Florida Museum of Natural History adds new exhibit for 100th anniversary

Whale exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History

The Florida Museum of Natural History is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a free exhibit to open Sept. 23.

The museum on Monday displayed its main artifact. Hanging from the exhibit's ceiling is a 26-foot skeleton of a juvenile humpback whale.

The whale was about a year and a half old when it washed ashore at New Smyrna Beach.

Michael Adams, the exhibit fabricator, assembled the skeleton himself. Adams is a metal worker and hand-crafted all the hardware that held the skeleton together.

"It was Mike's first time mounting a skeleton and he did an amazing job visiting other museums with whales," said Darcie MacMahon, exhibit and public program director. "Talking to a lot of scientists around the country, trying to find how to put it together.”

The skeleton took Adams about a year to assemble.

"It was one of the definitely challenging feats in my life," Adams said. "It’s for the museum. It’s the heart and soul of what we do around here and we want to keep things changing as we keep moving along in time."

After this exhibit, the skeleton will be moved to another area of the museum where it will stay featured as one of the museum's iconic pieces.

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