Sometimes life is hard to observe, because it’s too tiny or fast or is hidden underground or in the ocean. Discover what you’ve been missing: use scientific tools to investigate living things of different sizes, the ecosystems they inhabit, and the processes they share.
Thousands of distinct species live and breathe (or not) in this colorful bacterial terrarium. Look for green cyanobacteria, orange iron oxidizers, and gray cellulose eaters. What you see today will be gone tomorrow in this living artwork in a perpetual state of change.
Developed by artist Michael Brown in collaboration with reclaimed wood specialist Evan Shively, a several-hundred-year-old Douglas fir was split down the center to reveal its rings, immersing visitors in a fascinating study of dendrochronology.
A decaying carcass makes a perfect meal for an assortment of scavengers, including the dermestid beetles you can see in this exhibit. As they feast on these carcasses, the dermestid beetles and their larvae get their energy and nutrients from the dried flesh, skin, and other tissues.