Ends of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins
WhereSan Diego Natural History Museum
San Diego, CA
WhenMay 14, 2011–April 15, 2012
HoursDaily 10am - 5pm
Massive polar bears, comical-looking penguins, brave explorers, and intrepid researchers provide a welcome respite from the summer heat in what may literally be the “coolest” exhibition currently on view in Balboa Park. Filled with family-friendly interactive displays, Ends of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins transports visitors to the two most remote regions on the planet.
Celebrating the centennial of the famed Amundsen-Scott race to the South Pole, Ends of the Earth presents the discoveries made across these icy regions in an engaging and colorful fashion, beginning with the Arctic, a.k.a. the North Pole, where the cute, yet ferocious polar bear steals the spotlight.
Consisting of an ice-covered ocean with no definitive boundaries and surrounding barren lands, the North Pole actually supports a variety of life, including animals, plants, and people native to the region. Through videos, interactive games and displays, and artifacts, the exhibition reveals not only the fragile nature of existence here, but just how fragile this unique ecosystem is in the face of global climate change.
Also featuring a number of interactive displays and authentic artifacts, the Antarctica section that follows shows how a rich variety of penguins (17 different species in all), whales, seals, and other seabirds are able to make the coldest, driest, and windiest region on Earth home.
This section also examines the exciting history of expeditions (or races) to both poles in The Explorers multimedia theater. In other exhibition highlights, children can don a penguin suit and learn to waddle and slide like the odd-looking flightless bird and then match their skills against those of penguin parents in the “Feed the Chick” game.