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‘Sea Trek’ makes visit to Las Vegas Natural History Museum

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum in downtown Las Vegas invites visitors to take a “Sea Trek” this summer with traveling exhibits titled “Sea Monsters,” “Discovery Reef” and “Sanctuary Reef.”

The new exhibits are scheduled to open June 1.

“Sea Monsters” engages visitors with fascinating “monster” characteristics of some sea animals, including venom, ultra vision, jaws and glow-in-the-dark abilities. Educational displays explain these mysterious attributes and how they are adaptations to extreme underwater environments.

“Discovery Reef” exposes the amazing life forms and relationships on a coral reef by exploring the thousands of animal species that call a reef home, including many that are found nowhere else on Earth, and revealing their survival strategies as well as the crucial role of a reef in the ocean food web.

“Sanctuary Reef” puts visitors into a replica of a reef found in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and features displays on coral anatomy, biodiversity on the reef, the National Marine Sanctuaries, scientific research on corals, watersheds and neighboring habitats, human effects and conservation.

“We’re excited to bring a scientific side of our oceans to Las Vegas this summer through the educational ‘Sea Trek’ collection of exhibits,” said Marilyn Gillespie, executive director of the museum.

Located at 900 Las Vegas Blvd. North, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum opened in 1991 and is a private, nonprofit institution dedicated to educating children, adults and families in the natural sciences, both past and present. Through its interactive exhibits, educational programs and the preservation of its collections, the museum strives to instill an understanding and appreciation of the world’s wildlife, ecosystems and cultures.

The museum’s permanent exhibits include “T reasures of Egypt,” which features nearly 500 reproduced artifacts, including the tomb of the young Pharaoh Tutankhamun in its 4,000-square-foot Egyptian Pavilion where the ancient past of Egyptian civilization is explored.

Additional permanent exhibits include a Marine Life Gallery with small sharks, stingray and fish, a Young Scientist Center, Geology Gallery, the Engelstad Family Prehistoric Life Gallery with its animated 35-foot Tyrannosaurus rex, an International Wildlife Gallery, African Savannah and Gallery and E.L. Wiegand Wild Nevada Gallery. It also features an early man exhibit that’s unique to Nevada and the newly showcased Rhynchotherium skull, a 3-million-year-old elephant fossil that was discovered in Arizona and donated to the museum by the Joshua Reid Anderson Foundation.

Throughout the year, Weekend Science activities are held every Saturday and Sunday at the museum, and monthly Critter Corner activities provide opportunities to get up close to a variety of animals. Visit www.lvnhm.org for a schedule of events.

And on Saturdays, University of Nevada, Las Vegas students are busy at work in an onsite paleontology lab, which is managed by Josh Bonde , a visiting assistant professor of paleontology at UNLV and museum board member.

Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for students, seniors and military; and $5 for children ages 3-11. Children age 2 and under are free. Admission includes access to the entire museum. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Visit www.lvnhm.org or call 702-384-3466 for additional information.

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