American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History The Museum showcases its amazing treasures in the exhibit halls, and behind the scenes more than 200 scientists are at work making new discoveries.

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. Millions of people from around the world visit the Museum each year.

Have you ever seen one of these critters at the beach? Also known as “sand crabs” or “sand fleas,” Pacific mole crabs (E...
08/25/2023

Have you ever seen one of these critters at the beach? Also known as “sand crabs” or “sand fleas,” Pacific mole crabs (Emerita analoga) can be found across the western coasts of North and South America. East Coast residents might encounter their relatives, the Atlantic sand crabs (Emerita talpoida), during summertime beach trips. Mole crabs migrate with the tides, keeping up with breaking waves to filter feed on plankton brought in by the crashing waters. These critters use their back legs to get around, and they burrow backwards, too.

Photo: eeowes, CC BY-NC 4.0, flickr

It’s Fossil Friday! This archival film negative, snapped in 1966, depicts Museum visitors gazing up at the mounted remai...
08/25/2023

It’s Fossil Friday! This archival film negative, snapped in 1966, depicts Museum visitors gazing up at the mounted remains of Gorgosaurus. This slender tyrannosaur was smaller than its gigantic cousin T. rex, reaching lengths of up to 30 ft (9 m) and weights of 2,200 lbs (1,000 kg). Compare that to an adult T. rex, which could reach lengths of 40 ft (12 m) and weigh as much as 15,500 lbs (7,030 kg)!

Gorgosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous in parts of North America. The reconstruction pictured has a standing posture in which its tail drags along the ground behind it—a pose we now know is scientifically inaccurate.

Photo: Image no. 332025 / © AMNH Library

Meet a fish with “human” teeth: the sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus)! This species can grow up to 30 in (0.8 m) ...
08/24/2023

Meet a fish with “human” teeth: the sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus)! This species can grow up to 30 in (0.8 m) long and weigh 22 lbs (10 kg). Inside its mouth, you'll find molars, incisors, and grinding teeth. These specialized chompers help it chow down on its omnivorous diet that includes crabs, clams, small fish, and plants. Its wide range spans from Nova Scotia to the southern Caribbean.

Photo: Adam Reeder, CC BY-NC 2.0, flickr

Strut your stuff like the Great Curassow (Crax rubra)! This turkey-sized bird stands about 36 in (0.9 m) tall. During br...
08/24/2023

Strut your stuff like the Great Curassow (Crax rubra)! This turkey-sized bird stands about 36 in (0.9 m) tall. During breeding season, males perform elaborate displays that include bowing, feather-fluffing, and booming vocalizations. This species is mostly flightless, spending the majority of its time on the ground where it forages for seeds, berries, and fallen fruit. It can be spotted in rainforests from Mexico to Ecuador.

Photo: Andy Morffew, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Who nose this critter’s name? It’s the Western rock sengi (Elephantulus rupestris)! Despite its mouse-like appearance an...
08/23/2023

Who nose this critter’s name? It’s the Western rock sengi (Elephantulus rupestris)! Despite its mouse-like appearance and diminutive size, this critter isn’t a rodent. In fact, it’s actually more closely related to elephants and sea cows! Typically weighing only 0.07 kg (2.5 oz), this insectivore’s diet includes ants and termites. It can be found in parts of Africa including Namibia and South Africa.

Photo: kevinatbrakputs, CC BY 4.0, iNaturalist

Older than dinosaurs—and more threatened than threatening—sharks are spectacular, surprising, and often misunderstood. H...
08/23/2023

Older than dinosaurs—and more threatened than threatening—sharks are spectacular, surprising, and often misunderstood. Have you seen the Museum’s life-size megalodon, the biggest predatory fish of all time? See this model in the special exhibition Sharks, open through September 4.

