While the American Museum of Natural History is closed during the COVID-19 outbreak, people can still enjoy the Museum’s exhibits and online offerings, from materials for families and teachers to virtual tours, videos, games, digital backgrounds, and more.
Below, please find programming highlights from the Museum this week:
Upcoming Online Programs
|– Scientists at Home: The Deep Ocean: On Thursday, May 14, at 2 pm ET, watch live as deep-sea evolutionary biologist and Museum Research Associate Mercer Brugler shows captivating photos and footage from the ocean depths. During the program, viewers can submit photos of animals for identification and ask questions live. The event is part of Scientists at Home, a new program that offers students and families a unique opportunity to interact with Museum scientists and learn about the animals, ecosystems, and natural phenomena they study.|
– Birds of Prey Hatchlings Watch Party: This Friday, May 15, at 1:30 pm ET, join Museum ornithologist Paul Sweet and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s experts Charles Eldermine and Ben Waters for a live YouTube Watch Party to see eggs, nests, and hatchlings of birds of prey, including Osprey, Barred Owls, and Red-tailed Hawks. Sweet will offer a look at some of the eggs in the Museum’s collection and answer questions live alongside the Cornell Lab’s experts. For interested media, Sweet is also available for interviews about how families can bird-watch from home in the time of social distancing, including in urban environments.
Science at the Museum
New Research on Identifying Invasive Hornets: There are 22 species of hornets in the genus Vespa, the biggest of which is the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), which has also been referred to in recent news reports as the “murder hornet.” Because invasive hornets can pose ecological, agricultural, and health threats, the ability to identify them is important. However, even hornets of the same species can look different, making it difficult to tell them apart from native species. Museum Curator James Carpenter, chair of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, was part of a scientific team that recently created a detailed, illustrated key that could help identify hornet species and be used to keep an eye out for invasive species. The key is published in the journal Insect Systematics and Diversity. Carpenter, who is currently based in Australia, is available for interviews. (Please note that Australia has a 13.5-hour time difference with New York).
Fun and Educational Content and Resources
|– Drawing Dinos OLogy Challenge for Kids: This week, OLogy, the Museum’s science website for kids, is offering a new OLogy Challenge, asking participants to draw a dinosaur and learn how artists create lifelike drawings of extinct animals. Winning entries will be featured on the website.|
– The Museum is also offering other fun and educational content for curious minds of all ages with amnh.org/explore serving as a hub for regularly updated content. Opportunities to visit the Museum from home are also available through a virtual tour on Google Arts and Culture, as well as through previously recorded guided tours of the Museum’s halls and collections that will be featured on Facebook on Tuesdays at 2 pm ET. This Tuesday’s tour is of the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, where some of the Museum’s most iconic displays—including the Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus, and Apatosaurus fossils—are exhibited.