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Earth’s extraordinary luminous life forms explored in Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence traveling exhibition opening Oct. 31 at the Perot Museum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:
Taylor McDonnell
214-435-7756 cell
taylor@mayadpr.com

EARTH’S EXTRAORDINARY LUMINOUS LIFE FORMS EXPLORED IN CREATURES OF LIGHT: NATURE’S BIOLUMINESCENCE TRAVELING EXHIBITION OPENING OCT. 31 AT THE PEROT MUSEUM

From replicas of flickering fireflies and glowing mushrooms to vampire squid and alien-like deep-sea fish,
visitors will learn how and why nature’s fascinating light-emitting creatures are able to survive and thrive

DALLAS (Oct. 5, 2015) – Twinkling isn’t just for the stars. From glowing mushrooms and larvae to vampire squid and fluorescent corals, Earth is full of fascinating organisms that radiate light. Bioluminescence – the ability to generate light through a chemical reaction – is one of nature’s most beautiful phenomena that a variety of creatures use to fight for survival. Opening Oct. 31, Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence will take visitors on a mesmerizing stroll through the world of living light at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The traveling exhibition will run through Feb. 21, 2016. Member preview days are Oct. 29-30.

“Bioluminescence is one of the most brilliant and confounding mysteries of the natural world,” said Colleen Walker, the Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. “The Creatures of Light exhibition gives visitors a fascinating look at the unique ways creatures use light adaptions to survive in the world’s darkest ecosystems, from the deepest oceans to the blackest skies.”

Creatures of Light explores Earth’s extraordinary organisms that produce light, from the flickering fireflies found in backyards around the world to the glowing deep-sea fish and other fantastic creatures that illuminate the perpetually dark depths of the oceans. Guests will move through a series of re-created environments to explore extraordinary bioluminescent organisms.

The exhibition includes six immersive environments, from recreated North American forests filled with fireflies and glowing jack-o-lantern mushrooms, to the inside of a simulated mysterious New Zealand cave, where glowworms drop sticky “fishing lines”– bioluminescent gnat larvae – from the ceiling to trap prey. Guests also can experience the sparkling sea of Mosquito Bay on Puerto Rico’s Vieques Island, home to high concentrations of microscopic dinoflagellates that create a glowing halo around anything that moves through the water.

Visitors can explore the sunless, pitch-black deep ocean, which comprises the vast majority of the planet’s habitable space and discover how its creatures use light to travel, hunt, mate and even fight off predators. The ability to glow is much more common in the ocean, where up to 90 percent of animals at depths below 2,300 feet are bioluminescent and where scientists continue to discover bizarre new light-emitting species. Like the crystal jelly, whose glow led to a revolution in cell biology, these deep-ocean animals may hold important clues to essential questions.

Creatures of Light also points out that marine habitats are increasingly threatened by pollution, overfishing and global climate change. Many organisms are in danger of disappearing, some even before they have been discovered and studied. The exhibition includes a theater of underwater footage revealing the diversity of animals that marine biologists have captured on camera, including a jellyfish that lights up like a flashing pinwheel when threatened and a viperfish whose fangs are so long they don't fit inside its head. Large-scale models of a diverse array of deep-sea creatures bring to life dramatic interactions between bioluminescent predators and prey. Examples include a female anglerfish with her own built-in fishing rod, and a modified fin spine topped with a lure that pulses with bacterial light and attracts prey to her gaping jaws; and a vampire squid that waves bioluminescent arm tips to confuse its attacker long enough for it to get away.

To enhance the enlightening experience, guests can decode a firefly’s language of light with a “talk to fireflies” hands-on interactive, explore the neon shades of fluorescent coral and fishes found in the Bloody Bay Wall, and even view live flashlight fish. Throughout the exhibition, iPads featuring videos, photographs and more will deepen the experience and teach guests about the diversity of bioluminescence.

Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada, and The Field Museum, Chicago. Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence requires a surcharge for members and non-members.

PROGRAM EXTENSIONS. The exhibition is the inspiration for other enlightening programs at the Perot Museum, including a Creatures of Light-themed sleepover on Nov. 6. Children ages 6-12 (along with a chaperone) can experience the wonder and magic of Earth’s extraordinary light-emitting organisms during an all-night adventure with the twinkles of living light.

