American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world's preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History has collected more than 33 million specimens relating to the natural world and human cultures.
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The Museum showcases its amazing treasures in the exhibit halls, and behind the scenes more than 200 scientists are at work making new discoveries. Millions of people from around the world visit the Museum each year.

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Unicorns may not be scientifically proven—but the unicornfish is legit! There are around 20 species of unicornfish, also...
03/28/2021

Unicorns may not be scientifically proven—but the unicornfish is legit! There are around 20 species of unicornfish, also known as unicorn tangs, that make up the genus Naso. While they’re named for the horn-like structure on their foreheads, not each species has horns—and the purpose of the appendage is still a mystery. That’s not their only bodily accessory, either. They also have sharp blades on their tails that come in handy when warding off foes. These fish live in tropical reefs in Indo-Pacific waters, where they swim in schools and snack on zooplankton.
Photo: zsispeo, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, flickr; Bluespine unicornfish (Naso unicornis) pictured

Here’s a “birb” that will bring a smile to your face. Meet the Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii)! This robin lives ...
03/28/2021

Here’s a “birb” that will bring a smile to your face. Meet the Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii)! This robin lives in Australia’s savanna and shrubland habitats, where it munches on insects like moths and grasshoppers. Distinguishing a male from a female is pretty easy: just look at the plumage! Males have bright red patches on their foreheads and chests, along with black and white plumage along their bodies. Females have more subtle, reddish-brown patches on their foreheads, with grayish-brown plumage on the bodies.
Photo: patrickkavanagh, CC BY 2.0, flickr

Have you ever wondered where the bobcat’s (Lynx rufus) name comes from? We’ll be telling that tale today, no pun intende...
03/27/2021

Have you ever wondered where the bobcat’s (Lynx rufus) name comes from? We’ll be telling that tale today, no pun intended! The “bob” refers to the feline’s stout tail, which is around 7 inches (19 centimeters) long. The wild cat has a wide range across North America, inhabiting much of the United States, southern Canada, and Mexico. It’s mainly nocturnal and goes on the prowl at night to find a meal. This carnivore has a varied menu, which includes small mammals, birds, and reptiles. One of its favorite things to eat? The cottontail rabbit.
Photo: matt knoth, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, flickr

Now that spring is here, are you starting to see more creepy crawlies in the air and on the ground? If not, let us be th...
03/27/2021

Now that spring is here, are you starting to see more creepy crawlies in the air and on the ground? If not, let us be the first to ease you into the transition of seasons with today’s Exhibit of the Day, the Forest Floor diorama. Fun fact: this exhibit combines artistry and education to show a precisely designed cross section of forest soil, enlarged to 24 times its actual size! To create this scene, Museum artists studied specimens under a microscope and made models out of clay, wax, and other materials. For example, the acorn weevil larva is molded wax coated with shellac, petroleum jelly, and a latex-like liquid; the daddy longlegs, balsa wood and wire. Without decomposers like these to “recycle” dead plant and animal matter that covers the forest floor, plants would starve, and debris would block oxygen.
Photo: © AMNH

We think it’s time to thaw out now that spring is underway. Just take it from the wood frog (Rana sylvatica)! When the w...
03/27/2021

We think it’s time to thaw out now that spring is underway. Just take it from the wood frog (Rana sylvatica)! When the weather dips below freezing, the frog freezes too! During hibernation, most of the water in its body turns to solid ice. The blood freezes first, pulling water out of the cells. Then the water freezes between the cells, so the cells aren't destroyed by ice inside them. And when the weather gets warmer? The frog defrosts and resumes life!
Photo: DaveHuth, CC BY-NC 2.0, flickr

New research alert! A team of scientists, including Museum Assistant Curator Ruth Angus, have unearthed a signal that co...
03/26/2021

New research alert! A team of scientists, including Museum Assistant Curator Ruth Angus, have unearthed a signal that could be the star Vega’s first-known world. Vega is just 25 light years—or about 150 trillion miles—from Earth and might be best known in popular culture as the origin of an extraterrestrial message in the book and Hollywood film Contact.

