What better way to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, and honor the head of our household, than to give Tony the opportunity to pick up a second-hand toilet in mint condition for 1/4 of its retail price? Okay, well if saving a bunch of money on a toilet didn’t excite him, our family trip to The Academy of Natural Sciences was a close third (because we went to a frozen yogurt place after the museum and went a little crazy with the toppings on this special first-class feast.) If you’re ever in Philly and love looking at stuffed/dead animals and dinosaurs, it’s worth the trip to the nation’s oldest natural history museum (their 200th birthday was in 2012.) Plus, there are live butterflies, a kids hands-on area and a gift store so awesome it made Edie and Fulton cry. (No Fulton, you don’t really need the $50 raincoat with dinosaur spikes and Edie a stuffed possum? Really? I think you’ll wake up at night screaming with that thing in your bed. I want to scream right now just looking at it. No I don’t want to touch it!!)
I snapped a couple nice shots during the five minutes I could tolerate the 80 degree butterfly house while wearing winter clothes. No Mr. Monarch, that’s not nectar, that’s me perspiring like an Olympic track star in your habitat. AAA! DON’T LAND ON MY HEAD!!!
“Mama, are the antelopes dead? Yes Fulton, all the animals you see in these displays are dead.”
The kids were happy digging for fossils until they realized the blunt chisels they were given as tools were worthless. I can’t imagine any child comes away from this exhibit with a desire to be an archeologist.
“Mama, are fossils dead?” “Yes Fulton, all the fossils and bones are dead.”
Byron was most excited when he realized that the dioramas included poop to make things even more “realistic.”
“Mama, is that gorilla dead?” “Yes Fulton, all the gorillas are dead.”
These are examples of the glass eyes and prosthetic tongues, teeth and claws used on the taxidermied animals. Not that I’ve felt many tiger claws or water buffalo tongues in my day, but they seemed very lifelike.
“Welcome to the museum. I dislike you and want to eat your face,” said the cheerful pufferfish greeting us in the lobby.
“Mama?” “It’s dead Fulton. All the dinosaurs and bones and fossils and animals are DEAD.” I almost broke into Monty Python right here.
So obviously, everyone had a great time and were not freaked out by any of the dead animals, or the display of gigantic cockroaches which were most certainly alive. We got a great deal on a family membership, plus there’s a handicap spot right out front so we’ll probably go back until someone starts having nightmares or picks up a stomach bug from a hands-on exhibit.
If the beauty of the natural world all mounted and stuffed is lost on you, be sure to stop back at Like Mother, Like Daughter for more photos of the living world.
What about the pufferfish? Was the pufferfish dead?
Sounds like a fun place – I bet we’d like it, too!
Yes Rosie, the pufferfish was dead.
Oh, dear. If you haven’t read Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad (which I suppose you might not enjoy, as he’s pretty anti-Catholic), there’s an extended joke centered on the question “is… is he dead?” It made me laugh out loud on an airplane, which is probably the sign that I’m a terrible person.
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