Exhibit Review: Crittercam


Last week, we wrote about Crittercam, an exhibit presented by the Museum of Science, Boston and National Geographic.  Yesterday, we had the opportunity to visit the exhibit in person.

Crittercam provides a fascinating look into the behavior of several kinds of animals including penguins, seals, sea turtles, sharks, lions, bears, and more.  Using cameras attached to various animals, scientists were able to gather data about hunting techniques, social norms, and daily activity that had previously eluded them.  The exhibit provides video footage captured by the animals along with explanatory text and a few fun facts about the animals discussed.

Lioness wearing CrittercamBut the exhibit also delves into the technology and methodology of Crittercam.  There are models of animals showing how the special cameras were attached and adapted to a particular animal’s lifestyle.

For example, the soft, flexible shells of leatherback sea turtles did not allow the camera to be attached by an adhesive. Instead, a suction cup was applied to the central plate of the turtle’s shell.

Using videos, photos, life-size models, and computer kiosks, the exhibit appeals to an audience of all ages and interests. So if you live in or plan to visit the Boston area, be sure to visit Crittercam at the Museum of Science, which runs through August 30.

For more info: Crittercam.

News of the Harry Potter Exhibition arrives via owl***

During our visit, the museum made an exciting announcement (delivered by an owl) about a very special international exhibition that will open in Boston on October 25, 2009 called Harry Potter: The Exhibition.

Fans of Harry Potter will soon get the chance to immerse themselves in the wizarding world.  Artifacts and costumes from the latest Harry Potter films will be displayed in a 10,000-sq. ft. space.

For more info, see: Harry Potter: The Exhibition.

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Octopus Performs Magic Trick

Octopuses are very smart creatures.  And it seems they’re always in the news creating mischief. There was Otto the octopus in Germany who climbed to the rim of his aquarium and shot water at the overhead light shorting it out.  And more recently, Sid the octopus in New Zealand escaped from his tank and hid in a drain for five days.

Truman the octopus

The latest octopus making headlines is Truman from the New England Aquarium who managed to squeeze his 7-foot body into a 14-inch square plastic box.  Truman’s caretakers had placed a few crabs inside a 6-inch box, latched it, and then placed the small box inside the 14-inch box and latched that. In this way, it would serve as an enrichment activity for Truman because he would have to figure out how to unlatch the first box and then the second box in order to eat the crabs.  But instead, Truman decided to skip a step and just squeeze his head and legs through a 2-inch hole in the large box. Once inside, he got to work on unlatching the smaller box.

For more information:

New England Aquarium “Octopus in a Box” Blog Post

To learn more about octopuses, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Common Octopus.

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