Researchers have yet to find a single planet in orbit around Vega, but that might be about to change. Drawing on a decade of observations from the ground, they discovered a signal that indicates that Vega might host what astronomers call a “hot Neptune,” a type of giant planet with a mass similar to Uranus or Neptune orbiting close to its star, or maybe a “hot Jupiter," a class of gas giant planets that are inferred to be physically similar to Jupiter but that have very short orbital periods. If the team's findings bear out, the planet would orbit so close to Vega that its years would last less than two-and-a-half Earth days.
Image: Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

It’s time for Fossil Friday! Get to know Glossotherium robustum, or the “tongue beast.” Glossotherium roamed the pampas ...
03/26/2021

It’s time for Fossil Friday! Get to know Glossotherium robustum, or the “tongue beast.” Glossotherium roamed the pampas of Argentina, a grassland region, about 30,000 years ago during the Pleistocene. As a mylodont sloth, it had more complex teeth than those of other groups of ground sloths. See this specimen up close in the Museum’s Hall of Primitive Mammals!
Photo: © AMNH

Did you spot the dolphins in New York’s East River this week? If you missed them, don’t fret—you can find another pod in...
03/25/2021

Did you spot the dolphins in New York’s East River this week? If you missed them, don’t fret—you can find another pod in the Museum’s Hall of Ocean Life! Dolphins may have fins and flippers, but don’t be confused—they’re air-breathing mammals! Like other mammals, they have hair as newborns—if only sparse stubble. They give birth to live young, which nurse from the mother’s mammary glands. And dolphins must surface regularly to breathe through nostrils—the blowhole—located on the top of the head.
Photo: © AMNH

03/25/2021
The Scientist Is In: The World According to Pteropods

Geologist Rosie Oakes will introduce us to the world of pteropods–tiny ocean creatures that migrate more than 650 feet (200 meters) every day from the surface to the bottom of the sea. Find out about the function of these fascinating critters within the larger ocean ecosystem, as well as their daily struggles as they fight predators, currents, and pollution in order to survive, in this family-friendly presentation.

03/25/2021
Worlds Beyond Earth Trailer

Exciting news! The Hayden Planetarium at the Museum has reopened at a limited capacity. Now playing is the Space Show, Worlds Beyond Earth. Journey far beyond Earth to marvel at the latest discoveries from our cosmic neighbors. Discover the surprisingly dynamic nature of the worlds that orbit our Sun and the unique conditions that make life on our planet possible. While humans have not yet ventured beyond the Moon, Worlds Beyond Earth celebrates the extraordinary Age of Exploration carried out by robotic explorers over the past 50 years.

Meet the Jerusalem cricket (Stenopelmatus fuscus)! It’s also known as the potato bug for its tendency to live in potato ...
03/25/2021

Meet the Jerusalem cricket (Stenopelmatus fuscus)! It’s also known as the potato bug for its tendency to live in potato fields, where it munches on the roots of the crop. This insect lives in western North America and spends most of its time underground, relying on its big head and mandibles to push through the soil. How big does the unusual-looking critter get? As big as 2 inches (5 centimeters) long!
Photo: J.J. Maughn, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, flickr

Who’s this bird, strutting by? Say “hi” to the Hawaiian Coot (Fulica alai), also known as the ‘alae ke‘oke‘o! It’s a wat...
03/24/2021

Who’s this bird, strutting by? Say “hi” to the Hawaiian Coot (Fulica alai), also known as the ‘alae ke‘oke‘o! It’s a waterbird endemic to the Hawaiian islands, where it can be spotted hanging out around freshwater ponds, reservoirs, or brackish water. Unlike other waterfowl, its feet are lobed. These are useful not just for propelling through water or walking through muddy wetlands, like webbed feet, but also for skimming on the surface before taking flight and even for clawing at rivals. The Hawaiian Coot builds nests using aquatic vegetation and munches on seeds, snails, leaves, insects, tadpoles, and small fish.
Photo: DickDaniels, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

One of the many negative effects of climate change is ocean acidification. When the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide dissol...
03/24/2021

One of the many negative effects of climate change is ocean acidification. When the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide dissolves in water, it produces an acid. Ocean acidification combined with warming threatens nearly all ecosystems. For example, the ocean is becoming so acidic that organisms called pteropods (pictured), also known as sea butterflies, are dissolving or having a hard time producing their shells. The consequences of losing these tiny critters would be drastic, as they’re a key source of food for many marine animals, from krill to salmon to whales.
Photo: NOAA Photo Library, CC BY 2.0, flickr

Welcome to Trilobite Tuesday! Portugal’s Valongo Formation is renowned for the impressive sizes of its trilobites. The f...
03/24/2021

Welcome to Trilobite Tuesday! Portugal’s Valongo Formation is renowned for the impressive sizes of its trilobites. The fossils unearthed here reach up to 28 inches (71 centimeters) in length! Pictured is a 17-inch- (43-centimeter)-long Ogyginus forteyi trilobite, which is considered small by Valongo standards.

