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2014 Schedule of Exhibits

PHILADELPHIA, November 18, 2013

The mating rituals of elusive birds, the latest findings  about dinosaurs, the origins of the world’s favorite treat and a humorous look into natural history museums will be featured in a series of exciting new exhibitions in 2014 at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. In addition, for three days in early spring the entire museum will be transformed into a splendid showcase for one of the nation’s largest international orchid shows.

The Academy, nestled in the heart of Philadelphia’s Parkway Museums District, is the nation’s oldest natural history museum, founded in 1812. The museum’s signature exhibits, popular with both children and adults, include Discovering Dinosaurs, Butterflies! (a tropical garden of live butterflies), Outside In (a children’s discovery center with live animals), and historic dioramas depicting animals around the world in artful habitats. In addition, the Academy presents a series of engaging and educational temporary exhibits.

Below is the schedule of exhibits for 2014. For frequent updates, visit


Dinosaurs Unearthed

October 12, 2013–March 30, 2014

Special Exhibits Gallery

Roaring, moving, life-size animatronic dinosaurs invade the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for a multi-sensory experience for the whole family. State-of-the-art and scientifically accurate—down to the feathers on T. rexDinosaurs Unearthed features more than a dozen realistic, full-bodied dinosaurs, as well as skeletons, fossil casts of skulls, claws and horns, real specimens of mosasaur and Spinosaurus teeth, an Oviraptor egg and the ever-popular coprolite (dino poop). A dig site for young paleontologists, a Dino Detective touch-screen quiz, chances to control dinosaur movements and other activities encourage exciting hands-on exploration. $5 fee in addition to museum admission; $3 fee for members.

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International Orchid Show and Sale

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 11, 12 and 13, 2014

Hours: Friday noon–8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

For the second year, an International Orchid Show and Sale will transform the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University into a spectacular world of orchids—just in time for spring. See

thousands of beautiful, sometimes bizarre, often fragrant, and always interesting orchids from around the globe. These orchids will be judged and awarded prizes from the American Orchid Society. Take advantage of the rare opportunity to purchase flowers directly from vendors from as far away as Ecuador, Brazil and Japan. Novices and experts alike will learn valuable botanical information during talks and tours. The International Orchid Show, the largest orchid show outside California and Florida, is presented in collaboration with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Orchid Society. Free with museum admission. From 5–8 p.m. on Friday, April 12 only, pay a reduced museum admission fee of $10 to experience the Orchid Show and Sale. For more information, visit or call 215-299-1167.

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Unnatural History

April 19–August 2, 2014

Art of Science Gallery

Unnatural History is a playful poke at what goes on behind the dioramas at a natural history museum. In Lori Nix’ imaginative photographs, science, facts and animals are a bit askew and sometimes hilarious. This plays on the expectations people have for museums like the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University as places of serious research and authority. Free with museum admission.

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Birds of Paradise

May 3-September 1, 2014

Special Exhibits Gallery

An elegant example of extreme evolution, New Guinea’s birds-of-paradise show off their feathery flair during elaborate mating rituals. In this special exhibit based on the groundbreaking research of photographer Tim Laman and Cornell ornithologist Edwin Scholes, visitors will behold the birds’ cinematic courtship dances, puffed-out plumage, wild calls, and bizarre behaviors through engaging  video, photography, soundscapes, specimens, and the chance to learn signature bird moves in a unique dance-off for the whole family. Laman and Scholes made 18 expeditions over eight years to one of the world’s most pristine environments to reveal all 39 species of these elusive birds for the first time. The exhibit includes mounted specimens, study skins and a fancy hat from the Academy’s world-class collections. Birds of Paradise has been co-developed by the National Geographic Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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Chocolate: The Exhibition

October 11, 2014-January 24, 2015

Special Exhibits Gallery

Explore the rich natural and cultural history of one of the world’s favorite treats in Chocolate: The Exhibition. Chocolate traces the intriguing story of this “food of the gods” from its origin in the rainforest to the Aztecs who used cacao seeds as currency, to the Spanish who added sugar and transformed the bitter drink of kings to the sumptuous sweet we crave today. Visitors will discover chocolate’s impact on human cultures and tropical ecosystems through some 150 fascinating objects, including a life-size cacao tree, touchable pods and seeds, European silver and porcelain servers, and a range of creative packaging and advertising from the 1800s and 1900s. Chocolate, an all-new version of an earlier exhibit, will engage the senses and reveal facets of this sumptuous treat that you've never thought about before. In Spanish and English. Chocolate and its national tour were developed by The Field Museum, Chicago. This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.

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Media Contact

Carolyn Belardo

Director of Public Relations
Phone: 215.299.1043