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.

Operating as usual

Exhibit of the Day: The damselflies (Ischnura heterosticta) from the Museum’s special exhibition The Nature of Color. Fe...
05/01/2021

Exhibit of the Day: The damselflies (Ischnura heterosticta) from the Museum’s special exhibition The Nature of Color. Female Australian damselflies are blue, just like males—until they are ready to mate. Then, they turn green! The color change can occur in less than 24 hours. This system helps young females avoid harassment by males until they are sexually mature–and helps guide males toward females that are ready for mating.
Photo: R. Mickens/© AMNH

Exhibit of the Day: The damselflies (Ischnura heterosticta) from the Museum’s special exhibition The Nature of Color. Female Australian damselflies are blue, just like males—until they are ready to mate. Then, they turn green! The color change can occur in less than 24 hours. This system helps young females avoid harassment by males until they are sexually mature–and helps guide males toward females that are ready for mating.
Photo: R. Mickens/© AMNH

It’s time for Caturday! Today’s feature is the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica). This subspecies split from African l...
05/01/2021

It’s time for Caturday! Today’s feature is the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica). This subspecies split from African lions and once ranged from North Africa to southwest Asia, but overhunting in the 19th century eradicated it from most locales. Today, the Asiatic lion—which is slightly smaller in size than the African lion, with a unique fold of skin along its stomach—survives in small populations, including in India’s Gir Forest.
Photo: Cloudtail the Snow Leopard, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, flickr

It’s time for Caturday! Today’s feature is the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica). This subspecies split from African lions and once ranged from North Africa to southwest Asia, but overhunting in the 19th century eradicated it from most locales. Today, the Asiatic lion—which is slightly smaller in size than the African lion, with a unique fold of skin along its stomach—survives in small populations, including in India’s Gir Forest.
Photo: Cloudtail the Snow Leopard, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, flickr

Meet the Speckled Pigeon (Columba guinea)! Can you see how it got its name? It has a wide range throughout parts of Afri...
05/01/2021

Meet the Speckled Pigeon (Columba guinea)! Can you see how it got its name? It has a wide range throughout parts of Africa, including Angola, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. This bird prefers open habitats such as savannas and woodlands, where it hangs out in a flock foraging for seeds.
Photo: Ian White, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, flickr

Meet the Speckled Pigeon (Columba guinea)! Can you see how it got its name? It has a wide range throughout parts of Africa, including Angola, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. This bird prefers open habitats such as savannas and woodlands, where it hangs out in a flock foraging for seeds.
Photo: Ian White, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, flickr

Did you know? The minerals found in certain clays bind to toxins and carry them out of an animal’s system. For example, ...
04/30/2021

Did you know? The minerals found in certain clays bind to toxins and carry them out of an animal’s system. For example, bark-eating elephants (Loxodonta africana) in northern Tanzania repeatedly travel to a particular spot to eat soil high in kaolin, a special type of clay. The elephants may be treating themselves for the effects of the toxins in their diet. In fact, a standard treatment for food poisoning in pets is to administer kaolin to coat the stomach lining!
Photo: Andrew Shiva, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Did you know? The minerals found in certain clays bind to toxins and carry them out of an animal’s system. For example, bark-eating elephants (Loxodonta africana) in northern Tanzania repeatedly travel to a particular spot to eat soil high in kaolin, a special type of clay. The elephants may be treating themselves for the effects of the toxins in their diet. In fact, a standard treatment for food poisoning in pets is to administer kaolin to coat the stomach lining!
Photo: Andrew Shiva, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

It’s a stupendous Fossil Friday with Stupendemys geographicus, the “stupendous turtle!” This reptile lived during the La...
04/30/2021

It’s a stupendous Fossil Friday with Stupendemys geographicus, the “stupendous turtle!” This reptile lived during the Late Miocene some 5 million years ago, and it’s one of the largest turtles to have ever existed. Stupendemys geographicus is a pleurodire, or side-necked turtle, closely related to the living Podocnemis genus. No skull of Stupendemys has ever been found. The sculpted skull used in this exhibit is based on that of another very large pleurodire thought to be related to Stupendemys. See it up close in the Hall of Vertebrate Origins!
Photo: © AMNH

It’s a stupendous Fossil Friday with Stupendemys geographicus, the “stupendous turtle!” This reptile lived during the Late Miocene some 5 million years ago, and it’s one of the largest turtles to have ever existed. Stupendemys geographicus is a pleurodire, or side-necked turtle, closely related to the living Podocnemis genus. No skull of Stupendemys has ever been found. The sculpted skull used in this exhibit is based on that of another very large pleurodire thought to be related to Stupendemys. See it up close in the Hall of Vertebrate Origins!
Photo: © AMNH

04/29/2021
How Did Blue Whales Get So Big?

