Monday, April 20, 2009

Science and Natural History in the beltway

I'm back at the museum from last week's trip to Arlington and Washington D.C. where I was able to visit the National Science Foundation and the National Museum of Natural History. The National Museum of Natural History had a nice exhibit called Orchids Through Darwin's Eyes. The exhibit had a fantastic array of cultivated orchids, mostly hybrids but some species as well (like this Brassia orchid from Central America in the photo from the left), and discussed the many adaptations and unique evolutionary history of the orchid family.

The Sant Ocean Hall (see bottom photo) was also fantastic and had some really interesting specimens including a giant squid, a fossil hemiscyllus shark, a Dunkleosteus skull, fossil cetaceans (whales) complete with hind limbs. It was a great exhibit with lots of changes from what I remember as a kid with my first visit to the National Museum of Natural History in the 1970's. The weather was great and the mall and the Smithsonian museums were packed. Museums seem to be as popular as ever and just maybe growing in their popularity.


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