A Photographic History” and “Surf Science: Waves and Wildlife,” Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The free family-friendly event celebrates the significance of Florida’s coastal waters and its role in the ecosystem. Learn about beach and sea animals while discovering the biology of bioluminescence through an interactive display. Guests can test their surfing skills on “Robo-surfer,” an inflatable mechanical surfing simulator operated and (more…)