Ivory-billed woodpeckers were officially declared extinct in the 1990s, after decades of unconfirmed sightings of this iconic bird. Controversial sightings in the early 2000s have caused many to question its extinction, though no new evidence has been found despite many searches. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace
Ivory-billed woodpeckers were officially declared extinct in the 1990s, after decades of unconfirmed sightings of this iconic bird. ©Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace

Florida Museum of Natural History visitors will have the opportunity to view some of the museum’s most treasured objects in the “Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum” exhibit, opening Sept. 23 with special activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This free exhibit celebrates the Florida Museum’s 100th anniversary as the state’s official natural history museum and features objects that reveal stories about everything from human health to prehistoric life to invasive species. The exhibit also includes a mobile experience with an audio tour and scavenger hunt, as well as a working lab with scientists from a different collection each week.

“It’s an amazing moment in any museum’s history to celebrate a 100th anniversary,” said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum exhibits and public programs director. “In addition to showcasing some incredible objects from the collections, we have the wonderful opportunity to honor our history, acknowledge our present and look ahead into the future.”

Visitors can learn more about the museum’s history over the past 100 years, and discover how the institution has affected the lives of students, volunteers, employees and other stakeholders. The exhibit will illustrate how collections serve as a way to document life on Earth and demonstrate how scientists use technology to make new discoveries.

“We hope people will understand why we collect things and the importance museum collections have for understanding our world and future issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss,” MacMahon said.

Some of the highlighted specimens and artifacts include a 26-foot-long juvenile male humpback whale skeleton, extinct species and virtual objects scanned with high-resolution technology that will be 3-D printed in the exhibit gallery.

Tablet devices will be available for checkout or visitors can use their own mobile devices for the audio tour and scavenger hunt.

“Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum” was created by the Florida Museum and made possible with financial support from Jon and Beverly Thompson and the 1923 Fund.

For more information, visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/event/rare-beautiful-fascinating-open or call 352-846-2000.


Source: Darcie MacMahon, 352-273-2053, dmacmahon@flmnh.ufl.edu
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu