Visit an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.
Whales: Giants of the Deep
Beautiful and strange, graceful and magnificent, whales are evolutionary marvels and key players in marine ecosystems. For centuries, humans have revered them, feared them, and sometimes exploited them. Now it's your chance to journey into the world of whales and see them in all their glorious diversity.
In this immersive and interactive exhibit, learn about the evolution of whales, explore the functions they serve in ocean food webs, and find out what threats they face in the modern world—and the work Academy scientists are doing to protect them. Developed and presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the exhibit tells the story of whales in all its fascinating complexity, including the cultural significance of these magnificent creatures to the people who know them best.
This exhibit closed November 29, 2015.
Walk among the giant and not-so-giant articulated skeletons of an astoundingly diverse collection of whale specimens, then explore the evolutionary paths that gave rise to this unique group of mammals.
Through a wide array of hands-on and multimedia exhibits—including a life-sized model of a blue whale heart and an animation of a lethal battle between sperm whale and giant squid—gain a true appreciation of the physical and behavioral traits that enable whales to make a living in the challenging and dynamic marine environment.
See ancient and contemporary works of art and hear stories from people of the South Pacific all celebrating the magnificence of whales and illustrating the powerful influence these creatures have had on human culture.
See and hear about efforts being made by Academy scientists and others to protect whales from threats of entanglement, shipping and sonar use, and the continuation of whaling practices in some parts of the world.
Whales: Giants of the Deep will be on exhibit through November 29, 2015.
Developed and presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
This exhibition was made possible through the support of the New Zealand Government and the Smithsonian Institution.
Generously supported at the Academy by the Pacific Life Foundation
Visit our online store, where you can shop for whales merchandise and help support the Academy's mission to explore, explain, and sustain life.
Sperm whale top of page: © Brandon Cole
Visitors touching rib bone: © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008
Model of blue whale heart: © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008
Whale-bone pendant: © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2007
Humpback whale: © Dr Ingrid Visser, Orca Research Trust