Amuseum Naturalis- An Amazing New Attraction

Want to see a “crabitat” in action? Or how about learning about “gut life”? And no, we’re not talking about building a six-pack or losing stubborn belly fat! Or maybe you’d like to learn about the thousands of “tourists with wings” that visit the island each year from as far away as the Arctic Circle. It’s all on tap at the brand new Amuseum Naturalis in Grand Case.


The new museum is touted as a “Biological Exhibition and Institute of Natural Philosophy” and contains all kinds of interactive exhibits, informative programs, and exciting displays about this island’s nature and wildlife. It was the brainchild of Les Fruits de Mer, a nonprofit association dedicated to natural history education cofounded by Mark Yokoyama, author of The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of Saint Martin. 


He said: “We created the Amuseum last year when our main sponsor Delta Petroleum offered to loan us an entire house in a perfect location in Grand Case. When we learned we’d have the house for a second season, we updated and expanded our exhibits. We made the Amuseum more interactive and inviting. As always, we continue to add exhibits to keep things fresh and update our special exhibit room with something new each month. Beginning in March, we are also bringing in school classes, youth groups and any other groups for private visits by appointment. It’s really amazing to see how engaging the museum is, particularly for young guests.”


So what will you encounter?

It depends on when you go, as there will be revolving exhibits and new displays all the time. But you can be certain that whenever you go you’ll learn about things like “gut life”: seasonal streams that contain lots of wildlife. You’ll also enjoy lots of fascinating facts about the island’s indigenous animals and fascinating trivia such as how island bats help the ecosystem and how pesky insects actually help keep the environment pristine. There are excellent exhibits about local bird and fish life, the native trees, plants, and interesting topics on things like the impact of humans bringing non-native species of animals to the island. Did you know there are no snakes now because European settlers brought the mongoose to wipe them out? So much compelling stuff! 


There are also interesting displays about people and history. Learn about Dr. Hendrik van Rijgersma, a local 19th-century naturalist, who became known as the shell collector and about the historical contributions of women and people of color to science throughout the Caribbean. There’s also a theater on-site presenting locally produced short documentaries about wildlife and environmental challenges.


Brand new ebook!

But before you go, you should do your homework to enhance your understanding about what you’ll be seeing. This kind of homework is fun because Mark has just produced an amazing new creative ebook called “Caribbean Curiosities” covering many of the topics in-depth. It’s the latest in their wonderful series of eight free downloadable ebooks. See them all here: http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/resources/books/


And keep an eye out for all kinds of special pop-up events hosted by Les Fruits de Mer throughout the year such as “Birds and Bugs” discovery day, and the annual “Migratory Bird Festival”.


Amuseum Naturalis is free of charge and open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8pm. It is located at 96, Boulevard de Grand Case. Private visits by groups are also available by appointment.

Visit: amuseumnaturalis.com

Les Fruits de Mer is a nonprofit association whose core mission is to raise awareness about nature, culture, and sport through publications, an education program, and special public outreach events that entertain, inspire, and inform. The association is currently accepting new member applications and corporate benefactor member applications on its website: www.lesfruitsdemer.com.