Join us tomorrow to celebrate Earth Day! The American Museum of Natural History has got you covered. 🌎
The Discovery Room offers families, and especially children ages 5-12, an interactive gateway to the wonders of the Museum and a hands-on, behind-the scenes look at its science.
The page for the Discovery Room at AMNH is intended as a space to share stories about science and experiences in the room. Please tell us about your visits and tag us to your photos! The Discovery Room was made possible by a grant from the Edward John Noble Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Joella and John Lykouretzos,
the Ralph M. Cestone Foundation, Capital One Bank, Mitsui USA Foundation, the Rose M. Badgeley Charitable Trust, Nora and Ted Weinreich, the Ducommun and Gross Family Foundation, the Daneker Family, Susanne and Douglas Durst, and the Larkin Family.
Join us tomorrow to celebrate Earth Day! The American Museum of Natural History has got you covered. 🌎
Live on Facebook, a tour of our coral reef tank with Alex, our animal husbandry specialist, and Erica, the intern who developed our data visualization interactive!
We’re LIVE in the Discovery Room, learning more about the new salt water tank. Tell us where you’re watching from—and ask us questions!
This is Bruce Wayne. He is the "dark" knight anole of the Discovery Room. Contrary to what you might think, Bruce Wayne’s parents are alive! They live in another one of our spaces. If he stayed with his parents when he was young, they would have eaten him. So now he lives in the Discovery Room. Come and see him!
Post by intern Hasna S.
Come see Shayda, our bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Despite her name she does not breathe fire. This lizard is actually named for the spiky pouch underneath her chin. When a bearded dragon feels threatened it will flatten its body, open its jaws, and puff out its neck. However, Shayda is quite friendly and is looking forward to seeing you in the Discovery Room.
Post by intern Penelope D.
In the Discovery Room we have a dig pit featuring a replica of an 83-66 million year old dinosaur skeleton. The pit allows for kids to pretend to be a paleontologist by digging for a fossil. The fossil is an oviraptor nicknamed “Big Mama” because it appears to be protecting its eggs. Come by and live your paleontologist dream by playing in the dig pit!
Post by intern Sara B.
Meet Nemo, our maroon clownfish! This type of clownfish is slightly different from “Finding Nemo's” clownfish, due to its bold red color and larger size. The maroon clownfish is the most territorial type of clownfish, and benefits from having an anemone as a home base. Clownfish and anemones have a mutualist symbiotic relationship where the anemone provides shelter and protection for the clownfish, through its stinging cells in its tentacles, which the clownfish is immune to. In return the clownfish will eat parasites that are dangerous to anemones, provide nutrients, as well as scare off predators.
If you are 8 years old or older, make sure to visit the Discovery Room's mezzanine to check out our marine tank, with animals from around the world!
Post by intern Nick H.
This mask is a replica of those used by the Killer Whale group of the Kwakwaka'wakw people of the Northwest Coast’s British Columbia. It weighs about 40 pounds (18kg) and is used for dances that tell stories of mythical ancestors and undersea treasures. Dancers imitate the movements of a Killer Whale swimming in the sea and pull strings that make the dorsal fin and tail move up and down and the jaw open and close. To get a hands-on experience and a closer look at this mask, visit us at the Discovery Room’s anthropology section.
Post by intern Astrid S.
When you think of cockroaches, what comes to mind ? A creepy , crawling , unwanted bug that has infested your home or perhaps brings up terrifying memories? While those kinds of cockroaches are certainly unwelcome, they are only a small part of the cockroach family . In fact, 99% of cockroaches aren’t pests , they’re actually really good for the environment since they help get rid of waste such as our Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Here we can see a fully molted cockroach , whose skin remains completely white for a few hours until it’s get it’s original color again.
Post by intern Brittany F.
Meet Tonalli, our albino axolotl! He eats crickets and earthworms, and doesn’t have very good eyesight due to his albinism. Axolotls have the ability to regenerate their limbs in the span of 2-3 months. Scientists are currently studying this ability and learning about how it could be replicated in other species.
