take a LOOK

Bizarre Beasts

(By Bruce Wendorff)
Sunday, October 22, 2006

Armored fish, tusked mammals and gigantic "terror birds." That's a short recap of the weird animals in the hands-on exhibit "Bizarre Beasts: Past and Present," now at the National Geographic Museum.

Some pretty strange creatures -- all of which crawled, ran, swam or flew on planet Earth at some time -- are to be found here. There are dinosaur skeletons and touchable fossils and models. Learn how animals adapted as their environment changed. Check out the model of the whorl-tooth shark (pictured). You can even make a rubbing of a fossil to take with you. (But don't try to take that shark home!)

The exhibit is free and runs until Feb. 4. It is small, however, so look to see what else the museum has. If you visit this week, for example, you can also see the photo exhibit "Soccer: Planet at Play."

The museum, at 17th and M streets Northwest, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. other days. For more information: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/museum or 202-857-7588.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company