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New Exhibitions at the Academy of Natural Sciences in 2022 

In Celebration of Water Year 

PHILADELPHIA, January 4, 2022

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is celebrating Water Year in 2022 with a series of special exhibitions aimed at helping people better understand the critical role of rivers and oceans and how everyone’s actions on land affect the watershed system.


Nestled in the heart of Philadelphia’s Parkway Museums District, the Academy is the oldest natural history museum in the Americas, founded in 1812, and the first place in the world to display a fully mounted dinosaur skeleton, in 1868Today the museum is a major cultural attraction featuring Dinosaur Hall with T. rexOutside In with live animalshistoric dioramas with plants and animals in realistic habitats around the world, galleries that delve into timely climate change and environmental issues, and a variety of on-site and virtual programming.


In the months ahead, new exhibitions will fill the galleries with exciting opportunities and engaging programsHere’s the schedule of temporary exhibits for 2022. For updates and more information, visit


Special Exhibit Gallery 

Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs  

Through January 17, 2022 


Step back 290 million years to when bizarre-looking creatures dominated life on land and sea, and dinosaurs had not yet evolved. Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs blends vivid artwork, amazing fossils and scientifically accurate models of moving beasts to recreate this relatively unknown period when the greatest mass extinction wiped out creatures that will never be discovered. Explore odd-looking sharks, strange reptiles with mammal-like characteristics, the vicious giant saber-toothed gorgonopsid, and more. 


To download an image, visit the Press Room 


Spotlight Gallery 

Sea Change 

September 1, 2021TBD 


Pteropods, affectionately known as “potato chips of the sea,” are tiny ocean snails that help form the base of the ocean food web. Their thin, fragile shells are sensitive to changes in ocean chemistry. Sea Change centers around the research of former Academy scientist Rosie Oakes, PhD, who studies the effects of climate change on pteropods, monitoring their shells to measure the effects of ocean acidification on ocean life. The exhibit includes stunning photography, wall projections with hypnotic undersea footage, video interviews with scientists, and a video slideshow on ocean acidification. 


To download an image, visit the Press Room 


Dietrich Gallery 

Invisible World of Water 

November 132021 through Sunday, May 1, 2022 


Invisible World of Water renews our appreciation for the vital element of water through artworks that combine the marvel and insight of both scientific and artistic inquiry. Centered around two micro-phenomena — snow crystals and diatoms — the exhibition presents parallel histories of observation and shows the interplay between the micro-cosmic and macro-cosmic. Invisible World of Water includes illustrations of rare books (by Robert Hooke, Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg and Ernst Haeckel); Victorian-era arranged diatom slides by Harold Dalton and others; microphotographs by Snowflake Bentley and Ukichiro Nakaya; artifacts documenting the groundbreaking research of Academy scientist Ruth Patrick; contemporary ceramic sculpture by Marguerita Hagan; holographic light field display scanning electron microscope images of diatoms; stop-motion imagery by physicist Kenneth Libbrecht; and high-resolution photography by Nathan Myhrvold. The Invisible World of Water considers the hidden connections and the flow between water, land and air through Earth’s hydrosphere. 


To download an image, visit the Press Room 


Special Exhibit Gallery 

Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss 

April 2 through July 24, 2022 


Explore the mysteries of the deep sea, discover creatures no one knew existed until recently and experience the technology that allows scientists to travel to the bottom of the ocean in Extreme Deep: Mission to the AbyssNewly discovered life forms, bubbling thermal vents, close-up views of compact research submersibles as well as shipwrecks including Titanic, are among the attractions in this adventure developed in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Visitors will learn about the geological forces deep within the earth and how superheated water erupting from deep vents support newly discovered life formsThe sun doesn’t penetrate the water at these depths, yet seafloor inhabitants thrive in total darkness thanks to a unique life support system. Extreme Deep reveals the secrets of the ocean and enriches our understanding of our connection to it.


To download an image, visit the Press Room 


Special Exhibit Gallery 

Ocean Bound 

August 202022 through January 15, 2023 


Dive into an underwater adventure, explore the watershed connection and discover the majesty of the ocean in Ocean Bound. Through dozens of eye-popping aquatic species and ecosystems, high-definition video and hands-on activities, visitors can explore the ocean's vast diversity and see how everyone’s actions on land affect the ocean, however far away. Be a biologist like those at the Academy of Natural Sciences and discover fun facts about aquatic animals and their environments. Make it rain in a 3-D watershed model, maneuver cranks to divert pollutants as they travel through stormwater drains, and pilot a submersible from mountain stream to the ocean, exploring interesting species and habitats along the wayLearn how our actions can benefit animals and ecosystems and be a part of a long-term solution to protecting vital watershed resources.


To download an image, visit the Press Room