Post by intern Mariyam K.
Meet Marvin, our albino Leopard Gecko! He's our little old man at 15. Typically, these critters only live for about 8-10 years. Poor Marvin is practically blind and he can have trouble getting around, so he likes to hide behind his rock. In the wild, he'd be living in the deserts of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and some parts of India.
Post by intern Fransisco U.
Meet Mary Louise the fire skink! Mary Louise likes to spend most of her time burrowing underground like most fire skinks. Her species comes from Western Africa and are characterized by their snake-like bodies and bright colors. Fire skinks usually eat insects and worms, but can sometimes eat pieces of fruit.
Post by intern Nichole F.
What can you find in a drop of pond water? Come to the Discovery Room to find out! (Chaetochaster diastrophus)
post by intern Sylvia N.
Meet the new Poison Dart Frogs of the Discovery Room! These tiny amphibians frogs live in rainforest habitats in Central and South America. Scientists believe that their bight colors warm predetors about their toxicity. Dart frogs get their from two indigenous groups in Choco, Colombia that use these frogs to poison their blowpipe darts, for hunting.
Here is a video of the The phantom poison dart frog call!
Come check out our Poison Dart Frogs the Discovery Room!
This handsome guy is a Crested Gecko. This nocturnal species is indigenous to New Caledonia island in the Pacific Ocean. First described in 1886, this species was thought to be extinct for a long time, only to be rediscovered in 1994. Crested Geckos lack eyelids, so they will clean the membrane of their eye using their tongue!
Like a lot of gecko species, Cresties can drop their tail as a defense mechanism. However theirs don’t grow back so in the wild they are usually found without tails.
You can come visit our friendn the Discovery Room at the American Museum of Natural History!
(Post by 2018 Summer Intern Wilson Hernandez)
Did you know that the average Woolly Mammoth had six sets of teeth in its lifetime? Unlike humans, the Woolly Mammoth did not lose its baby teeth. Instead, a Woolly Mammoth’s tooth is replaced after being worn down from grinding. Once the sixth set is all worn down, it would not grow back. The way in which the woolly mammoth chews it’s food is by pushing its jaw forwards and backwards, essentially grinding its food. These mammoths inhabited the snowy terrains of modern day Siberia and northern Alaska, thus they mainly fed on hardy plants such as grass and sedges. Their tusks, which are elongated teeth that protrude from the mouth, were thought to have been used for maneuvering objects and fighting for a mate or territory.
Come on over to the Discovery Room to see these enormous grinders for yourself!
(Post by 2018 Summer Intern Tenzing Kunsang)
Two new eye-catching animals have appeared in the Discovery Room. You might describe these as a fish that smiles at you. These bewitching creatures are amphibians called Axolotls. I Although common in captivity, these animals are facing critical endangerment in the wild. Axolotls are exclusively found in the Xochimilco Lake in Mexico, and are suffering because of human effects on that lake. Excess nutrients due to agricultural run-off has caused plants in the lake to over-grow, depriving many animals of sufficient oxygen in the water. Strong storms in Mexico City also cause sewers to overflow and leak human excrement in the lake. Axolotls are not able to thrive in this small environment that is heavily polluted by humans. Come check out our smiling axolotls in the Discovery Room and talk with us about conservation!
(Post by 2018 Summer Julia Moore)
Have you ever seen a rhinoceros skull compared to our own human skull?The black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is one of two species of rhinos that live in sub- Saharan Africa. Black rhinos can weigh up to 2,000- 3,000 pounds and grow to 60 inches in height.Both male and female rhinos have horns which are made of keratin just like our nails and hair. The front horn is longer (avg. 19 inches). Rhinos use their horns for defense, intimidation, digging roots, and breaking branches.
Humans (Homo sapiens) are primates that, in average are 5.2 ft. for females and 5.7 ft for males. Modern humans have a short base and high branches as well as reasonably small face with a projecting nose bone.
