Highlights of Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature

Step into the magical world of Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature.

The Natural History Museum

Occamy nestThe Natural History Museum

Explore the stories behind mythical beasts and the real-life creatures that share their incredible abilities.

Learn how scientists care for and protect animals, just like Newt Scamander™ does.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Sea serpent by Olivia Lomenech Gill (born 1974)The Natural History Museum

Giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne) and sea serpent

In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander™ writes about sea serpents including where they're found, their appearance and their behaviours.

Throughout history, sightings of oarfish, giant squid and other unfamiliar animals led sailors to tell tales of terrifying sea monsters such as the kraken, which is often depicted as a giant octopus or squid that drags down entire ships.

Giant oarfishThe Natural History Museum

Giant oarfish are the world's longest bony fish and can grow up to twice the length of this delicate four-metre-long (13-foot long) skeleton. Because giant oar fish live in the deep ocean, scientists know little about their behaviour.

Dragon skeletonThe Natural History Museum

Dragon skull from the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom

Don't miss the dragon skull, which is part of the skeleton seen in the Harry Potter film series, hanging from the ceiling of the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom at Hogwarts.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Dragon skullThe Natural History Museum

Its skull has spines, spikes and sharp teeth, which is typical of many dragon breeds that appear in the wizarding world created by J K Rowling.

Galápagos marine iguanaThe Natural History Museum

Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) and Occamy

Marine iguanas live on the coast and feed only on algae and seaweed. When food is scarce, these lizards shrink their bodies by up to seven centimetres (three inches) or around 20% of their body length. This reduces the amount of food they need to survive.

Occamy teapotThe Natural History Museum

Like the Occamy, marine iguanas can expand as well as shrink, returning to their original length when more food becomes available.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

DemiguiseThe Natural History Museum

Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Demiguise

Much like the Demiguise, which can make itself invisible when threatened, a jaguar's markings disrupt the outline of their bodies, making them harder to spot in their habitat.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

JaguarThe Natural History Museum

Can you see the dark, rose-shaped markings or 'rosettes' on this jaguar's fur?

These markings help the animal remain hidden as it stalks and ambushes its prey. Markings like these evolved specifically in large cats that tend to hunt in forests or during the night.

ErumpentThe Natural History Museum

Peacock spider and Erumpent

Like the Erumpent, some animals (often males) show off complex, energetic routines to help display their intelligence and fitness to a potential mate.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Peacock SpiderThe Natural History Museum

Take a closer look at the peacock spider. Like a parading peacock, this male spider tries to impress a mate by raising its brightly coloured bottom (known as an abdomen) and waving its long legs. This delicate dance is a matter of life and death - if the performance does not impress, the female might eat the male.

ZouwuThe Natural History Museum

Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) and Zouwu

As forests shrink and cities expand, large predators such as tigers are encountering people more frequently. As with the Zouwu in the wizarding world, these confrontations can be dangerous for humans and big cats alike.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Caspian tigerThe Natural History Museum

Caspian tigers, once found across Central Asia, are victims of this conflict. They were driven to extinction in the 1970s as humans replaced its habitat with farms and cities.

Caspian tiger Caspian tigerThe Natural History Museum

For the world's remaining wild tigers to survive, we need to find new ways of living peacefully alongside big cats.

Fantastic Beasts bookThe Natural History Museum

Newt's commitment to the beasts in the wizarding world, as well as stories of dedicated conservationists and scientists, can help us understand why it is now more important than ever to care for and protect the creatures that share our planet.

Credits: Story

For more information and to book tickets to the exhibition, visit the Museum's website.

To find out more about the Wizarding World, visit WizardingWorld.com

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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