Milstein Science Series: Ocean Babies main content.

Milstein Science Series: Ocean Babies

Part of Milstein Science Series

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Seal and baby seal on a rocky beach

Seahorses pop from their fathers' pouches, emperor penguins carry eggs on their feet, catfish guard their young in their mouth, and killer whales stay with their pods for life. For many animals, the relationship between parent and child is one of the most vital and important factors for survival. Learn all about the youngest animals that live beneath the sea and the parenting strategies used to keep them safe. Interact with scientists, discover amazing critters, and celebrate science under the iconic blue whale at this family-friendly festival, with Main Stage programs hosted by Curator Mark Siddall.

Meet the Host


Mark Siddall's career has been devoted to uncovering biodiversity and evolutionary histories for the most successful animal life-history strategy of all time: parasitism. His research has encompassed protistan parasites from giardiasis and malaria to commercially significant shellfish pathogens, helminths, and even blood-feeding ectoparasites from bed bugs to leeches. He presently serves as president-elect of the American Society of Parasitologists and as treasurer of the Willi Hennig Society.

Anchored in a deep a tradition of fieldwork that spans the globe, Siddall has been central to the Sackler Institute of Comparative Genomics adopting and leveraging emergent DNA sequencing technologies to advance biodiversity sciences. The core of this mission is a broadly comparative understanding of genomic evolution comprising a fuller architecture of life than model organism studies allow.

Main Stage Programs

Live Penguins

Main Stage | Noon and 2 pm

Join us for our Main Stage show, A Penguin State of Mind by the Central Park Zoo, where you'll learn about the similarities between penguins and ourselves.

Scientist Presentations

Main Stage | 12:30 and 2:30 pm

Museum Curator Mark Siddall tells tales of mollusk and sea slug parenting. Biochemist and Museum Research Associate Mandë Holford talks about the unique way in which seahorses reproduce and how fathers carry their young to term. And director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Kyle van Houtan, discusses his research on community development among sea turtles, jelly fish, and other marine species.

The Scientist Is In

Interact with experts one-on-one and learn about their research on the parenting behaviors of different ocean animals.

Exploration Stations

11 am–4 pm

Explore Museum collections, talk with scientists, and engage in hands-on activities.

Find My Baby Picture

Learn about the physical transformation that takes place from youth to adult for several marine species in this interactive game. Can you guess the species by looking at its baby picture?

Parenting in the Coral Reef

Meet Museum scientists and explore specimens from our collections to learn about some of the most interesting reproductive and early-stage parenting behaviors that exist in one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet: the coral reef.

Reading Nook

A special reading nook where you can enjoy a quiet moment and learn about ocean babies through stories.

Papa Penguin

Penguin build intricate nests to protect their eggs from the freezing ice. Can you build a nest strong enough to prevent a penguin egg from touching the icy ground?

Risky Journey

Some marine species overcome extreme hurdles to protect their young and lead them to safe spaces once they are born. See if you can lead ocean babies to safety through this interactive obstacle course.

Wild World of Animals

Interact with live marine animals, like sea stars, sea urchins, and anemones, in a touch tank.

The Milstein Science Series is proudly sponsored by the Irma and Paul Milstein Family.