“Birds of Paradise” Show at Acad. of Natural Sciences Includes Mating Dance Simulator

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences takes you on a journey to the rainforest of New Guinea and the land of the exotic “birds of paradise.”

A big component of the National Geographic’s “Birds of Paradise” exhibit is the bizarre mating rituals of these extremely rare birds.

(Photo by John McDevitt)

(Photo by John McDevitt)


One interactive display allows two visitors to compete at mimicking a courtship dance, using a system similar to a home video gaming system’s motion detection feature.

“And we judge who is the best mate based on how good of a dancer they are,” says Jennifer Sontchi, the senior director of exhibits and public spaces at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.  “So this sort of illuminates, in a really fun and family friendly way, a very serious educational and scientific component of the show.”

The Birds of Paradise exhibit runs May 3rd through September 1st at the Academy, on Logan Circle at 19th Street.

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