American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History (abbreviated as AMNH), located on the Upper West Side
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street...

 of Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, is one of the largest and most celebrated museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

s in the world. Located in park-like grounds across the street from Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

, the Museum comprises 25 interconnected buildings that house 46 permanent exhibition halls, research laboratories, and its renowned library.

The collections contain over 32 million specimens, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time.
The American Museum of Natural History (abbreviated as AMNH), located on the Upper West Side
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street...

 of Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, is one of the largest and most celebrated museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

s in the world. Located in park-like grounds across the street from Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

, the Museum comprises 25 interconnected buildings that house 46 permanent exhibition halls, research laboratories, and its renowned library.

The collections contain over 32 million specimens, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time. The Museum has a scientific staff of more than 200, and sponsors over 100 special field expeditions each year.


The Museum was founded in 1869. Prior to construction of the present complex, the Museum was housed in the Arsenal building
Arsenal (Central Park)
The Arsenal is a symmetrical brick building with modestly Gothic Revival details, located in Central Park, New York, centered on 64th Street off Fifth Avenue...

 in Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

. Theodore Roosevelt, Sr.
Theodore Roosevelt, Sr.
Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. was the father of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and the paternal grandfather of American first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. He was the son of Cornelius Van Schaak Roosevelt and Margaret Barnhill...

, the father of the 26th U.S. President
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, was one of the founders along with John David Wolfe, William T. Blodgett, Robert L. Stuart, Andrew H. Green
Andrew Haswell Green
Andrew Haswell Green was a New York lawyer, city planner, civic leader and agitator for reform. Called by some historians a hundred years later "the 19th century Robert Moses," he held several offices and played important roles in many projects, including Riverside Drive, Morningside Park, Fort...

, Robert Colgate, Morris K. Jesup
Morris Ketchum Jesup
Morris Ketchum Jesup , was a United States banker and philanthropist. He was the president of the American Museum of Natural History.-Biography:...

, Benjamin H. Field, D. Jackson Steward, Richard M. Blatchford, J. Pierpont Morgan, Adrian Iselin, Moses H. Grinnell
Moses H. Grinnell
Moses Hicks Grinnell was a United States Navy officer, congressmanrepresenting New York, and Central Park Commissioner.-Biography:...

, Benjamin B. Sherman, A. G. Phelps Dodge
Anson Dodge
Anson Greene Phelps Dodge was a Canadian lumber dealer and political figure. He represented York North in the Canadian House of Commons from 1872 to 1874 as a Conservative member....

, William A. Haines, Charles A. Dana
Charles Anderson Dana
Charles Anderson Dana was an American journalist, author, and government official, best known for his association with Ulysses S. Grant during the American Civil War and his aggressive political advocacy after the war....

, Joseph H. Choate
Joseph Hodges Choate
Joseph Hodges Choate , was an American lawyer and diplomat.-Biography:He was born in Salem, Massachusetts on January 24, 1832. He was the son of physician George Choate and the brother of George C. S. Choate. His father's first cousin was Rufus Choate...

, Henry G. Stebbins
Henry G. Stebbins
Henry George Stebbins was a U.S. Representative from New York during the latter half of the American Civil War.-Life:...

, Henry Parish, and Howard Potter. The founding of the Museum realized the dream of naturalist Dr. Albert S. Bickmore
Albert S. Bickmore
Albert Smith Bickmore was an American naturalist and one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History.- Childhood :...

. Bickmore, a one-time student of Harvard zoologist Louis Agassiz
Louis Agassiz
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz was a Swiss paleontologist, glaciologist, geologist and a prominent innovator in the study of the Earth's natural history. He grew up in Switzerland and became a professor of natural history at University of Neuchâtel...

, lobbied tirelessly for years for the establishment of a natural history museum in New York. His proposal, backed by his powerful sponsors, won the support of the Governor of New York
Governor of New York
The Governor of the State of New York is the chief executive of the State of New York. The governor is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military and naval forces. The officeholder is afforded the courtesy title of His/Her...

, John Thompson Hoffman, who signed a bill officially creating the American Museum of Natural History on April 6, 1869.

In 1874, the cornerstone was laid for the Museum's first building, which is now hidden from view by the many buildings in the complex that today occupy most of Manhattan Square. The original Victorian Gothic
Gothic Revival architecture
The Gothic Revival is an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England...

 building, which was opened in 1877, was designed by Calvert Vaux
Calvert Vaux
Calvert Vaux , was an architect and landscape designer. He is best remembered as the co-designer , of New York's Central Park....

 and J. Wrey Mould, both already closely identified with the architecture of Central Park. It was soon eclipsed by the south range of the Museum, designed by J. Cleaveland Cady
J. Cleaveland Cady
J Cleaveland Cady was a New York-based architect whose most familiar surviving building is the south range of the American Museum of Natural History on New York's Upper West Side...

