Ladies and Apes

In the Vertebrate Osteology hall, Kristen Stewart, Gianna Alvino, and Patricia Scott check out the skeletons of a human, a gorilla, and a chimpanzee. Dating from the mid 20th century, Osteology is one of the most academic of the National Museum halls, in that much of its abundant information is pitched at a college-level visitor. It is also an older hall with little in the way of interactive interpretation of specimens. As part of the exercise, students were asked to suggest ways in which its content could be made more accessible. Suggested possibilities included prominent labeling or color-coding of key skeletal features, animation of important motions in skeletons, and juxtaposition of skeletal specimens with photographs and video of living specimens.