Academy Exhibit Takes Flight at PHL
June 8, 2012
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, nestled in the Parkway Museums District, the heart of Philadelphia’s cultural center, is America’s oldest natural history museum and the home of some of the world’s most distinguished collections. In celebration of the venerable Academy’s 200th birthday, Philadelphia International Airport is offering visitors a glimpse into the museum’s fascinating holdings with a unique, interactive exhibit spotlighting the Academy’s ornithological collection.
The Academy Takes Flight features 54 captivating bird mounts from the Academy’s internationally renowned ornithological collection of nearly 200,000 bird specimens, which is among the 10 largest bird collections in the world. While studying these majestic creatures, viewers can also push 1 of 6 interactive buttons that activate bird calls from 6 distinct species: the Lyrebird, Rufous Hornbill, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Cooper’s Hawk, Great-horned Owl, and Laughing Kookaburra.
The Academy Takes Flight is accessible to ticketed passengers on the walkway between Terminals C and D through November.
The 200,000 bird specimens at the Academy represent more than 7,000 species as well as more than 15,000 tissue samples. The museum’s avian holdings also feature the most complete series of Andean birds in any ornithological collection as well as extensive specimens from South America and Southeast Asia and a substantial assemblage of extinct and endangered bird species.
In addition to its extraordinary collections, the Academy of Natural Sciences has distinguished itself as a global leader in biodiversity and environmental research.
“The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is an historical and international treasure,” said Airport CEO Mark Gale. “This unique exhibit enables us to share some of this treasure with a worldwide audience and salute the Academy on its 200 years of exploring, preserving and cultivating an appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the natural world and its outstanding contributions to science.”
The Airport exhibit also encourages visitors to see The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery, which includes stunning and seldom seen marvels from its vast collections, and invites visitors to dress like a scientist and try their hands at assembling bones as well as more fun activities to experience the museum.