Make sure to look up when you walk into the Discovery Room to spot the rhino skull!
(Post by 2018 Summer Intern Garin Kim)
The Giant Prickly Stick Insect is found in the eucalyptus forests of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Their leaf-colored bodies are perfect for camouflage. On top of having leaf-colored bodies, prickly stick insects take on the movements of leaves by doing none other than rhythmic movements. When they perceive threat, the prickly stick insects “dance” by swaying their bodies back and forth to look like a leaf moved by wind.
Come to the Discovery Room to see this createures "dance"!
((Post by 2018 Summer Intern Faraha Mamun)
Batadonoides vanhouteni is a prehistoric mammal that lived 50 million years ago. Closely related to modern-day shrews and moles, it is the smallest mammal to have ever lived. Around the size of a nickel, this animal weighed only 0.004 lbs (0.013 kg) To give some perspective on just how small this species was, we’re going to compare to two modern day mammals:
The average human weighs 137 lbs (67 kg), or about 34,250 Batadonoides vanhouteni.
Blue whales, the largest animal alive today, averages a spectacular weight of 300,000 lbs (13,608 kg). We would need 75,000,000 Batadonoides vanhouteni to even begin balancing the scales!
If you want to learn more about Batadonoides vanhouteni and see its small size for yourself, head over to the second floor of the Discovery Room.
(Post by 2018 Summer Intern Radina Yanakieva)
Albino leopard geckos are pigmentless, nocturnal reptiles who generally live in areas of Asia, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan where the terrain is dry and rocky. These reptiles often feed on crickets, worms and cockroaches and have thick tails where they store their fat and have the ability to release these tails if attacked. Generally, leopard geckos have ideal vision for hunting and escaping predators after sundown. However, albino leopard geckos often suffer from ocular albinism, which results in a lack of pigment in the iris of the eyes and causes impaired vision. During the day time these ectodermic geckos absorb warmth and energy for their night time hunting.
To learn more about albino leopard geckos come to the second floor of the Discovery Room and check out our albino leopard gecko Marvin
(Post by 2018 Summer Intern Grace Erimas)
Have you ever wondered about the Discovery Room’s Totem Pole? Did you know that it was actually carved in this museum?
This Totem Pole, or crest pole, was carved by Richard Hunt, a Kwakwaka’wakw artist. Traditionally, Totem Poles were carved for Potlatch ceremonies. These are special celebrations that mark important occasions for members of the tribe, such as when a member receives a new name or position in his extended family group. This Totem Pole was carved as a part of a Potlatch held in the American Museum of Natural History in 1992 in honor of the opening of the temporary exhibit, Chiefly Feasts: The Enduring Kwakiutl Potlach.
Want to see more? Head over to the Northwest Coast Hall to learn more about Totem Poles and the First Nations people of the Northwest Coast.
(Post by 2018 Summer Intern Hannah Gatson)
Central Park’s Turtle Pond is filled with a variety of organisms, some of which might not catch the eye at first glance. Snail eggs are some of the less commonly found specimens in the pond water, but we were lucky to have our volunteer, Barbara, help us find some. Several snail eggs were found bunched together, as they usually are, in a small egg mass. Usually only 20 to 50 of the eggs hatch out of the 100 eggs the snail can lay. The babies can take from 2 to 3 weeks to hatch. Once they hatch, they look like tiny snails with almost transparent shells. Many of the babies are eaten by bigger snails or fish due to their small size, which ultimately is a good thing because it regulates the snail population.
Come check out snail eggs and other cool pond critters in the Discovery Room yourself!
(Post by 2018 Summer Intern Saimon Khan)
Say hello to one of the Discovery Room’s lesser-known attractions, the Moon Snail!
