by Jude Timms
An all new exhibition designed and produced by the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, at the Australian National Maritime Museum this autumn will immerse visitors in the world of whales and highlight the importance of conservation to their future survival. Amazing Whales – Evolution and survival opens tomorrow and heralds the start of the museum’s Whale Season.
Photographic Exhibition - Come eye-to-eye with whales in life-size
From graceful giants of the sea to playful dolphins, dangerous predators such as orcas to the mysterious narwhal and beluga whales, cetaceans, of all the mammals, have undergone a most remarkable journey to become the diverse range of aquatic creatures they are today and their survival is still under threat.
Amazing Whales - Evolution and survival examines the relationship between humans and whales – from the mythology of whales and the bonds between them both to the consequences of whaling.
And while commercial whaling is now largely a thing of the past, the exhibition shines a light on the ongoing debate on the hunting of whales. It also examines the other human activities that continue to seriously threaten them including pollution, industrialization, commercial fishing, global warming and even noise pollution and what we can do to help.
An interactive touch table reveals the extent of the whaling industry in Australia and how the towns that once prospered from it now focus on whale watching tourism. Visitors will also discover some of the more peculiar myths associated with whales including the belief that climbing inside the body of a beached whale would cure arthritis.
Amazing Whales – Evolution and survival is presented in conjunction with the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris and runs from 22 March until 20 July. Tickets are part of the museum’s Big Ticket - $27 adults, $16 child/concession, $70 family. For further information visit anmm.gov.au/amazingwhales.
The exhibition heralds the start of the museum’s Whale Season throughout autumn and winter. Amazing Whales will be complemented by Beautiful whale – life-size photography by Bryant Austin - a remarkable photographic exhibition where visitors come face-to-face with giant underwater images of whales at sea. This exhibition opens on 11 April. The museum proudly supports the Australian Marine Conservation Society throughout its Whales Season.
The Australian National Maritime Museum, in Darling Harbour, is open from 9.30am to 5pm daily. All enquiries (02) 9298 3777 or visit www.anmm.gov.au.