34 imagesThis galley is dedicated to what is probably the most misunderstood animal on the planet. Although many times demonized, sharks are incredibly important in our ocean's ecosystems. As apex predators they play a crucial role in maintaining the balance and health of marine food chains. By keeping populations of other marine animals under control, sharks prevent overgrazing of seagrass beds and coral reefs, which are vital habitats for many other species. Sharks also help to remove sick and weak individuals from populations, reducing the spread of disease and ensuring that only the fittest survive. Beyond their ecological importance, sharks are also of significant economic and cultural value. They are a top attraction for ecotourism and recreational diving, generating billions of dollars in revenue each year. However, many species of sharks are threatened by overfishing, habitat loss and the demand for their fins in the shark fin trade. Far from the constructed myth which portray sharks as mindless killing machines, they are still wild animals and active predators that may pose a threat to us humans as well and should treated with caution and respect. The probabilities to get attacked by a shark are exceptionally rare but nonetheless it's important that we make ourselves aware of the risks and find ways to mitigate them, so we can advance our knowledge on these magnificent animals and help to protect both us and them.
31 imagesFor centuries, humans have been drawn to the ocean's beauty and majesty, finding solace and inspiration in its vastness and power. This opening gallery is a metaphorical representation of the great body of water that covers more than 70% of our planet's surface and a reminder of our interconnectedness with the natural world. Beyond its physical presence, the ocean has also a deep connection with us as human beings. From the moment we are conceived in the womb we are surrounded by fluid, much like the saline environment of the ocean. Our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water and our mutual connection extends beyond our physical composition. As the birthplace of life on Earth, the ocean is part of our genetic makeup, and its rhythms and cycles are intertwined with our own. Source of both sustenance and a force of destruction, the ocean shapes the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world. From the air we breathe to the food we eat, the ocean plays a critical role in our daily lives providing us with oxygen, regulating the climate, and supporting a vast array of marine and terrestrial species. However, human activities such as overfishing, pollution, and climate change are threatening the ocean's health and its ability to sustain life as we know it. It calls on us to take responsibility for our actions and to work towards the protection of this fragile ecosystem for our own and future generations.
34 imagesAs humans, we have a fascinating biological connection to fish that extends back millions of years to our shared origins. In fact, our early evolutionary ancestors were aquatic animals that lived in the oceans and evolved into fish-like creatures. Over time, these ancestors developed the ability to move onto land and eventually gave rise to the first amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, including us.