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Get Up Close and Personal with Live Crocodilians in Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World

May 14, 2018

New Exhibit Lets Visitors See How These Reptiles Have Thrived for Millions of Years

BOSTON – Starting in May, visitors to the Museum of Science, Boston can get up close and personal with members of the crocodilian family in the Museum’s newest exhibit, Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World.

Opening May 20, the exhibit will introduce visitors to one of the most exciting and primal groups of animals, the crocodilian family. The exhibition explores the remarkable diversity of prehistoric crocodyliforms, the biology and behavior of living species, and the conflicts and compromises between crocs and human cultures.

"We are excited to introduce our visitors to the fascinating world of these reptiles which have thrived for millions of years," said Christine Reich, vice president, exhibit development and conservation at the Museum of Science. "The exhibit allows visitors to take on the role of biologist and observe the intriguing lives of crocs in naturalistic habitats. By immersing themselves in the crocs’ world, visitors can enjoy an interactive educational experience that includes rebuilding fossils, learning to ‘speak’ croc, and testing their strength against a croc’s bite, as they study these stealthy predators."

Crocs have flourished for more than 200 million years, and the once-diverse group included fascinating creatures like galloping land predators, pug-nosed herbivores, and fully aquatic dolphin-like hunters. All modern crocodilians, however, are built for life at the water's edge. These stealthy predators have rugged bodies, keen senses, and incredible strength. But they also lead intricate social lives, communicating croc-to-croc with sounds and body postures. They battle over territories, engage in lengthy courtship rituals, and provide their young with tender parental care.

Included with Exhibit Halls admission, the exhibit explores all aspects of crocodilians which range from tiny forest dwellers to behemoths that eat wildebeests, buffaloes, and occasionally, people. In a human-dominated world, their future depends on our willingness to share space with these primal animals. Museum-goers will experience the world of crocodilians in this revealing exhibition with cutting-edge science, live animals, and hands-on components that demonstrate why it's important to preserve these elegant predators.  Exhibit highlights include:

  • Thechampsa skull - The 13-million year old jaws of this massive fish-eating crocodylomorph (the group that includes modern crocodilians) is an example of the super-giant crocs of the past.
  • Bring a Fossil to Life - This interactive experience puts visitors in the role of paleo-artist, creating a plausible 3D animation of a long-extinct croc.
  • Dwarfs - The delicate preserved skeleton of Hoplosuchus, a tiny insect-eating relative of modern crocs, was a long-legged runner that most likely dined on insects!
  • Build a Crocodylomorph - By working with a virtual field notebook, visitors can assemble a variety of ancient crocs and glimpse the staggering diversity the group once included.
  • The Social Gator - Far from mindless brutes, crocodilians lead complex social lives. Explore how they communicate with sight, sound, smell, and touch in this interactive exhibit.
  • Crunch Capacity - Crocodilians have the strongest bites of any animal measured. Visitors can test their strength against a croc on a modified force gauge while a video demonstrates how researchers measure the bites of real crocs.
  • Croc Talk - Learn to “speak” croc in under 5 minutes at this interactive station. Activate real croc calls and learn what scientists think they are saying.

Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World will be presented at the Museum of Science, Boston from May 20 through September 3, 2018. The exhibit is included with regular Exhibit Halls admission: $25 for adults, $21 for seniors (60+), and $20 for children (3-11). For more information, the public can call 617/723-2500, (TTY) 617/589-0417, or visit www.mos.org.

 

About the Museum of Science, Boston

One of the world's largest science centers and New England's most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces more than 1.3 million visitors a year to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through the world-class hands-on exhibits, programs and pre-K-12 curricula of its William and Charlotte Bloomberg Science Education Center. An extraordinary variety of learning experiences span the Hall of Human Life, Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 4-D Theater, and Butterfly Garden. The Science Behind Pixar, created with Pixar Animation Studios, is touring internationally. The Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® has transformed STEM education nationally and internationally through advocacy, standards and assessment reforms, teacher professional development, and curriculum development. The Museum’s pre-K-12 curricula, including its award-winning Engineering is Elementary®, have reached an estimated 15 million students and 165,000 educators. Visit: http://www.mos.org.

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