Bonus: Members see Sharks for free! Become a Museum Member before August 31 and use promo code SHARKS to claim your very own shark tooth fossil—an eons-old keepsake you can treasure for years to come.

https://bit.ly/45b1RHH

Photo: D. Finnin / © AMNH

Meet the world’s largest monkey, the mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx)! This primate inhabits rainforests in parts of Africa ...
08/22/2023

Meet the world’s largest monkey, the mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx)! This primate inhabits rainforests in parts of Africa including Cameroon, Congo, and Gabon. Males’ faces and rear ends are painted in vivid colors, and when a mandrill gets excited, its striking buttocks becomes an even more intense shade of blue! These rainbow markings help mandrills attract mates. Scientists also think they assist mandrills in keeping an eye on each other while traveling through dark jungles.

Photo: Mathias Appel, CC0 1.0, flickr

It’s Trilobite Tuesday! The fossilized remains of this graceful Dionide from Portugal’s Valongo Formation are both acade...
08/22/2023

It’s Trilobite Tuesday! The fossilized remains of this graceful Dionide from Portugal’s Valongo Formation are both academically significant and an example of natural art. One of the most fascinating Ordovician-age trilobite sites in the world, the Valongo Formation is known for producing jumbo-sized specimens. In fact, one record-holding trilobite from this site is estimated to have been 30 in (0.8 m) long… a world record.

Blue-footed Bo***es (Sula nebouxii) are found throughout tropical parts of the eastern Pacific. These seabirds are insta...
08/21/2023

Blue-footed Bo***es (Sula nebouxii) are found throughout tropical parts of the eastern Pacific. These seabirds are instantly recognizable thanks to the color of their feet, which males show off during elaborate courtship dances. But why are they blue? The color is a byproduct of carotenoid pigments from the birds’ diet of fresh fish. Research suggests that healthier, more well-fed Bo***es have even bluer feet, which helps them attract mates.

Photo: mrccos, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, flickr

Behold a dapper lizard, the flat-headed rock agama (Agama mwanzae)! This reptile is sometimes called the “Spider-Man aga...
08/21/2023

Behold a dapper lizard, the flat-headed rock agama (Agama mwanzae)! This reptile is sometimes called the “Spider-Man agama” due to its distinct “red” torso and blue lower body. Only males sport these striking hues; females of this species are mostly brown. Found in East Africa, this critter can be spotted sunbathing in groups of up to 10 individuals.

Photo: rpockat, CC BY-NC 4.0, iNaturalist

Today’s mood? The burrowing toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis). This critter seldom emerges from its underground home and come...
08/20/2023

Today’s mood? The burrowing toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis). This critter seldom emerges from its underground home and comes to the surface only a few times a year during heavy rains to breed. This rotund amphibian uses its snout to access the underground tunnels and nests of its prey, including termites and ants. It can be found in parts of Texas and through Mexico to Costa Rica.

Photo: arbore, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, iNaturalist

Who’s this fuzzy noodle? That would be the long-tailed weasel (Neogale frenata). This critter is North America’s largest...
08/20/2023

Who’s this fuzzy noodle? That would be the long-tailed weasel (Neogale frenata). This critter is North America’s largest weasel, growing up to 16.5 in (41.9 cm) long. It’s nocturnal and inhabits the burrows of other species, but it’s also a skilled climber that can often be found in the trees. It feeds on small mammals, insects, and birds.

Photo: guyincognito, CC BY-NC 4.0, iNaturalist

What’s that spiky critter? It’s the lowland streaked tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus). This mammal’s yellow and black ...
08/19/2023

What’s that spiky critter? It’s the lowland streaked tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus). This mammal’s yellow and black quills provide protection from predators, but also serve as a means of communication! The lowland streaked tenrec can rattle its quill tips together, producing a high-pitched sound that’s thought to signal others of its kind. And? When bothered, the spines on its head will move up and down repetitively, warning others of its displeasure. This species is found only in the rainforests of Madagascar.

Photo: Frank Vassen, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Would you put the words “elegant” and “grasshopper” together? No? Well, meet the elegant grasshopper (Zonocerus elegans)...
08/19/2023

Would you put the words “elegant” and “grasshopper” together? No? Well, meet the elegant grasshopper (Zonocerus elegans). 💅 Growing up to 2 in (5 cm) long, this colorful insect can be found in parts of Africa and Madagascar. It inhabits savannahs and feeds on a wide array of plants, including human crops. It breeds once a year, and the timing is linked to the occurrence of rainfall.