03/23/2021
The Scientist Is In: The World According to Pteropods

Geologist Rosie Oakes will introduce us to the world of pteropods–tiny ocean creatures that migrate more than 650 feet (200 meters) every day from the surface to the bottom of the sea. Find out about the function of these fascinating critters within the larger ocean ecosystem, as well as their daily struggles as they fight predators, currents, and pollution in order to survive, in this family-friendly presentation.

03/23/2021
March Mammal Madness Tour

Join us for a pre-recorded tour of the Museum's mammal exhibits in honor of the annual science outreach event known as March Mammal Madness. Museum scientists Mary Blair and Anthony Caragiulo will be sharing fun facts and mammalian musings!

03/23/2021
March Mammal Madness Tour

Join us for a pre-recorded tour of the Museum's mammal exhibits in honor of the annual science outreach event known as March Mammal Madness. Museum scientists Mary Blair and Anthony Caragiulo will be sharing fun facts and mammalian musings!

On this day in 1875, the HMS Challenger crew discovered the deepest place on Earth: the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Oc...
03/23/2021

On this day in 1875, the HMS Challenger crew discovered the deepest place on Earth: the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. At the time, the crew measured a depth of 5 miles (8,184 meters), but more advanced technologies today have uncovered depths of nearly 6.9 miles (11,000 meters)! The scale of the undersea landscape can dwarf anything on land. Mount Everest is the tallest landform on Earth’s surface, but if it were placed in the Mariana Trench, its peak would be covered by around 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometers) of water.

Who needs a cape when you have a patagium? That’s the name of the membrane that spans a sugar glider’s ankles to its wri...
03/23/2021

Who needs a cape when you have a patagium? That’s the name of the membrane that spans a sugar glider’s ankles to its wrists and helps it drift between trees. This arboreal critter lives in parts of Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia and comes out at night to look for treats like nectar, sap, lizards, and small birds.
Photo: patrickkavanagh, CC BY 2.0, flickr

Meet the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous)! It lives in parts of eastern and northern South America, where it’s found in...
03/22/2021

Meet the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous)! It lives in parts of eastern and northern South America, where it’s found in forests, savannas, shrubland, and wetlands. While its name implies that crabs make up most of its diet, this canid is omnivorous and has a wide-ranging menu that changes with the seasons. For example, it may snack more on insects during the dry season and favor crustaceans during the wet season.
Photo: Jamile Cesar, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

With the change of seasons and coming warmer weather, you might start to see more of this critter: the earthworm! Did yo...
03/22/2021

With the change of seasons and coming warmer weather, you might start to see more of this critter: the earthworm! Did you know that the earthworm has five hearts? Well, its “hearts” are actually pairs of aortic arches that serve a similar function to a human heart, pumping blood throughout the body. It’s no secret that this invertebrate is beneficial to soil: worms form tunnels as they eat their way through leaf litter, allowing air and water to move into the soil and creating conditions for fungi and bacteria to thrive.
Photo: pfly, CC BY-SA 2.0, flickr

One animal’s trash is another animal’s treasure—just ask the Greater Adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius). This South Asian res...
03/22/2021

One animal’s trash is another animal’s treasure—just ask the Greater Adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius). This South Asian resident, which is known for eating large carrion, is often seen hanging out around landfills, scavenging whatever treats it can find. When it’s not rummaging through garbage, it might be spotted in wetland habitats, going after tasty fish and crustaceans. This large bird has a wingspan that can reach more than 8 feet (2.5 meters), and it can grow to nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall.
Photo: Free pictures for conservation, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, flickr

Did you know? There’s a dolphin that inhabits the Amazon and Orinoco rivers. Say “hi” to the Amazon river dolphin (Inia ...
03/21/2021

