We’re excited to announce our newest special exhibit, Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence, created by the American Museum of Natural History. The exhibit made its debut in 2012 and the curator John Sparks, an associate curator in the museum’s Department of Ichthyology, a professor in the museum’s Richard Gilder Graduate School, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, described his work on the exhibit in a series of museum blogs. Continue reading to discover what went into the making of this incredible exhibit.
Behind the Scenes of Creatures of Light
By John Sparks, from a Museum of Natural History blog
Every exhibition we produce is a collaboration between the Museum’s research scientists and the exhibition team, which includes writers, designers, artists, and media specialists. I’m the curator for this exhibition, which means that I oversee the scientific content and bring expertise from my research—in this case, on the evolution of bioluminescent signaling systems in marine fishes. Here’s my first dispatch:
Getting the Light Right
Scientific accuracy is our top priority. Although it may seem trivial, getting the color (or wavelength) of the emitted light just right for this exhibition’s many models of bioluminescent creatures—fireflies, glowworms, siphonophores, and ponyfishes—is fundamental to accurately reproducing the diversity of natural light that organisms use for a variety of functions.