Photo: martyndrabik, CC BY-NC 4.0, iNaturalist

If you think you take a long time grocery shopping, check out this critter: It spends up to 23 hours a day looking for f...
08/18/2023

If you think you take a long time grocery shopping, check out this critter: It spends up to 23 hours a day looking for food! Meet the Eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus). This critter weighs 4.9 oz (140 g)—about the weight of two C batteries. With poor eyesight and hearing, the Eastern mole spends most of its life underground and relies on its sense of touch and smell to navigate its environment. It can be found tunneling its way through the eastern and central United States where it hunts for worms and other insects.

Photo: National Science Foundation, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

This Fossil Friday, scoot into the weekend with Scutosaurus karpinskii: the “shield lizard.” This large herbivore lived ...
08/18/2023

This Fossil Friday, scoot into the weekend with Scutosaurus karpinskii: the “shield lizard.” This large herbivore lived during the Late Permian some 253 million years ago. It’s part of an early group of sauropsids known as pareiasaurs. The pareiasaurs had spikes and thickened k***s around their skulls, as well as peg-like teeth adapted for eating plants. Their fossils have been found in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Spot this one in the Museum’s Hall of Vertebrate Origins!

Photo: M. Pelczar / © AMNH

We’re already halfway through August. If you’re shocked, you might relate to the Buffy Fish Owl (Ketupa ketupu). This la...
08/17/2023

We’re already halfway through August. If you’re shocked, you might relate to the Buffy Fish Owl (Ketupa ketupu). This large bird can be found in parts of Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Burma, and Laos. It inhabits areas close to water, including the coast, where it hunts for fish, frogs, and crustaceans. The rough undersides of its toes may aid this species in grasping slippery prey.

Photo: Mark Louis Benedict, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, flickr

Throwback Thursday! Do you remember the 1970s? 💃🕺 Saturday Night Fever was playing at the theaters and disco was pumping...
08/17/2023

Throwback Thursday! Do you remember the 1970s? 💃🕺 Saturday Night Fever was playing at the theaters and disco was pumping at Studio 54. What was happening at the Museum? We were opening a groovy Gems and Minerals Hall, complete with carpet, a sunken pit, and cave-like lighting. This archival photo, snapped in 1976, depicts visitors in the hall as it appeared shortly after opening. Its design was meant to simulate the Earth from which the exhibited specimens were extracted.

During the years since then, the fields of mineralogy and geology have advanced significantly. The Museum’s Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals—which now features more than 5,000 specimens—were redesigned to reflect these changes. Today, this space tells the fascinating story of how the vast diversity of minerals arose on our planet, how scientists classify and study them, and how we use them for personal adornment, tools, and technology.

Photo: Image no. ptc-2027 / © AMNH Library

What bathes in its own urine and can drop its tail when afraid? That would be the common degu (Octodon degus). This rotu...
08/16/2023

What bathes in its own urine and can drop its tail when afraid? That would be the common degu (Octodon degus). This rotund rodent can be found in the Andes Mountains of Chile, where it inhabits elaborate underground burrows. This social species lives in groups of up to 10 individuals. To keep “clean,” this critter rolls around in sand soaked with its own urine. This may also be a way for the rat-sized animal to defend its territory. And? When threatened by foes, it can drop its tail—distracting predators as the rodent makes its escape. But this trick only works once: Unlike a lizard, the degu can’t regrow its missing appendage.

Photo: biovipah, CC BY-NC 4.0, iNaturalist

Have you ever seen the greater glider (Petauroides volans)? At about 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg), this Australian marsupiall is the...
08/16/2023

Have you ever seen the greater glider (Petauroides volans)? At about 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg), this Australian marsupiall is the largest of the world’s gliding possums. This cat-sized critter can often be found soaring through the air, covering distances of up to 328 ft (100 m) at a time. A membrane of skin extending from its abdomen to its limbs, called a patagium, helps it take to the sky. The greater glider also uses this skin flap as a blanket during cold weather! This species feeds almost entirely on eucalyptus, and exclusively inhabits tall eucalyptus forests.

