March Break visitors to the Canadian Museum of Nature this week got a first look at the new exhibit, Whales Tohorā, which runs from March 2 to September 3, 2012. This exhibit is on loan from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Tohorā, means “whale” in Māori, and the Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. Whale-bone treasures, such as weapons and adornments, that the Māori produced reveal the significance of whales to them and reflect the exhibition’s cultural expression of the relationship between the two groups.
Whales Tohorā explores the diversity, biology and adaptation of whales to life in the oceans and also on the human impacts on whales such as the threats of fishing nets, foreign debris, predators and boats. A stunning component of this exhibition is the massive 17.8-metre, fully articulated sperm-whale skeleton that gives a real sense of the sperm whale’s size as the largest toothed predator on the planet!
The exhibition’s Whale Lab is full of interactive science:
- Children can crawl through a life-sized replica of the heart of the largest living creature—the blue whale.
- The extraordinary evolutionary journey of whales from land to the sea is shown by casts of fossil whale ancestors.
- Visitors can tune in to a range of whale sounds and discover how scientists and amateur trackers identify individual whales on their migration through the Pacific Ocean.
- The Whale Lab also features Search and Destroy, an experience that takes visitors to the ocean depths on a hunt for a giant squid, re-created from authentic data and sounds collected from a real sperm whale.
Visitors of any age will find something of interest in this awe inspiring exhibit that explores the undersea world of whales and brings them to life with cultural storytelling, intriguing objects and interactive science. For more information on the exhibit visit the Canadian Museum of Nature website or, to book your getaway package that includes a visit to the Whales Tohorā exhibit, visit www.ottawatourism.ca.