Although the Discovery Room does not have a live specimen on show, the moon snail is an extremely interesting creature, living mostly in muddy intertidal environments. Moon snails, belonging to the family Naticidae, are among the largest marine snails; their voluminous, mucus-covered body (called a foot) can extend up to 12 inches (30.5cm) long, and forms a wedge-shape that helps the snail move quite quickly under the sand where it lives. The foot is also extremely dexterous, capable of both extending to cover the shell in a matter of seconds if a threat (such as a hungry sea-star) is detected, and also shrinking and sliding back into the shell. However, the Moon snail can only stay tucked into the shell for a limited time, as it cannot breathe. Moon snails are fierce predators, feeding on a variety bivalves and mollusks. They are also known to prey upon their own species occasionally, using their foot to grasp hold of their prey, and their tongue (known as a radula) to drill a hole into the shell. When a moon snail dies, hermit crabs almost immediately take over the new real estate, meaning many of the moon snail shells one sees are often occupied by hermit crabs! Perhaps even the Discovery Room’s moon snail shell once housed a hermit crab!
Wander up to the Discovery Room’s Cabinet of Curiosities to get a closer look at this marvelous creature’s shell!
(Post by 2018 Summer InternMadison Kuras)
Tune in now to see Frogoncé move into her new home in the Discovery Room!
We're live in the Discovery Room and it's frog moving day! 🐸 Post your questions in the comments!
Here it is! Hope you all can join us soon to meet some of these amazing animals: the Discovery Room will be open from 10:30-1:25 and 2:15-5:10 for the entirety of the February Break, February 16-25.
This Valentine's Day, we're visiting some of our animal "sweethearts" LIVE in the Discovery Room! Post your questions in the comments below.
Tune in soon to see some of the Discovery Room's creatures featured on a special Valentine's Day Facebook Live broadcast! Go to the American Museum of Natural History's page for the video:
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world's preeminent scientific and cultural institutions.
If you've ever visited the seismology lab in the Discovery Room, you may have watched a US Array animation of how the waves generated by an earthquake move through the national network of seismographs. See the waves from the recent Alaska quake represented here - and be sure to visit us to find the epicenter on our interactive map!
Watch the waves from the M7.9 Alaska earthquake cross the USArray (www.usarray.org)!
Each dot is a seismic station; red means it's moving up, blue means it's moving down. For large events like this one we also use “tailed” symbols with the direction and length of the tail representing the direction of horizontal ground motion.
For more information please visit http://ds.iris.edu/ds/products/gmv/
Wednesday at 3pm- Tune in to the American Museum of Natural History's Facebook live presentation for a meet and greet with our crested gecko and announcement of his new name!
In light of the weather, the Discovery Room will be closed today, Thursday, January 4th. Please stay safe and warm!
The time has come. The top gecko name suggestions have been chosen. Vote for your favorite and help our newest addition get a new name for the new year!
The winning name will be announced on Monday, January 2nd.
American Museum of Natural History
This #GivingTuesday, your gift can help more than 320,000 NYC school children visit the Museum for free—and today, your donation will go even farther! Facebook is matching a portion of all donations made through this post—plus, a generous donor is matching all donations made today, up to $10K. If you’re able, please give to support science learning.
Say hello to the latest addition to the Discovery Room's live animal collection! This male crested gecko boasts tiny microscopic hairs called "setae" on his toes that help him climb trees in the rainforests of his native New Caledonia -- and scale the walls of his tank at the Museum.
He needs a name: a suggestion sheet will be available by his tank and we're happy to take suggestions online as well. Stay tuned here for a poll to vote on our favorites!
On Monday mornings during the school year, children 2 to 5 years of age are invited to join us for a story hour. More information, including dates for the year, can be found here: http://www.amnh.org/storytime
Space is limited and tickets are distributed on a designated single-file line outside the 81st Street Planetarium Entrance between 9:45 and 10:15 on a first-come, first-served basis for sessions at 10:15 and 11:15. Please form a line on the east side of the plaza. The correct location is indicated by a sign in the doorway. If the line gets long, curve up the sidewalk towards Central Park West. Any remaining tickets will be distributed from the Discovery Room itself. All visitors must also have general admission tickets to enter the building.
We look forward to seeing you all under the baobab tree!
200 Central Park W
New York, NY
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