Lectures and Special Events
Poseidon’s Poisons and Marine Medicines
April 13, 2014
The oceans are home to a variety of species that use toxins for both defense and predation, as well as species that thrive in extreme and toxic environments. Many of these poisons also have important applications in modern medicine—e.g., the venom from marine cone snails may help treat epilepsy and even Alzheimer’s disease. Join Curator Mark Siddall for a dynamic program that expands on the Museum’s exhibition The Power of Poison and offers family-friendly activities.
Schedule of Events:
Noon and 2:30 pm
Meet some of nature’s most fascinating marine animals and learn how they adapt to their unique habitats. Zoologist and TV host Jarod Miller will introduce you to a diverse group of ocean animals large and small, from across the animal kingdom.
Live specimens include:
Marine Toad (size of a dinner plate)
Poison dart frogs
Large scorpion species
Large tarantula species
Large centipede/Millipede species
Large Monitor lizard
The live specimens coming to the program include individuals that would be toxic in the wild, but are rendered benign by their diets or other means.
Meet the Experts
1 pm, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm
Join host Mark Siddall with chemist Mandë Holford, biologist Marymegan Daly, and medical toxicologist Dr. Rama Rao for a series of presentations unraveling how ocean life has adapted to poison, how poisons found in the ocean can be beneficial to humans, and how families can explore the ocean together safely.
11 am – 4 pm
Ask the Scientists
Scientists Mandë Holford, Marymegan Daly, and Rama Rao are on-site throughout the day to respond to your burning questions about poison and ocean life. No inquiry is too strange or silly. Mandë, Marymegan, and Rama enjoy being challenged so go ahead and ask away!
Power of Poisons
Have you ever wondered how a plant can protect itself from attack by insects, larger plant-eaters, and even other plants? Or how spiders and snakes are able to capture prey and to defend themselves? Come explore this hands-on station where you will have the chance to touch and observe specimens and learn about the power of poison.
Poisonous Pokes, Venomous Vectors, Delivering the Dose
Evolution has brought about a variety of ways of getting poison where it is needed, when it is needed: fangs, tentacle tips, and stingers. Using a variety of microscopes to observe insects, spiders, hydra, and more, take a close-up look at some creatures that put venom to use in their daily lives.
Seek and You Shall Find: Venom and Toxins in the Ocean
The ocean is home to many different kinds of animals…and many different poisons! Explore the biodiversity of marine life and toxins while designing your own poison warning pattern—zig-zags, polka dots. You choose!
Activities at this station will be supported by students from M362: Columbia Secondary School (an Urban Advantage participating school).
The Milstein Science Series is proudly sponsored by the Irma and Paul Milstein Family.
More in this Series:
June 3, 2016
Sylvia Earle and E. O. Wilson are joined by anthropologist Jenny Newell, curator of Pacific Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History, and visual artist Lynette Wallworth for a rallying event about what we humans can—and must—do to save our wondrous planet.
June 5, 2016 - June 26, 2016
The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial comes to life with weekly performances and hands-on activities inspired by America’s breathtaking natural landscapes.
June 5, 2016 - June 29, 2016
From concerts and hands-on activities to a film screening and conversations with experts, discover the wonder of the natural parks from the heart of the city!
June 7, 2016
Currently visiting the East Coast from the Everglades to New England, Hōkūleʻa is in the midst of a 47,000-nautical-mile worldwide voyage to celebrate indigenous cultures and to raise awareness of the need to steward the Earth’s resources.
June 23, 2016
Soar over red rock canyons, hurtle down steep mountain peaks, and explore otherworldly realms found in our country’s most legendary spaces. A discussion with experts will follow the screening.
June 29, 2016
Drawing on Roosevelt’s diaries and expedition journals, museum naturalist Darrin Lunde will discuss Roosevelt’s life and legacy as a champion of scientific inquiry and wilderness.