Did you know? There’s a dolphin that inhabits the Amazon and Orinoco rivers. Say “hi” to the Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis). It’s also known as the pink river dolphin for the rosy patches that cover its body. How pink it is depends on the water it lives in: the Sun can have a fading effect on its signature color, so living in murkier water can help it retain its pink hue. It snacks on a wide variety of critters in its freshwater habitat: more than 40 species of fish including piranhas and cichlids, as well as river turtles and crustaceans. To track down prey, it uses echolocation and the hairs on its snout to aid it in navigating muddy waters.
Photo: Sociedad Colombiana de Mastozoología, CC BY-NC 2.0, flickr

Today is International Color Day! Color helps us make sense of the world. It contains vast amounts of information about ...
03/21/2021

Today is International Color Day! Color helps us make sense of the world. It contains vast amounts of information about both the natural world and the human world. The colors around you also play a big role in how you feel. Come and explore the Museum’s (vibrant) special exhibition The Nature of Color!

Fun fact: Color comes from light, and every wavelength of light is a different color. The white light that surrounds us, either from the Sun or a typical lightbulb, is a combination of different wavelengths. White light can be separated into its component colors, or colors can be combined to make white light. Do you have a favorite color? Let us know in the comments!
Photo: R. Mickens/© AMNH

Venomous vipers, beware: the sand cat (Felis margarita) is known for being a “fearless snake hunter." This desert dwelli...
03/21/2021

Venomous vipers, beware: the sand cat (Felis margarita) is known for being a “fearless snake hunter." This desert dwelling feline is also today's Caturday feature! It might be spotted in parts of the Sahara Desert, the Middle East, and central Asia. It’s built for life in the desert: thick soles insulate its feet, allowing it to walk on hot sand during the day and cold sand at night! It’s also able to move without sinking into the sand and leaves little trace of footprints.
Photo: Cloudtail the Snow Leopard, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, flickr

Spring has sprung, both outside of and inside of the Museum! For today’s Exhibit of the Day, it’s only fitting that we s...
03/20/2021

Spring has sprung, both outside of and inside of the Museum! For today’s Exhibit of the Day, it’s only fitting that we share the Oyster Bay Sanctuary diorama on the Museum’s first floor. It depicts a scene from Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, Long Island. With an eagle eye, you may be able to spot more than 70 species of migratory spring birds!
Photo: © AMNH/D. Finnin

Happy first day of spring! With the start of the season comes the arrival of fragrant and colorful flowers, like the tul...
03/20/2021

Happy first day of spring! With the start of the season comes the arrival of fragrant and colorful flowers, like the tulip. This vibrant blossom is a member of the Liliaceae family, which also includes lilies. The tulip is a bulbiferous plant, meaning its organs are stored within a bulb underground, from which the main stem and flower emerges. The tulip was first cultivated in Persia, but today, it’s widely grown for its pop of color and can be spotted around the world. Do you have a favorite spring flower? Let us know in the comments!
Photo: jeiline, CC BY-ND 2.0, flickr

Here’s a face you’ll never forget! Meet the purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis). It’s also known as the pig-nosed...
03/20/2021

Here’s a face you’ll never forget! Meet the purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis). It’s also known as the pig-nosed frog because—you guessed it—its snout and hefty body are reminiscent of a hog! This amphibian might be spotted along India’s Western Ghats mountains, where it spends most of its time burrowed underground, typically near a stream or a pond. It uses its sensitive snout to sniff out snacks, like termites, and then scoops them out with its fluted tongue!
Photo: Unnikrishnan Nair P.K., CC BY-SA 4.0, flickr

Let the Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator) lead you into the sweet weekend. This African species is named for its ...
03/19/2021

Let the Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator) lead you into the sweet weekend. This African species is named for its clever behavior of guiding larger animals to beehives to do the dirty work of breaking into hives for them. When a hive is located, the bird will fan out its tail and make a call in order to gain the attention of honey badgers, baboons, or even humans. If all goes as planned, the responder will break open the hive, likely for the honey—but that’s not what the Greater Honeyguide is after. The bird feasts on the larvae and wax!
Photo: f_snarfel, CC BY-NC 2.0, flickr

Happy Fossil Friday! Today we bring you Allosaurus. Did you know? This intimidating carnivore reigned as one of the Late...
03/19/2021

