California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
"We don't often think of ourselves as extreme mammals, since we don't have long horns or venomous spurs," said Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged, Curator of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences. "However, we are without a doubt one of the most extreme mammals that evolution has produced. Our brain-to-body weight ratio is higher than any other mammal on Earth, and our ability to make and use complex tools sets us apart from all other life forms. That trait has enabled us to occupy virtually all parts of our planet and even explore others." Dr. Alemseged’s research, including his discovery of the oldest and most complete known hominin child, will be featured in a video included in the exhibition during its presentation in San Francisco, which begins in April 3, 2010.
The new California Academy of Sciences is the only institution in the world to combine a museum, aquarium, planetarium, and world-class research and education programs under one roof. This unique combination allows visitors to explore the depths of a Philippine coral reef, climb into the canopy of a Costa Rican rainforest, and fly to the outer reaches of the Universe—all in a single visit. Designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano, the building sets a new standard for sustainable architecture and recently received the highest possible rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. It also provides a home for the Academy’s research scientists, who launch dozens of expeditions each year to explore the natural world, and the museum’s 20 million research specimens—essential tools for comparative studies on the history and future of life on Earth.
"We're excited that Puijila darwini is included in the Extreme Mammals show," said Dr. Natalia Rybczynski, a vertebrate palaeontologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature who led the scientific expedition that discovered this new animal in Canada’s High Arctic. “This fossil—roughly 23 million years old—provides a first glimpse into the early phases of the land-to-sea transition of pinnipeds, a group that today includes seals, sea lions, and walruses.” The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada’s national museum of natural history and natural sciences. It promotes awareness of Canada’s natural heritage through permanent and travelling exhibitions, public and school programmes, a comprehensive web site nature.ca, active scientific research, and the maintenance of a 10-million-specimen collection.
"Extreme Mammals not only introduces visitors to some of the most fascinating mammals that have lived during the past 65 million years, but it also provides an evolutionary context for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's research in human origins and highlights current research in fossil mammals,” said Dr. Darin Croft, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University; Research Associate, Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, incorporated in 1920, has inspired a passion for nature and science among generations of people in Northeast Ohio and around the world. With outstanding collections, research in 11 natural science disciplines, educational programs and exhibits, the Museum is a resource for scientists and students from kindergarten to university. The Museum actively conserves biological diversity through the protection of nearly 5,000 acres of natural areas. It promotes health education with local programs and distance learning that extends across the globe. And, with its GreenCityBlueLake Institute, the Museum is becoming a center of thought and practice for the design of green and sustainable cities.