, an exercise in rusticated brownstone neo-Romanesque
Richardsonian Romanesque
Richardsonian Romanesque is a style of Romanesque Revival architecture named after architect Henry Hobson Richardson, whose masterpiece is Trinity Church, Boston , designated a National Historic Landmark...

, influenced by H. H. Richardson
Henry Hobson Richardson
Henry Hobson Richardson was a prominent American architect who designed buildings in Albany, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and other cities. The style he popularized is named for him: Richardsonian Romanesque...

. It extends 700 feet (213.4 m) along West 77th Street, with corner towers 150 feet (45.7 m) tall. Its pink brownstone and granite, similar to that found at Grindstone Island
Grindstone Island
Grindstone Island is the fourth largest of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River and the second largest American island. The island lies near Lake Ontario and is part of the United States of America. In particular, the island is in the Town of Clayton in Jefferson County, New York...

 in the St. Lawrence River, came from quarries at Picton Island, New York. The entrance on Central Park West
Central Park West
Central Park West is an avenue that runs north-south in the New York City borough of Manhattan, in the United States....

, the New York State Memorial to Theodore Roosevelt, completed by John Russell Pope
John Russell Pope
John Russell Pope was an architect most known for his designs of the National Archives and Records Administration building , the Jefferson Memorial and the West Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.-Biography:Pope was born in New York in 1874, the son of a successful...

 in 1936, is an overscaled Beaux-Arts monument. It leads to a vast Roman basilica, where visitors are greeted with a cast of a skeleton of a rearing Barosaurus
Barosaurus ; Greek barys/βαρυς meaning 'heavy' and saurus/σαυρος meaning 'lizard', 'heavy lizard') was a giant, long-tailed, long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur closely related to the more familiar Diplodocus...

defending her young from an Allosaurus
Allosaurus is a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived 155 to 150 million years ago during the late Jurassic period . The name Allosaurus means "different lizard". It is derived from the Greek /allos and /sauros...

. The Museum is also accessible through its 77th street foyer, renamed the "Grand Gallery" and featuring a fully suspended Haida canoe. The hall leads into the oldest extant exhibit in the Museum, the hall of Northwest Coast Indians.

Since 1930 little has been added to the original building. The Museum's south front, spanning 77th Street from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue
Ninth Avenue (Manhattan)
Ninth Avenue / Columbus Avenue is a southbound thoroughfare on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City. Traffic runs downtown along its full length...

 was cleaned, repaired and re-emerged in 2009. Steven Reichl, a spokesman for the Museum, said that work would include restoring 650 black-cherry window frames and stone repairs. The Museum’s consultant on the latest renovation is Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. is an American corporation of architects, engineers, and materials scientists specializing in the investigation, analysis, testing, and design of repairs for historic and contemporary buildings and structures...

, an architectural and engineering firm with headquarters in Northbrook, IL.

The museum's first two presidents were John David Wolfe (1870–1872) and Robert L. Stuart (1872–1881), both among the museum's founders. The museum was not put on a sound footing until the appointment of the third president, Morris K. Jesup
Morris Ketchum Jesup
Morris Ketchum Jesup , was a United States banker and philanthropist. He was the president of the American Museum of Natural History.-Biography:...

 (also one of the original founders), in 1881. Jesup was president for over 25 years, overseeing its expansion and much of its golden age of exploration and collection. The fourth president, Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sr. ForMemRS was an American geologist, paleontologist, and eugenicist.-Early life and career:...

, was appointed in 1906 on the death of Jesup. Osborn consolidated the museum's expansion, developing it into one of the world's foremost natural history museums. F. Trubee Davison
F. Trubee Davison
Frederick Trubee Davison , usually known as F. Trubee Davison, or Trubee Davison, was an American World War I aviator, Assistant US Secretary of War, Director of Personnel for the Central Intelligence Agency, and President of the American Museum of Natural History.Davison was the brother-in-law of...

 was president from 1933 to 1951, with A. Perry Osborn as Acting President from 1941 to 1946. Alexander M. White was president from 1951 to 1968. Gardner D. Stout was president from 1968 to 1975. Robert G. Goelet from 1975 to 1988. George D. Langdon, Jr. from 1988 to 1993. Ellen V. Futter
Ellen V. Futter
Ellen V. Futter is president of the American Museum of Natural History. She previously served as president of Barnard College for 13 years.Futter was born in New York City and attended high school in Port Washington, New York...

 has been president of the museum since 1993.

Famous names associated with the Museum include the paleontologist and geologist
A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth as well as the processes and history that has shaped it. Geologists usually engage in studying geology. Geologists, studying more of an applied science than a theoretical one, must approach Geology using...

 Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sr. ForMemRS was an American geologist, paleontologist, and eugenicist.-Early life and career:...

; the dinosaur-hunter of the Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert
The Gobi is a large desert region in Asia. It covers parts of northern and northwestern China, and of southern Mongolia. The desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the...

