Connections between species are found everywhere in nature, from the microbes in our guts to the deep blue sea.
Opening Aug. 26, the CU Boulder Museum of Natural History's latest exhibit Curious Connections in Nature will reveal unique and important links between organisms.
“Our whole thing is getting people intrigued about the natural world,” said Sharon Tinianow, assistant director of the museum. “It’s all connected.”
The exhibit will tell stories of symbiosis, where different species have close contact with each other. Sometimes, both benefit, such as in the case of bees pollinating flowers. But other times, a parasite thrives at the expense of its host.
These types of relationships are found worldwide, and the exhibit will highlight both local examples such as the prairie dog’s role in grassland ecosystems and more distant connections like those found between microscopic ocean organisms.
The exhibit will feature interactive experiences, such as a web of life tunnel where participants can tug on strings to see how species are connected and how healthy ecosystems rely on certain species, and informative panels on ecology and personal stories of scientists.
The displays will target a third- through fifth-grade audience, but there will be something for everyone. High schoolers can get interested in college studies by learning about the researchers, while CU Boulder students and adults can dive deeper by attending museum lectures taught by scientists that contributed to the exhibit.
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