Photo: brettmezen, CC BY-NC 4.0, iNaturalist

Imagine a roly poly… but giant. The giant Antarctic isopod (Glyptonotus antarcticus) is a crustacean of the deep sea. It...
08/15/2023

Imagine a roly poly… but giant. The giant Antarctic isopod (Glyptonotus antarcticus) is a crustacean of the deep sea. It can be found in the waters of the Antarctic and parts of the Atlantic, where it inhabits depths of up to 1900 ft (580 m). Does it look familiar? This critter’s relatives include crabs, shrimp, and some terrestrial crustaceans like the woodlouse and pill bug (or roly poly)!

Photo: Hannes Grobe, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to another Trilobite Tuesday! Modocia typicalis, a middle Cambrian trilobite, can be found in an astonishing var...
08/15/2023

Welcome to another Trilobite Tuesday! Modocia typicalis, a middle Cambrian trilobite, can be found in an astonishing variety of calcified colors—like this red example. Beautifully preserved specimens have been found throughout Utah in vivid tones of black, red, brown, and tan. These colorful fossils contrast against a host shale that ranges from gray, to beige, to pink.

Let’s soar into World Lizard Day with the flying dragons! Members of the genus Draco, these critters have a unique adapt...
08/14/2023

Let’s soar into World Lizard Day with the flying dragons! Members of the genus Draco, these critters have a unique adaptation—their ability to glide through the air. A patagium, or wing-like skin flap, extending outward from these reptiles’ abdomens helps them take to the skies. After leaping from a tree or high vantage point, they can soar for about 26 ft (8 m) at a time.

Photo: niran_anurakpongsathorn, CC BY-NC 4.0, iNaturalist

Meet the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides). This chonky member of the canid family is omnivorous with a diet that i...
08/13/2023

Meet the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides). This chonky member of the canid family is omnivorous with a diet that includes insects, fruit, & crustaceans. It can be found in parts of northern Europe and Asia. In cold areas of its range, this species hibernates through the winter. To prepare for this long rest, individuals gorge themselves with food and can gain up to 50% of their body weight! At its peak, the raccoon dog can weigh up to 22 lbs (10 kg).

Photo: Cloudtail the Snow Leopard, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, flickr

The Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) looks like a work of art, but you can spot this dazzling critter in real life. 🎨 M...
08/13/2023

The Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) looks like a work of art, but you can spot this dazzling critter in real life. 🎨 Males sport red, blue, and green colors, while females can be identified by their mostly green plumage. This bird is highly territorial: Males defend their home ranges by pecking and grappling opponents. Sometimes these contests can become fights to the death! This species inhabits scrub-forests and grasslands in parts of North & Central America, including the United States and Mexico.

Photo: Doug Greenberg, CC BY-NC 2.0, flickr

What fungus has translucent jelly-like flesh with an underside that's covered in moist tooth-like spines? The toothed je...
08/12/2023

What fungus has translucent jelly-like flesh with an underside that's covered in moist tooth-like spines? The toothed jelly fungus (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum)! Growing up to 4.7 in (12 cm) tall, this species can be found across a wide range including Europe and North America. It’s a decomposer that feeds on rotting wood, particularly conifers like pine and spruce. Want to spot it in the wild? Check for fallen trees in shady, damp places.

Photo: sophialilypad, CC BY-NC 4.0, iNautralist

🎵 “Just like the white witch moth, sings a song sounds like she’s singin…” The white witch moth (Thysania agrippina) has...
08/12/2023

🎵 “Just like the white witch moth, sings a song sounds like she’s singin…” The white witch moth (Thysania agrippina) has a wingspan of up to 14 in (36 cm)—one of the largest of any known Lepidopteran! This species’ creamy color, patterned with dark markings, allows it to camouflage itself on lichen-covered tree barks. It can be found in rainforests in parts of Central and South America.

Photo: loriena, CC BY-NC 4.0,iNaturalist

What’s an aardwolf (Proteles cristata)? It’s an insectivorous mammal that’s related to the hyena. But unlike its carnivo...
08/11/2023

What’s an aardwolf (Proteles cristata)? It’s an insectivorous mammal that’s related to the hyena. But unlike its carnivorous relatives, the aardwolf is one of 18 mammal species that feed exclusively on termites. Instead of digging for them, it uses its large, sticky tongue to scoop up the insects when they come above ground to forage at night. In summertime, the aardwolf can gobble up more than 200,000 termites for its midnight meal!