New video series: Meet the largest animal that ever lived—the blue whale! Scientists are studying this mammal to understand how it evolved to such a large size and what lessons it might hold for protecting the species in the future. Watch part one of four of Giants of the Sea ⬇️

04/29/2021

Billions of Brood X cicadas have been living underground for the last 17 years.
They're ready to emerge this spring, en masse—probably at a park near you.

But what do they do all those years underground? How do they survive? And what do they do once they come out to the surface? These and many other questions will be answered by Museum Curator Jessica Ware in this family-friendly program.

What makes the swift fox (Vulpes velox) so swift? It’s able to reach speeds of more than 30 miles per hour, which comes ...
04/29/2021

What makes the swift fox (Vulpes velox) so swift? It’s able to reach speeds of more than 30 miles per hour, which comes in handy when hunting—or being hunted. The fox’s agility helps it snatch up a prairie dog for a meal, or evade the jaws of a hungry coyote. It inhabits North America’s Great Plains, where it lives in prairies and deserts. This critter is on the smaller side, only growing to about 1 foot (30 centimeters) tall and weighing in at around 6 pounds (3 kilograms).
Photo: Bureau of Land Management, CC BY 2.0, flickr

What makes the swift fox (Vulpes velox) so swift? It’s able to reach speeds of more than 30 miles per hour, which comes in handy when hunting—or being hunted. The fox’s agility helps it snatch up a prairie dog for a meal, or evade the jaws of a hungry coyote. It inhabits North America’s Great Plains, where it lives in prairies and deserts. This critter is on the smaller side, only growing to about 1 foot (30 centimeters) tall and weighing in at around 6 pounds (3 kilograms).
Photo: Bureau of Land Management, CC BY 2.0, flickr

Say “hi” to the Kaka (Nestor meridionalis)! This large parrot lives in New Zealand. It can grow up to 17 inches long (44...
04/29/2021

Say “hi” to the Kaka (Nestor meridionalis)! This large parrot lives in New Zealand. It can grow up to 17 inches long (44 centimeters) and weigh up to 14 ounces (400 grams). It inhabits a variety of forests in New Zealand, where it nests in tree cavities. Fruit, seeds, and invertebrates make up the majority of its diet; the bird leverages its strong bill to rip into rotting wood to find grub or to crack into a pinecone for its seeds. Deforestation and predation by mammalian predators pose some of the largest threats to this endangered species.
Photo: Jake Osborne, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, flickr

Say “hi” to the Kaka (Nestor meridionalis)! This large parrot lives in New Zealand. It can grow up to 17 inches long (44 centimeters) and weigh up to 14 ounces (400 grams). It inhabits a variety of forests in New Zealand, where it nests in tree cavities. Fruit, seeds, and invertebrates make up the majority of its diet; the bird leverages its strong bill to rip into rotting wood to find grub or to crack into a pinecone for its seeds. Deforestation and predation by mammalian predators pose some of the largest threats to this endangered species.
Photo: Jake Osborne, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, flickr

Did you know? The tiger rat snake (Spilotes pullatus) is one of the largest snakes in the Americas, growing as much as 1...
04/29/2021

Did you know? The tiger rat snake (Spilotes pullatus) is one of the largest snakes in the Americas, growing as much as 10 feet (3 meters) in length! This reptile lives in parts of Mexico and South America, where it inhabits forests, preferably near water. It’s non-venomous: it kills via constriction, biting, and suffocating—or pressing prey against a surface to crush it. It dines on a variety of critters including rodents, birds, bats, frogs, and lizards.
Photo: Luan Alves Chaves, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Did you know? The tiger rat snake (Spilotes pullatus) is one of the largest snakes in the Americas, growing as much as 10 feet (3 meters) in length! This reptile lives in parts of Mexico and South America, where it inhabits forests, preferably near water. It’s non-venomous: it kills via constriction, biting, and suffocating—or pressing prey against a surface to crush it. It dines on a variety of critters including rodents, birds, bats, frogs, and lizards.
Photo: Luan Alves Chaves, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Meet the “stinkless stink bug,” the Koa bug (Coleotichus blackburniae)! It’s the largest “true bug” endemic to the Hawai...
04/28/2021

