National Museum of Natural History @ 10th St NW & Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
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In Spying on Whales, which E.O. Wilson praises as "the best of science writing," paleontologist and curator of fossil marine mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, Nick Pyenson, takes readers to the ends of the earth and the cutting edge of research to answer some of our biggest questions about whales.
From Moby Dick to Free Willy to Blackfish, whales have long intrigued us. They are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet they seem almost too majestic, too fantastical to be believed. They evolved from land-roaming creatures the size of German shepherds into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fill us with awe, terror, and affection, but because they live 99% of their lives underwater, they remain mysteries to us.
Why and how did they evolve to such enormous sizes? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea? What do their lives tell us about our oceans and about evolution as a whole? How have hundreds of years of whaling affected their population, and what does climate change mean for their survival?
Join us for a presentation followed by a conversation with Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson, tackling these questions and more, tapping into our fascination with these aquatic titans and shedding light on where they came from, how they live, and what they reveal about our changing world.
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