by Ioannis Miaoulis, President and Director, Museum of Science, Boston

Rich’s Ship Logs reveal an extraordinary variety of marine life including sea birds, porpoises, flying fish, tiny shrimp, and squid. As Rich mentions, the aerodynamics of the  albatross and the agility of porpoises are amazing.

We can learn a lot from these animals about science, engineering, and our world. Animals have already solved some of their own engineering problems through evolution. For example, I learned while on a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef that the sea anemone has evolved into an ideal shape and size for filter feeding. It is engineered to retrieve its food without being swept away by the current.

When the Museum’s visitor attends one of our animal presentations, and they explore an alligator, a great horned owl, or a hedgehog, they are engaged; they are learning. They observe, experiment, and conclude as scientists do. The Museum’s 3-D Digital Cinema lets visitors swim with a whale shark, a great white shark, and more. In the upcoming Frogs: A Chorus of Colors exhibit (February 13-May 25, 2009), visitors will learn about the remarkable diversity among frog species.

So while we can’t all sail the world’s oceans to see wildlife like Rich, observing wildlife at home or at a museum can teach you a lot about your world.