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American Museum of Natural History

Cryovat Tanks
Gorilla in Diorama
Horseshoe Crabs
Horseshoe Crab Fossil
Incan Khipu
Incan Khipu
Dinosaur Eggs
Protoceratops near a Dinosaur Nest
Protoceratop Skulls
Comet dust
Whipple Shields
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New York


From dinosaurs to meteorites to the origins of the human species, the American Museum of Natural History boasts 32 million exhibits, and over 4 million annual visitors, along with 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 whose unique blood harbors 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. We 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. And finally, we follow 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.

Secrets revealed in this episode

Horseshoe Crab

How can scientists ensure the long term survival of an endangered species whose unique blue blood is vital to modern medicine?

Dinosaur Murder

How did the discovery of a dinosaur embryo change the deadly reputation of the Oviraptor?

Shooting Star

What technology did NASA invent to retrieve the dust from a comet’s tail and bring it back to earth?

21st Century Ark

How do museum scientists collect and safeguard the building blocks of all life on earth?

Code of the Incas

Did the ancient Incas of Peru find a way to encrypt the story of their civilization into skeins of knotted string?

Brightest Africa

How did one man’s love of wildlife revolutionize the world’s attitude towards the animals of Africa?