Tonight Museum Secrets TV will reveal how scientists at the American Museum of Natural History collect & preserve the building blocks of earthly life, from dinosaurs to meteorites to the origins of the human species, the AMNH houses 32 million objects, is visited by over 4 million people annually, and has a stellar research staff that mounts over 100 expeditions every year.
In this episode, we meet an American farm boy whose love for Africa changed the image of African wildlife from scary to noble. We witness the mating rituals of a 400 million year old crab species whose unique blood harbours secrets crucial to modern medicine, then crack open a dinosaur egg to uncover a clue that overturns a long held misconception about a supposedly murderous species.
Watch the crew run a relay race through Manhattan to investigate whether Incan knotted strings were capable of carrying encrypted messages, then blast off on a space mission to bring back comet dust that may hold the secret of how life began on Earth. Viewers also get to tag along with museum explorers as they capture animals to extract their DNA, to be preserved in the museum’s sub-zero storage facility – a blueprint of life for future generations that is off limits to the public, but thanks to Museum Secrets, viewers get to have a little peek at the labs.
On a mission to preserve and collect the full range of biodiversity, the researchers have amassed samples which categorize millions of the world’s creatures. Nearly every day, white coated technicians lift the lids and place tiny vials inside, in order to safeguard the building blocks of life on earth. They have pioneered methods to preserve DNA specimens using giant vats of stainless steal that are filled with liquid nitrogen.
Join Museum Secrets Producer Stephen Milton at the AMNH as he tells viewers what is to come on Museum Secrets: Inside the American Museum of Natural History.
Museum Secrets airs tonight on History TV Canada at 10:00 p.m. EST. After the episode airs, visit the AMNH page on the Museum Secrets web page to see even more behind-the-scenes secrets and to investigate some of tonight’s objects up close with the Object Navigator. I know what the name of one of the oldest surviving species on earth is – do you?