Whether you’ve always had a soft spot for Dumbo or can’t get enough of those Discovery Channel documentaries, the American Museum of Natural History’s new exhibit might pique your interest. Titled, The Secret World of Elephants, the new exhibit will examine the 60-million-year evolution of the elephant family. From their remarkable minds and bodies to their interactions with humans and the environment, museum goers will get an in depth look at ancient and modern elephants like never before.
Though you may think you’re familiar with the animal, The Secret World of Elephants will shed light on the “greater elephant family tree.” Did you know that sometime between 1.8 million and 11,700 years ago there were more than 50 different elephant relatives in existence? Unfortunately, due to extinctions that variety has dwindled.
In addition to casts and fossils, visitors will get to explore life-sized models of elephants. And don’t be surprised when you find out there was even once a dwarf elephant known as Palaeoloxodon falconeri that only reached 4 feet at its shoulders!
Discover how elephants hear with their feet, have 40,000 muscles in their trunk, and improve environments for several other species sharing their habitats. The Secret World of Elephants will analyze the science behind the animal’s resiliency and efforts to combat threats to survival.
Don’t miss these highlights at The Secret World of Elephants:
- A full-scale woolly mammoth model
- A sound demonstration that explains how elephants communicate through their feet
- A life-size African elephant model
- Teeth of an elephant, a mammoth, and a gomphothere
- Conservation activations explaining threats of climate change, ivory hunting and more
“Elephants are not only majestic and incredible animals, they are pillars of their ecosystems, playing a vital role in the intricate tapestry of life on our planet,” said Museum President Sean M. Decatur. “We hope this exhibition reminds visitors of our shared responsibility to protect and preserve Earth’s magnificent diversity.”
Now to address the elephant in the room—you’re probably wondering when the elephant-astic (sorry, we had to!) exhibit is opening in NYC. It will be officially open to the public on Monday, November 13, 2023. However, museum members will get to preview The Secret World of Elephants beginning Friday, November 10, through Sunday, November 12.