Arizona Museum of Natural History

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The Arizona Museum of Natural History has been operating in Mesa since the 1970s, exhibiting tens of thousands of scientific and nature objects and photographs. More than 1 million people have visited since 2000. We’ll take you on a video tour of the museum.

Ted Simons: The Arizona museum of natural history has been operating in Mesa since the 1970s exhibiting tens of thousands of scientific and nature oriented objects and photographs. Our sister station KUAT recently took a video tour of the museum.

Child: An elephant.

Kathy Eastman: It looks like an elephant. Has a big, long trunk, but the tusks go all the way up like that. That was a mammoth. Believe it or not, Arizona prehistoricly was home to five different species of elephants and even when you walk into the lobby you can see three kinds of elephant kin. I think that's really exciting. It's a great place to spend time with your family, your friends and enjoy an outing together. Our mission is to inspire wonder and understanding of the cultural and natural history of the southwest. I know that's really broad but we want to bring it to life with dioramas, spectacular skeletons, with the factor of a flash flood. It's grown. It's become part of the community, and we see generations of people that remembered coming here as a child. They bring their children here. That's one of my favorite things.

Karen Scholl: Parents get busy doing the day-to-day things so I like to take my niece and nephews and do historical things, indoors, nice and cool, something enjoyable for everybody. It's something that has become a memory for them as well as something interesting and fun for me.

Joselina Lynch: I have never been here before so my aunt took me for the first time. So far I love it. I like about the walks and how they were formed. Also the fossils. They are really amazing.

Karen Scholl: So beautiful. It just takes your breath away just to see what is preserved here and what's presented here. I think it really gives you a perspective of where we are. Our world seems so big and huge, yet when you see it in the bigger picture of things it's very moving to see where we are in the grand scheme of things.

Robert McCord: We have a very -- lot of horned dinosaurs. This is Pentaeratops. Behind us is triceratops. How many have heard of that before? There you go. We're standing in a portion of the museum where we go through the geologic record time by time or era by era so you go from ancient Arizona to 300 million years ago to 200 million years ago to 100 million years ago and look at the changes through time. That's kind of cool. Kind of like snapshots in a photo album. Behind us is one featuring what I call the knocko ocean, ancient shallow sea that covered Arizona 300 million years ago. This is one of several times the ocean covered large parts of Arizona or sometimes just small parts of Arizona, stringer of the ocean came in.

Joselina Lynch: I just finished learning that. It was really a long time ago it was under water, really surprising to me.

Alison Stoltman: This was a pit house. Can you imagine all of you living in a pit house like this, the whole family? This is the southwest gallery. Here we got to learn about the amazing Hohokam people that lived here over 1,000 years ago. They were truly amazing, the first farmers of the desert. Incredible artisans. Right now we're standing in a village. They covered a large amount of Arizona actually up as far as deer valley and down as far as Tucson. They have quite an extensive area. The museum has everything. We follow the whole history of the life on the planet right from single cell organisms to the mighty dinosaurs on to our anthropology section, learning about the amazing Hohokam, and there's lots of wonderful hands-on activities to do here. Kids lo love it. Parents love it. Really enriching and lots of information.

Karen Scholl: It opens up a world and they start thinking, maybe I could do that, maybe I could study geology and be fascinated by these amazing things all around us yet sometimes we don't pay attention to it.

Ted Simons: For more information on the Arizona museum of natural history check out their website at

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