Tuesday, January 4, 2011

LA County Museum of Natural History

I went to the LAMNH across from USC with my sister and family last week. I don't remember coming here before even though I lived in LA for 25+ years and attended USC for ~4 years. After visiting the Natural History Museum in Washington DC (for free), I wasn't too impressed with the LA version and it's admission fee of $9/person.

Front door facing the LA Coliseum

There were a few dinosaur skeletons in the main entry. The full dinosaur display won't be ready until mid-2011.

What I didn't like about the LAMNH are the old scenic displays found in several halls. These look like they were set up a long time ago and don't convey much information. I think the newer displays incorporate much more interactivity and are more interesting.

Nieces standing under a stuffed(?) polar bear

Pets are not allowed but this was a hearing dog. I'm not sure how that works... the dog listens for noises and alerts the owner? I wonder what types of noise the dog responds to?

There were several tables with items (bones, fossils, shells, etc.) that kids can pick up and inspect. Here Addie has some type of antler and pretending to use it as a comb.

There was a strange fish displayed on the wall. We had to ask a worker/volunteer about it. It turned out that it's a deep sea fish and several have been found washed up on local beaches. There was a preserved one downstairs in a display case. Weird.
Update: it's an oarfish

Skeleton of a fin whale on display. The room was pretty cool... it was dimly lit and the fin whale skeleton was the only thing on display. There was a powered sub-woofer playing low rumbling noises that added to the atmosphere.

We stayed for about 3 hours, including watching two dinosaur "discovery" presentations where you "imagined" going back in time to learn about dinosaurs. It was kinda goofy but good for kids. They also had a guy wearing dinosaur "costumes" and he/she was actually really good, especially acting as a t-rex.

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