Meet the “stinkless stink bug,” the Koa bug (Coleotichus blackburniae)! It’s the largest “true bug” endemic to the Hawaiian islands. The appearance of this roughly 1-inch (2.5-centimeter)-long critter can be a variety of iridescent green, red, yellow, and in more rare cases, blue. Its species was once plentiful, massing on koa tree branches. But in the 1960s, attempts to control the southern green stink bug, an agricultural pest, led to the release of an egg parasite. Once released, the parasite didn’t differentiate among stink bugs and went after Koa bugs as well, leading to a population decline.
Photo: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Public Domain, flickr

Meet the “stinkless stink bug,” the Koa bug (Coleotichus blackburniae)! It’s the largest “true bug” endemic to the Hawaiian islands. The appearance of this roughly 1-inch (2.5-centimeter)-long critter can be a variety of iridescent green, red, yellow, and in more rare cases, blue. Its species was once plentiful, massing on koa tree branches. But in the 1960s, attempts to control the southern green stink bug, an agricultural pest, led to the release of an egg parasite. Once released, the parasite didn’t differentiate among stink bugs and went after Koa bugs as well, leading to a population decline.
Photo: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Public Domain, flickr

It’s Hump Day, and we’re spotlighting the hybodus, or “hump tooth!” It’s one of a few species in the Hybodontidae family...
04/28/2021

It’s Hump Day, and we’re spotlighting the hybodus, or “hump tooth!” It’s one of a few species in the Hybodontidae family and lived some 180 million years ago. Hybodontids were common sharks during most of the Mesozoic and are regarded as a sister group to modern sharks and rays. They had robust braincases, heavy dorsal spines, and well-developed rib cages (an unusual feature in sharks). The model pictured shows what Hybodus may have looked like. See it up close in the Hall of Vertebrate Origins on the Museum’s fourth floor.
Photo: © AMNH

It’s Hump Day, and we’re spotlighting the hybodus, or “hump tooth!” It’s one of a few species in the Hybodontidae family and lived some 180 million years ago. Hybodontids were common sharks during most of the Mesozoic and are regarded as a sister group to modern sharks and rays. They had robust braincases, heavy dorsal spines, and well-developed rib cages (an unusual feature in sharks). The model pictured shows what Hybodus may have looked like. See it up close in the Hall of Vertebrate Origins on the Museum’s fourth floor.
Photo: © AMNH

Some wear their heart on their sleeve—but the gelada monkey (Theropithecus gelada), or “bleeding heart” monkey, wears it...
04/28/2021

Some wear their heart on their sleeve—but the gelada monkey (Theropithecus gelada), or “bleeding heart” monkey, wears its “heart” on its chest. The species’ common name comes from the bright-red triangular patch of skin that both males and females sport. It lives in the highlands of Ethiopia, where it spends most of its time on the ground rather than in the trees. Fun fact: the gelada monkey is the world’s only grass-eating monkey!
Photo: Charles James Sharp, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Some wear their heart on their sleeve—but the gelada monkey (Theropithecus gelada), or “bleeding heart” monkey, wears its “heart” on its chest. The species’ common name comes from the bright-red triangular patch of skin that both males and females sport. It lives in the highlands of Ethiopia, where it spends most of its time on the ground rather than in the trees. Fun fact: the gelada monkey is the world’s only grass-eating monkey!
Photo: Charles James Sharp, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

New research alert! A study based on ancient DNA led by Museum researchers has resolved a longstanding controversy about...
04/27/2021

New research alert! A study based on ancient DNA led by Museum researchers has resolved a longstanding controversy about an extinct “horned” crocodile from Madagascar. The croc, Voay robustus, was endemic to the island and likely lived among humans. Early explorers to Madagascar noted that Malagasy peoples consistently referred to two types of crocodiles on the island: a large robust crocodile and a thinner one with a preference for rivers, suggesting that both types persisted until very recently. But only the gracile form, now recognized as an isolated population of the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, is now found on the island. To fully examine the horned crocodile’s place in the evolutionary tree, researchers made a number of attempts to sequence DNA from fossil specimens, including two well-preserved skulls that have been at the Museum since the 1930s.
Image: M. Ellison/© AMNH

