Meet our living Model Organisms

Model Organisms

The Hall of Human Life is home to bees, chicks, and cotton-top tamarins. While the exhibit focuses on human biology, we can learn a lot about ourselves by studying these fascinating creatures. Select one below to learn more.


The eggs currently in the Hall of Human Life’s hatchery were laid around 21 days ago. They have been incubating in temperatures and humidity levels that help them develop. Once the chick cracks the first hole in the egg, it can take between one hour and 24 hours to hatch. All chicks in the hatchery are less than two days old.

Learn more about the hatchery! >>


Bees, like humans, are greatly affected by changes in the environments that the Hall of Human Life explores. Humans introduced the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) to North America. We have encouraged growth of this species and have come to rely on them for crop pollination, but changes we are making to their environment may threaten their survival.

Learn more about the hive! >>

Cotton-top Tamarin

Observing the behavior of cotton-top tamarins, gives us a new way to study the behaviors and biology of another important primate – us! The Museum is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and these cotton-top tamarins are part of a Species Survival Plan® program. Through this program we collaborate with 60 other institutions to maintain a genetically healthy captive population of tamarins to ensure the survival of the species.

Learn more about the cotton-top tamarins! >>