Photo: Tambako The Jaguar, CC BY-ND 2.0, flickr

Party like a ground sloth, because it’s Fossil Friday! This glass negative from 1911 depicts the Giant Sloth Group in th...
08/11/2023

Party like a ground sloth, because it’s Fossil Friday! This glass negative from 1911 depicts the Giant Sloth Group in the Hall of the Age of Man, which closed in the mid 60s. During the Pleistocene, a wide array of ground sloths lumbered across North and South America. Some, like the island-dwelling Megalocnus rodens, evolved to be long-distance swimmers. Others, like the mighty Megatherium, were among the largest land mammals to ever live. The biggest ground sloths could have weighed up to 8,800 lbs (4,000 kg)—the size of an elephant! Most of these mammals died out at the end of the Pleistocene. There is also evidence that ground sloths and early humans used the same caves, but not necessarily at the same time.

Photo: Image no.35517 / © AMNH Library

You’ve seen a blue peacock (Pavo cristatus)—but have you seen a white one? No, this isn’t a new species: This bird’s str...
08/10/2023

You’ve seen a blue peacock (Pavo cristatus)—but have you seen a white one? No, this isn’t a new species: This bird’s striking plumage is the result of the genetic mutations leucism or albinism. Leucism is a reduction in all types of pigmentation, including melanin. Albinism is the inability to produce or distribute melanin. Most white peacocks are leucistic, not albino… but how can you tell the difference? Take a close look: Peacocks affected by albinism have pink eyes. These birds are rare in the wild, where their conspicuous coats would attract the attention of hungry predators.

Photo: Tambako The Jaguar, CC BY-ND 2.0, flickr

It’s World Lion Day! The most social of the big cats, lions typically live in prides of up to 20 individuals. Once wides...
08/10/2023

It’s World Lion Day! The most social of the big cats, lions typically live in prides of up to 20 individuals. Once widespread across Africa, lions have disappeared from more than 80% of their historic range over the past century. Today, only about 20,000 are left in the wild.

Humans pose the greatest threat to lions, destroying their habitats and killing them for sport, retaliation, and preemptive protection of livestock. Lion reduction has prompted conservation efforts that aim to mitigate human-lion conflict, protect people and livestock, educate communities, and collect data about lion populations.

Photo: Tambako The Jaguar, CC BY-ND 2.0, flickr

“You can’t see me.” The Vietnamese mossy frog (Theloderma corticale) may not be invisible… but it comes pretty close. 🐸 ...
08/09/2023

“You can’t see me.” The Vietnamese mossy frog (Theloderma corticale) may not be invisible… but it comes pretty close. 🐸 This critter’s camouflage provides perfect cover in its natural habitat, which includes mossy caves and stream banks in parts of Vietnam. When threatened, it can curl up into a ball and play dead to seem less appetizing. What’s more? To further aid in its defense strategy, this amphibian can project its voice up to 13 ft (4 m) into the distance, making it even more difficult for foes to find.

Photo: ThartmannWiki, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Hoo can guess how the Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) got its name? The pale markings on this bird’s face have ...
08/09/2023

Hoo can guess how the Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) got its name? The pale markings on this bird’s face have been said to resemble glasses! Found in rainforests throughout parts of Central and South America, including Mexico and Argentina, this nocturnal predator feeds on crabs, birds, and small mammals like skunks. Want to hear one? Listen for the vocalizations of males: Their calls have been compared to the sound of a hammer hitting a hollow tree.

Photo: O Palsson, CC BY 2.0, flickr

If not friend, why friend shaped? Meet the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox)! Despite its catlike appearance, this critter is a...
08/08/2023

If not friend, why friend shaped? Meet the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox)! Despite its catlike appearance, this critter is actually a close relative of the mongoose. It’s also the largest carnivore on Madagascar, growing up to 22 lbs (10 kg) and measuring up to 72 in (183 cm) long. This solitary critter’s diet includes fish, birds, and lemurs. When aggravated, this critter can release a pungent odor from its scent glands, which it also uses to mark its territory and attract mates.

