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Canadian Museum of Nature Helps Illuminate Creatures of Light

A microscope.

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The Canadian Museum of Nature has a large, multidisciplinary team of scientists who conduct leading-edge research in the natural sciences.

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Puijila: A Prehistoric Walking Seal

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Ottawa, March 27, 2012—The launch of Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York marks the most recent international collaboration for the Canadian Museum of Nature, Canada's national museum of natural history and natural science.

The elaborate show, organized by the AMNH in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature and The Field Museum in Chicago, opens March 31, 2012, in New York. Canadians can experience Creatures of Light in 2014, when it will arrive at the Canadian Museum of Nature for an extended run.

Creatures of Light showcases a variety of unique bioluminescent organisms found on land and under the sea. The immersive exhibition showcases how and why different animals produce light, from the flickering fireflies found in backyards around the world, to the alien-like deep-sea fishes and other fantastic creatures that illuminate the perpetually dark depths of the oceans.

In addition to collaborations on educational exhibitions, the Canadian Museum of Nature is involved in scientific research projects across Canada and internationally to identify and classify species, contribute to knowledge of biodiversity and address important ecological issues.

Four of the Canadian Museum of Nature's scientists are featured in the Creatures of Light exhibition. They speak about their observations of bioluminescence during fieldwork, whether in the oceans (Drs. Kathy Conlan, André Martel, Michel Poulin) or on land while collecting insects (Dr. Robert Anderson). Watch videos of these scientists speaking on the subject.

"As an organization committed to increasing awareness and understanding of the natural world through scientific research and education, it's always exciting to collaborate with other international first-rank institutions," said Meg Beckel, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. "Our relationship with the American Museum of Natural History helps bring unique experiences to museum visitors here in Canada as well as in the United States."

Other collaborations with the AMNH have included development of the exhibition Extreme Mammals, which was produced with two other partners: the California Academy of Sciences and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Extreme Mammals continues to tour North America and features a reconstruction of Puijila darwini, a previously unknown fossil carnivore from Devon Island, Nunavut. This "missing link" in the evolution of mammals such as seals, sea lions and walruses was discovered by a team led by Canadian Museum of Nature palaeontologist Dr. Natalia Rybczynski.

About the Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural science. It promotes awareness of Canada's natural heritage through signature and travelling exhibitions, public education programmes, ongoing scientific research, a dynamic web site and the maintenance of a 10.5-million-specimen collection. A founding member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, the museum is working with partners to expand its national service and to develop national programmes about the natural environment.

Media Contacts

Elizabeth McCrea
Director, Communications and Marketing
Canadian Museum of Nature
613.566.4249
Cell: 613.868.8277
emccrea@mus-nature.ca

Dan Smythe
Senior Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Nature
613.566.4781
dsmythe@mus-nature.ca