“Tully Monster” - Tullimonstrum gregarium


This specimen was collected in northeastern Illinois in the Mazon Creek. The fossils formed approximately 307 million years ago and are preserved in ironstone concretions. These concretions often preserved hard tissues as well as rarer soft-bodied animals, like this “Tully Monster.”

Tullimonstrum gregarium, with its strange body plan, has eluded classification for some time. It has been called a worm, an arthropod, and a mollusk, but most recent studies place it as a basal vertebrate.

American Bamboo DNA Voucher


This is a specimen of the bamboo species Arthrostylidium venezuelae. A. venezuelae is one of over 400 species of bamboo that are native to Central and South America. Most American bamboos have small stems and use surrounding vegetation to help them stand upright. This specimen is from Costa Rica and it served as one of the sources of DNA used in a 2012 research paper on the evolution of woody bamboos of the New World tropics. American bamboo diversity and evolution is one of the many research areas that MPM curators have investigated over the years.

Tiger Moths

tiger moths

It is estimated there are over 11,000 described tiger moth species worldwide. These moths are well known for their bright coloration, mimicry, and sophisticated defensive strategies. Many tiger moths feed on toxic plants and lichens as larvae (and in some cases, adults) in order to gain chemical protection against vertebrate predators. Some species use these toxic compounds for both defense and to attract and protect their mates. Other tiger moth species use sound production to ward off attackers – in some cases, jamming bat echolocation to avoid being eaten!

Spring Break at MPM

Courtesy of D. and A. Chase, Caracol Archeology Project
There's so much to do at MPM during Spring Break!

Visit us for various programs in Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed and out on our Museum floors.


Monday through Friday, March 26 - 30

Trinity Irish Dancers at MPM

Since its inception 34 years ago, the Trinity Irish Dancers have grown from a dozen students practicing in a church basement to the largest and most recognized Irish dance school in the world.

Trinity’s Philosophy: Despite their legendary success and innovation, Trinity’s most notable achievement is the consistent realization of their mission to “elevate children, the community, and the world through the power and grace of Irish dance.”  Instructors focus on the importance of having fun while developing self-respect and confide

Penguins - 3D Film

penguinsA Tale of Love and Survival in Penguin City! Narrated by David Attenborough, Penguins 3D celebrates the destiny of a very special King Penguin who returns to his birthplace in the sub-Antarctic. Known as Penguin City, the island is home to hundreds of albatrosses, fur seals, and brawling elephant seals, as well as six million penguins! Somehow, our hero must earn his place among the island inhabitants and fulfill his destiny by finding a mate and raising a family.





Planetarium - The First Stargazers

stargazerTravel back in time to explore The First Stargazers! Experience how ancient eyes saw the sky above. Your guide is Nashira, a friendly time traveler who reveals amazing tales from cultures all across the globe. Witness the very first stargazer making a moon calendar out of animal bone 30,000 years ago. Discover Kukulkan, the feathered serpent god of the Maya. You will also tower above the Giza pyramids, fly around fascinating Stonehenge, and have many more ancient adventures!




Humpback Whales - Giant Film

whaleNarrated by two-time Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor, Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring marine mammals. Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii, and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play, and take care of their young. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.