Photo: zoofanatic, CC BY 2.0, flickr

It’s time for another Trilobite Tuesday! Behold the Olenoides superbus. At more than 4 in (10.2 cm) long, it’s easy to s...
08/08/2023

It’s time for another Trilobite Tuesday! Behold the Olenoides superbus. At more than 4 in (10.2 cm) long, it’s easy to see how this critter attained its “superb” name. Found in what is now Utah, this species lived during the Middle Cambrian. Some scientists think Olenoides superbus was a predatory trilobite. Note this specimen’s perfectly preserved free-standing spines: These appendages, which may have been somewhat flexible, were perhaps used as rudders during swimming or for protection from predators.

This plant is a parasite that smells like a rotting co**se: Meet jackal food (Hydnora africana)! Unlike many plants, whi...
08/07/2023

This plant is a parasite that smells like a rotting co**se: Meet jackal food (Hydnora africana)! Unlike many plants, which use chlorophyll and photosynthesis to derive nutrients from the Sun, this species attaches itself to host plants instead, siphoning off their nutrients. Found in arid parts of southern Africa, including South Africa and Namibia, the stench of the jackal food’s fruit attracts a variety of animals including jackals, porcupines, and moles. What does it taste like? Its flavor and texture have been compared to that of a potato.

Photo: arditolastico, CC BY-NC 4.0 ,iNaturalist

This EntoMonday, meet the Hercules beetle! Growing up to 7 in (17 cm) long, it’s the largest known beetle in the world. ...
08/07/2023

This EntoMonday, meet the Hercules beetle! Growing up to 7 in (17 cm) long, it’s the largest known beetle in the world. It’s named after the hero from Greek mythology because it’s strong enough to carry many times its own body mass! Males sport long horns which they use to grapple with and topple over opponents.

Hercules beetles inhabit the rainforests of Central and South America and are important decomposers in their ecosystems. Larvae consume decaying wood while adults feast on rotting fruit. You can spot this species in the Museum’s Solomon Insectarium in the newly opened Gilder Center!

Photo: Sultana, CC BY-NC 4.0, iNaturalist

Have you ever seen the blue tree monitor (Varanus macraei)? It can be found only on the Indonesian island of Batanta. Gr...
08/06/2023

Have you ever seen the blue tree monitor (Varanus macraei)? It can be found only on the Indonesian island of Batanta. Growing up to 3.6 ft (1.1 m) long, this reptile’s prehensile tail is nearly twice the length of its body. An arboreal species that spends most of its life in the trees, this critter uses its tail to assist with climbing. Fun fact: This species wasn’t scientifically described until 2001.

Photo: Josh More, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, flickr

Pucker up for the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)! 😘This jawless fish has a suction-cup mouth ringed with hooked teeth ...
08/06/2023

Pucker up for the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)! 😘This jawless fish has a suction-cup mouth ringed with hooked teeth and survives off the blood of its prey. It uses its sharp tongue to pierce flesh and secretes an enzyme to prevent blood from clotting. Growing up to 2 ft (0.6 m) long, this species is a parasite that feeds on fish and marine mammals. Typically found in the Atlantic Ocean, lampreys introduced to America’s Great Lakes in the early 20th century have become major pests.

Photo: wanderingeden, CC BY-NC 4.0, iNaturalist

Today’s Exhibit of the Day? 🐛🐞🐜 The Museum’s Life on the Forest Floor Diorama. To create this up-close look—full of deco...
08/05/2023

Today’s Exhibit of the Day? 🐛🐞🐜 The Museum’s Life on the Forest Floor Diorama. To create this up-close look—full of decomposing debris and hungry critters—Museum artists studied specimens under a microscope. Then, these bugs, weevils, and beetles were enlarged to about 24 times their actual size! Models were made out of clay, wax, and other materials. This archival image, snapped in 1958, depicts a Museum preparator installing models into this scene.

Photo: Image no. 325494 / © AMNH Library

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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.

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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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