By: Amairani Chacon
For my virtual field trip at the Smithsonian Museum, I decided to explore the Bone Hall in the museum’s Current Exhibits.
As soon as the first part of the tour appeared, it was already fascinating. In front of me were multiple skeletal figures of marsupials and their history as well as why they are featured in the exhibit.
As I continued to venture around, the skeletons never ceased to amaze. There were skeletons of so many animals. From monkeys to deer, to giraffes, and even a gray whale! Along with the skeletons, was a small description of each animals’ origin and ancestors, as well as what makes their skeletal structure so unique and how it helps them survive in their habitats.
Different parts of the hall showed different jaws, skulls, and teeth in different animals and how they benefit the animal. A diagram also showed how the skeleton is motion works, and how different functions of bone perform certain actions.
A whole area of the hall was dedicated to different types of birds and their skeletal figures. The exhibits included Running Birds, Underwater Swimmers, Terrestrial Birds, and many more fascinating displays. Each display showed different types of birds according to that category and what job they served in nature.
The next exhibit displayed several types of animals such as turtles, snakes, and crocodiles. One display that caught my attention was the Leatherback Turtle. This skeletal figure is not only eight feet in length, but its shell is broken up into small plates set into its leathery skin. The other displays of turtles show them according to category and how they function and if they are aquatic or land animals. The next display was an alligator and crocodiles. These skeletons took up almost a whole wall to show how massive these creatures truly are. The last display was of snakes that were labeled as venomous or non-venomous. The body structure of the snakes only was fascinating and being able to see how each snake had its own small uniqueness to them.
The last section of the Bone Hall contained aquatic animals being mostly fish. The largest display was a Sword Fish. This animal was featured in the Perciform Fishes display. This display contained many fish that were considered to be an advanced type of fish. This section also included skeletal figures of Flatfish and seeing the outer part of their skeleton can be viewed similarly to that of a snakes' skeleton. A smaller display was about sharks and their jaw structure. Lastly in the exhibit, we have Rays. Seeing the skeletal structure of a way was very odd and it is not what was expected. Yes, looking at it, it can be inferred that it is a ray, but it is overall the most unexpected skeleton.
I believe that the Bone Hall was an amazing choice for a virtual tour and being able to see the different types of animals and their body structure was stunning. My favorite display was the Blue Whale mostly because of its size. The size and structure of the animal was mesmerizing and unbelievable.
Overall, this virtual tour was a spectacular thing to experience and I believe it was something that would be breathtaking in person.