When you visit the Orlando Eye complex you do not want to miss a fascinating little museum called Skeletons: Animals Unveiled. Over 450 skeletons of animals from all over the world is sure to amaze and excite all ages from beginners to those with advanced knowledge of animals.
It is sure to beg the question: Why Skeletons Will Make You Question Everything?
Not only is the experience fun but it is educational as well. It was amazing to see the similarities and differences between all species. Did you know that dolphin fins have five digits just like humans? It does make you question everything about what you thought you already knew.
As an added bonus it is fairly inexpensive at $19.99 for adults, $12.99 for kids ages 3-11, and under 3 free.
The Skeleton Museum
A few months ago this unique museum opened on I-360 drive at the Orlando Eye complex. Our daughter (who has loved animal sciences since she was a little girl) begged us to make this one of the highlights of our Florida vacation. We were not let down.
There was so much to see we walked through the museum twice. With each trip around we found new and interesting things. Much of what we saw left us questioning everything about what we thought we already knew, like how is it that so many of the skeletons look so similar even though the actual animals looks vastly different from each other.
What amazed us the most was the section on birth defects and diseases. One animal had died from rickets and you could see how the bones had been affected by the disease. There were also specimens showing the results of severe infections and healed bone breaks. We thought we already knew what infections and other diseases did, but here was proof that bones also can be strongly affected.
The Enthusiasm Shows
During our visit, we met Jay, the founder of the museum. His love for what he does shows in his enthusiasm to share his knowledge of skeletal systems, and nature in general. His biography explains how this love began at the age of 7 years old when he found a dog’s skull in the woods near his home. He has not stopped collecting ever since.
Jay kindly invited my daughter to enter one of the exhibits so that we could photograph her with the extremely large male elephant skeleton, which is almost 12 feet tall. He then spoke with us at length about how the animal was acquired and processed by the museum staff. (View a video of the assembly in the museum here)
The museum exhibits extend well beyond animal skeletons. Other exhibits included myths such as cyclops and centaurs.
The displays do an excellent job of posing the skeletons in positions that capture the life and character of the animals as they were in life. One exhibit even has an array of farm animals interacting with a farmer. Some of the other displays included examples of giraffes, rhinoceros, orca whales, dolphins, lizards, alligators, birds, fish, small mammals and rodents, canines and feline species, as well as primates and humans!
The staff at the museum are very enthusiastic about their jobs. On our way out we met John, the general manager. He asked us if we had seen the two tiniest skeletons in the museum. He took us back in to show us the hummingbird and the tiny shrew. We saw how the bones had been reassembled after the long arduous cleaning process.
You can even view the flesh eating beetles doing their job! How cool is that?
OK, maybe a little creepy, but on the way in we expected the whole museum to be a little creepy. After all, it is skeletons, yet other than the beetles, none of it felt creepy at all.
The bottom line is that this little museum is well worth the visit. Make sure to take the time to read signs and look for the tiny and the huge displays at all heights in the building.
And yes, you will find yourself also questioning what you knew about animals in general. We highly recommend this one!
Have you visited this museum? We would love to hear what you loved about it in the comments below.
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