New research alert! A study based on ancient DNA led by Museum researchers has resolved a longstanding controversy about an extinct “horned” crocodile from Madagascar. The croc, Voay robustus, was endemic to the island and likely lived among humans. Early explorers to Madagascar noted that Malagasy peoples consistently referred to two types of crocodiles on the island: a large robust crocodile and a thinner one with a preference for rivers, suggesting that both types persisted until very recently. But only the gracile form, now recognized as an isolated population of the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, is now found on the island. To fully examine the horned crocodile’s place in the evolutionary tree, researchers made a number of attempts to sequence DNA from fossil specimens, including two well-preserved skulls that have been at the Museum since the 1930s.
Image: M. Ellison/© AMNH

Welcome to Trilobite Tuesday! Pictured is an Eoredlichia intermedia trilobite from China’s Lower Cambrian Chengjiang For...
04/27/2021

Welcome to Trilobite Tuesday! Pictured is an Eoredlichia intermedia trilobite from China’s Lower Cambrian Chengjiang Formation. This fossil is notable because its soft-tissue antennae were preserved amid the formation’s finely-grained limestone layers. Specimens from this site are known for their well-preserved soft tissue.

Welcome to Trilobite Tuesday! Pictured is an Eoredlichia intermedia trilobite from China’s Lower Cambrian Chengjiang Formation. This fossil is notable because its soft-tissue antennae were preserved amid the formation’s finely-grained limestone layers. Specimens from this site are known for their well-preserved soft tissue.

Meet the Silvery-cheeked Hornbill (Bycanistes brevis)! Like other hornbills, it’s equipped with a signature casque above...
04/27/2021

Meet the Silvery-cheeked Hornbill (Bycanistes brevis)! Like other hornbills, it’s equipped with a signature casque above its bill that amplifies its calls. It lives in parts of eastern Africa including Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Mozambique, where it inhabits a range of forest and savanna habitats. This bird has a varying diet, snacking on fruits and insects as well as small amphibians and mammals. To tell a male apart from a female, look closely at the skin around the eyes: females have a ring of red skin.
Photo: Bernard DUPONT, CC BY-SA 2.0, flickr

Meet the Silvery-cheeked Hornbill (Bycanistes brevis)! Like other hornbills, it’s equipped with a signature casque above its bill that amplifies its calls. It lives in parts of eastern Africa including Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Mozambique, where it inhabits a range of forest and savanna habitats. This bird has a varying diet, snacking on fruits and insects as well as small amphibians and mammals. To tell a male apart from a female, look closely at the skin around the eyes: females have a ring of red skin.
Photo: Bernard DUPONT, CC BY-SA 2.0, flickr

Charles Darwin first saw the Angraecum sesquipedale orchid from Madagascar in 1862. Its foot-long green throat holds nec...
04/26/2021

Charles Darwin first saw the Angraecum sesquipedale orchid from Madagascar in 1862. Its foot-long green throat holds nectar, but only at its very tip. "Astounding," Darwin wrote of this strange adaptation. "What insect could suck it?" He predicted that Madagascar must be home to an insect with an incredibly long feeding tube, or proboscis—but no such insect was discovered during his lifetime. Decades after his death, his insight was confirmed. A naturalist in Madagascar discovered the giant hawk moth (Xanthopan morganii praedicta), which hovers like a hummingbird as its long, whip-like proboscis probes for the distant nectar. The moth's scientific name honors the prediction of the scientist who never saw it but whose theory told him that it must exist.
Photo: sunoochi, CC BY 2.0, flickr

Charles Darwin first saw the Angraecum sesquipedale orchid from Madagascar in 1862. Its foot-long green throat holds nectar, but only at its very tip. "Astounding," Darwin wrote of this strange adaptation. "What insect could suck it?" He predicted that Madagascar must be home to an insect with an incredibly long feeding tube, or proboscis—but no such insect was discovered during his lifetime. Decades after his death, his insight was confirmed. A naturalist in Madagascar discovered the giant hawk moth (Xanthopan morganii praedicta), which hovers like a hummingbird as its long, whip-like proboscis probes for the distant nectar. The moth's scientific name honors the prediction of the scientist who never saw it but whose theory told him that it must exist.
Photo: sunoochi, CC BY 2.0, flickr

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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.

General information

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

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10am - 5:30pm
Thursday 10am - 5:30pm
Friday 10am - 5:30pm
Saturday 10am - 5:30pm
Sunday 10am - 5:45pm

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(212) 769-5100

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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/
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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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