1998 - present
The Hall of Biodiversity examines biodiversity and its importance to human survival as well as threats to biodiversity caused by humans. The hall presents not only a traditional retrospective view common in museum exhibitions, but also a current and prospective outlook, as well. The atmosphere of immediacy is supported by interactive exhibits and video installations throughout the hall as well as the immersive rainforest diorama (1, 1996/97, p. 5-6; 2).
At the center of the hall is the 2,500 square-foot walk-through diorama of the Dzanga-Sangha Rainforest in the Central African Republic. The rainforest diorama invites visitors behind the traditional glass wall and uses video and sound to create an immersive environment (1, 1996/97, p. 5-6).
Other hall highlights include the electronic BioBulletin, sponsored by the New York Times Company Foundation and supported by NASA, which offers regularly updated information on events that affect biodiversity worldwide and the latest biodiversity research similar to the AstroBulletins in the Hall of the Universe and the Earth Events Wall in the Hall of Planet Earth (1, 1996/97, p. 5-6); the Spectrum of Life exhibit, which showcases the diversity of life resulting from 3.5 billion years of evolution with more than 1,500 specimens and models, from microorganisms to terrestrial and aquatic giants; a timeline of the five previous mass extinctions and species lost; the Endangered Species exhibit; the Resource Center, which presents two walls of exhibits which show the transformation of the biosphere and mass extinction created by human activity on one side and solutions on the other; a Dodo Bird skeleton; and glass models of protists created by Museum preparator Herman O. Mueller (2).
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