The Harvard Museum of Natural History announces a new online exhibition, Islands: Evolving in Isolation, a rich resource which has been developed from the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s 2015-2017 exhibition of the same name.
With bizarre woodpecker-like primates, dwarf humans, and flightless birds over nine feet tall, islands are havens for some of the most unusual creatures on our planet. Why are islands such hotspots of biodiversity and how does evolution work within these isolated pockets of life? This new online exhibition unravels the mysteries of island biodiversity and evolution. Packed with examples from around the globe, it brings together an enormous array of stories about plants and animals, including lizards, giant pitcher plants, hissing cockroaches, Galápagos tortoises, New Guinea birds of paradise, Malagasy lemurs, Komodo Dragonsfrom the Indonesian islands, and Homo floresiensis, a relative of modern humans.
Full of surprises, Islands: Evolving in Isolation highlights some of the latest research and discoveries made by Harvard scientists, including Edward O. Wilson, Scott Edwards, Brian Farrell and Jonathan Losos.
“Since Darwin’s time, research on islands has played a pivotal role in advancing understanding of biodiversity and evolution, says Harvard evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos, who was chief faculty advisor to the exhibition. “Our goal was to illustrate not only the extraordinary diversity of island life, but how scientists have studied it.” Losos is the Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator in Herpetology, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard.
The Islands: Evolving in Isolation online exhibition is supported by the National Science Foundation.
About the Harvard Museum of Natural History
One of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, the Harvard Museum of Natural History is located at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, on the Harvard campus, a 7-minute walk from the Harvard Square Red Line MBTA station. The museum is wheelchair accessible. The museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, 361 days/year. For directions, exhibition schedules, lectures, and information on free parking, see the website or call 617.495.3045.
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Blue Magruder, Director of Public Affairs and Marketing
Harvard Museums of Science & Culture