Life at the Limits: Stories of Amazing Species 

Over billions of years, living things have evolved from simple cells into an awe-inspiring array of life forms—a spectacle of behaviors, specialized parts, and exacting skills. Some species are familiar. But others are so amazing that they test the limits of our imagination.

No matter how extraordinary certain plants and animals seem to us, their unusual features often address the most ordinary of tasks: To reproduce, breathe and move around. To sense the world. To find food and safety. 

Exhibition Highlights

About the Exhibition

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About the Exhibition

Life at the Limits: Stories of Amazing Species explores the diverse and sometimes jaw-dropping strategies animals and plants employ to find food, fend off predators, reproduce, and thrive in habitats many would find inhospitable, even lethal. 

Getting Started

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Getting Started

Every form of life on Earth has a way to reproduce, but some species do so in surprising ways.

Breathe and Eat

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Breathe and Eat

Getting food and oxygen into the body is a key to survival—but how plants and animals accomplish that can vary widely.

Thrive and Endure

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Thrive and Endure

From lightless caves to frigid permafrost, life finds a way to thrive even in the most seemingly inhospitable environments.

Move and Sense

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Move and Sense

Animals use many ways of getting around, plus a range of senses, to navigate different parts of the planet.

Protect and Prosper

Protect and Prosper

From suits of armor to amazingly long lifespans, some species seem, at times to cheat death. 

The Museum gratefully acknowledges the

Richard and Karen LeFrak Exhibition and Education Fund.

Generous support for Life at the Limits has been provided by the Eileen P. Bernard Exhibition Fund.

Life at the Limits is proudly supported by 

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Life at the Limits