At Discovery Days, all ages can join in on themed activities the second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. On Dec. 12, guests can create their own sea creature, travel through space in the portable planetarium, explore nocturnal animals, examine gems and minerals through microscopes and more at Discovery Days: Darkness. On Jan. 9, families can explore the world of light, while investigating creatures and habitats, the solar system, how plants grow, how electricity works and other activities at Discovery Days: Light. Discovery Days are free for Museum members and included in the cost of general admission for non-members.

On Jan. 22, adults ages 21 and up can play with light, learn about bioluminescent plants and animals, and more  as part of the most luminous Social Science yet – with wearable LEDs, captivating light installations and glowing experiments to light the way. Complete with cocktails, performances, innovative experiments, current research, engaging discussions and unique inventions, Social Science: Glow will make for a perfect date night or fun evening with friends. Tickets go fast!

HOURS. General hours of operation for the Perot Museum and Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. On the first Thursday of the month, the Museum will stay open until 9 p.m. for its First Thursday Late Night public events.

Holiday and other special hours. The Perot Museum will be closed from 1 p.m. on Nov. 13 through Nov. 14 for the Night at the Museum fundraising event. The Museum also will be closed Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving) and Dec. 25 (Christmas). The Museum will have extended hours and close at 7 p.m. Nov. 27-28, Dec. 26-Jan. 2, Jan. 15-17 (Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend) and Feb. 12-14 (Presidents Day weekend). On Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve), the Museum will close at 3 p.m., and on Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve) the Museum will close at 4 p.m.

Member mornings. From 8:30-10 a.m. every Saturday and 10 a.m.-noon every Sunday, members can enjoy exclusive access to the Perot Museum and Creatures of Light. Members will also enjoy exclusive access during this exhibition from 8:30-10 a.m. on the following holidays: Nov. 27-29, Dec. 26-Jan. 2 (excluding Dec. 31), Jan. 16­­­­-18 and Feb. 13­­-15.

TICKETS. Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence requires a surcharge along with purchase of Museum general admission for non-members for a total admission cost of $26 for adults (18-64), $18 for youth (2-17), $19 for seniors (65+), and free for children under 2. Member tickets are $5 for adults (18-64) and $4 for youth (2-17) and seniors (65+).

Museum general admission ticket prices are $19 for adults (18-64), $12 for youth (2-17), $13 for seniors (65+), and free for children under 2. Museum general admission is always free for members. Admission to the theater is $6 for a short film (20 minutes) and $8 for a long film (40 minutes) for adults, seniors and youth. For members, admission to the theater is $5 (short film) and $6 (long film). All children under 2 are free. General admission prices subject to change.

Skip the lines! During the upcoming holiday season, visitors, including members, are strongly encouraged to purchase/reserve tickets in advance directly from their smart phones or computers.

PARKING. General parking and handicap parking is available in the main Museum parking lot, a pay-to-exit lot located under Woodall Rodgers Freeway across from the Museum. Limited additional handicap and Hybrid/electric vehicle parking is available in the Special Permit lot, located directly west of the Museum. Pricing is $8 per car when paid on-site and $3 for Museum members.

The Perot Museum is located at 2201 N. Field Street in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit perotmuseum.org or call 214-428-5555.

NOTE: To obtain the news release, Perot Museum fact sheet, photos and b-roll, please go to
perotmuseum.org/press and use the access code press.

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About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. A top destination for North Texans and tourists alike, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization located in the heart of Dallas, Texas, with campuses in Victory Park and Fair Park. With a mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and outreach experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The 180,000-square-foot facility in Victory Park opened in December 2012 and is now recognized as the symbolic gateway to the Dallas Arts District. The Museum features 11 permanent exhibit halls on five floors of public space; a children’s museum; a state-of-the art traveling exhibition hall; and The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. Future scientists, mathematicians and engineers will find inspiration and enlightenment through breathtaking collections, interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations and vivid contextual displays that expose visitors to a hands-on world of ideas and concepts. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the Victory Park Museum has been lauded for its artistry and sustainability. To learn more, please visit perotmuseum.org.