Happy Fossil Friday! Today we bring you Allosaurus. Did you know? This intimidating carnivore reigned as one of the Late Jurassic’s top predators some 140 million years ago. In the Museum’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, Allosaurus is posed feeding on a partial carcass of the sauropod Apatosaurus. You can spot another Allosaurus in the Museum’s Rotunda, where it’s shown attacking another long-necked dinosaur, the Barosaurus, and its young. Have you ever seen the Allosaurus at the Museum?
Photo: © AMNH

New research alert! For the first time, scientists have documented biofluorescence in an Arctic fish species. The study,...
03/18/2021

New research alert! For the first time, scientists have documented biofluorescence in an Arctic fish species. The study, led by Museum researchers John Sparks and David Gruber, also reveals a rare example of multiple fluorescent colors emitted from a single organism. After spending hours in the icy waters off Greenland, Sparks and Gruber found two juvenile specimens of variegated snailfish (Liparis gibbus) that biofluoresce in both green and red.

In the seven years since Sparks and Gruber first reported widespread biofluorescence in fishes, it has been found in a number of new lineages, including mammals like platypuses, opossums, flying squirrels, springhares, and reptiles like marine turtles. But its exact function remains a mystery.
Image: © J. Sparks, D. Gruber, P. Kragh

03/18/2021
The Scientist Is In: Our Wonderful Brain

How does our brain work?
Join science educator Rosemary Puckett for a family-friendly program where we will explore different areas of neuroscience research, consider about how animal brains evolved, and watch live demonstrations highlighting the incredible abilities of our mind to celebrate Brain Awareness Week.

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200 Central Park W
New York, NY
10024

Subway: Take the B (weekdays) or C train to 81st Street/Museum of Natural History.

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For information on current exhibitions and upcoming events, visit http://www.amnh.org/calendar.

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Wednesday 10:00 - 17:30
Thursday 10:00 - 17:30
Friday 10:00 - 17:30
Saturday 10:00 - 17:30
Sunday 10:00 - 17:45

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Since its founding in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History has collected more than 34 million specimens relating to the natural world and human cultures. The Museum showcases its amazing treasures in the exhibit halls, and behind the scenes more than 200 scientists are at work making new discoveries. Millions of people from around the world visit the Museum each year.


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Skull of a Rhino Among showpieces of the National Museum of History of Azerbaijan, there is one of the first discoveries made on the lake back in 1938 – skull of a rhinoceros, known among international palaeontological community as “Binagadi rhinoceros”. The skull belonged to local subspecies of Stephanorhinus – Middle Pleistocene species of rhinoceros, extinct relative of contemporary African rhinos. https://www.facebook.com/azhistorymuseum/photos/a.1609970652377653/5183547538353262/
WONDERFUL ARTIFACTS
Happy birthday to my grandfather, legendary taxidermy tanner Sinclair Clark (1902-1999), known throughout the taxidermy industry for his expertise in tanning animal skins to give them the suppleness that taxidermists require to create lifelike, long-lasting displays. Because tanning is a behind-the-scenes operation of taxidermy, tanners are seldom known outside the industry. But since it’s his birthday–and the beginning of Black History Month–let’s break open the information! Fun fact: in AMNH’s Akeley Hall of Mammals, it was Sinclair Clark who tanned the skins of the majority of the large mammals you see in the Hall’s habitat dioramas, as well as of the original four of the herd of eight African elephants that comprise the hall's main exhibit. In rare archival footage, Sinclair Clark can be seen at work in AMNH's 1927 film, "Modern Taxidermy: Mounting Indian Elephants for the American Museum of Natural History." Among his other famous work is "Henry," the African Bush elephant which has been displayed in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. since 1959; he also tanned the skin of the famous racehorse Phar Lap, which has been on permanent display in the Museums Victoria in Melbourne, Australia since January 1933. An independent contractor, during his career Sinclair Clark worked with noted taxidermists, and ran the tannery in the world-famous Jonas Bros. Taxidermy Studio, which since 1908 has specialized in museum-quality taxidermy. Throughout his career, Sinclair Clark mentored other taxidermists and helped them set up their studios. Following his death, the National Taxidermists Association created an annual award in his name--The Sinclair Clark Memorial Award--for excellence in taxidermy. These facts and more appear within the Wikipedia page that I’ve created. Let his name be known! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Clark_(taxidermist)
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