, Roy Chapman Andrews
Roy Chapman Andrews
Roy Chapman Andrews was an American explorer, adventurer and naturalist who became the director of the American Museum of Natural History. He is primarily known for leading a series of expeditions through the fragmented China of the early 20th century into the Gobi Desert and Mongolia...

 (one of the inspirations for Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones
Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

); George Gaylord Simpson
George Gaylord Simpson
George Gaylord Simpson was an American paleontologist. Simpson was perhaps the most influential paleontologist of the twentieth century, and a major participant in the modern evolutionary synthesis, contributing Tempo and mode in evolution , The meaning of evolution and The major features of...

; biologist Ernst Mayr
Ernst Mayr
Ernst Walter Mayr was one of the 20th century's leading evolutionary biologists. He was also a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, historian of science, and naturalist...

; pioneer cultural anthropologists
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

 Franz Boas
Franz Boas
Franz Boas was a German-American anthropologist and a pioneer of modern anthropology who has been called the "Father of American Anthropology" and "the Father of Modern Anthropology." Like many such pioneers, he trained in other disciplines; he received his doctorate in physics, and did...

 and Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist, who was frequently a featured writer and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s....

; explorer and geographer
A geographer is a scholar whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society.Although geographers are historically known as people who make maps, map making is actually the field of study of cartography, a subset of geography...

 Alexander H. Rice, Jr.
Alexander H. Rice, Jr.
Alexander Hamilton Rice, Jr. was an American physician, geographer, geologist and explorer. He graduated from Harvard University in 1898 with an A.B. degree, and earned his medical degree in 1904 also at Harvard...

; and ornithologist Robert Cushman Murphy
Robert Cushman Murphy
Robert Cushman Murphy was an American ornithologist and former Lamont curator of birds for the American Museum of Natural History....

. J. P. Morgan was also among the famous benefactors of the Museum.

Exhibition halls

The Museum boasts habitat dioramas
The word diorama can either refer to a nineteenth century mobile theatre device, or, in modern usage, a three-dimensional full-size or miniature model, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase for a museum...

 of African, Asian and North American mammals, a full-size model of a Blue Whale
Blue Whale
The blue whale is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales . At in length and or more in weight, it is the largest known animal to have ever existed....

 suspended in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, sponsored by the family of Paul Milstein
Paul Milstein
Paul Milstein was a real estate developer and philanthropist.Born in New York City he attended DeWitt Clinton High School and the New York University School of Architecture. The family enterprises began with Morris Milstein, who emigrated to the United States from Russia and founded Circle Floor...

 (reopened in 2003), a 62 foot (19 m) Haida carved and painted war canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...

 from the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

, a massive 31 ton piece of the Cape York meteorite
Cape York meteorite
The Cape York meteorite is named for Cape York, the location of its discovery in Savissivik, Greenland, and is one of the largest iron meteorites in the world.-History:The meteorite collided with Earth nearly 10,000 years ago...

, and the Star of India
Star of India (gem)
The Star of India is a 563.35 carat star sapphire, one of the largest such gems in the world. It is almost flawless and unusual in that it has stars on both sides of the stone...

, the largest star sapphire
Sapphire is a gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide , when it is a color other than red or dark pink; in which case the gem would instead be called a ruby, considered to be a different gemstone. Trace amounts of other elements such as iron, titanium, or chromium can give...

 in the world. The circuit of an entire floor is devoted to vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...


The Museum has extensive anthropological collections: Asian People, Pacific People, Man in Africa, American Indian
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 collections, general Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 collections, and collections from Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...


Akeley Hall of African Mammals

Since its opening in 1936, the Akeley Hall has been considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest museum displays. The hall is named after Carl Akeley
Carl Akeley
Carl Ethan Akeley was a taxidermist, sculptor, biologist, conservationist, inventor, and nature photographer, noted for his contributions to American museums, most notably to the Field Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History...

 (1864–1926), the explorer, conservationist, taxidermist, sculptor and photographer who conceived of, designed and created the hall. Akeley led teams of scientists and artists on three expeditions to Africa during the first two decades of the 20th century, wherein he and his colleagues carefully studied, catalogued, and collected the plants and animals that even then were disappearing. He brought many specimens from the expeditions back to the Museum, and used them to create the hall, with its twenty-eight dioramas.

The dioramas do not simply evoke the sites that Akeley visited—they replicate specific animals in specific geographic locations at a specific time. In creating these works, Akeley forever changed the practice of taxidermy—the stuffing and mounting of the skins of animals. Until then animal skins had been stuffed with straw or wood shavings. Akeley, however, began by re-creating the animal’s shape with an armature made of wood, wire, and sometimes parts of the actual skeleton. He then used clay to add on each muscle, tendon, and vein. When this work was complete, he made a cast of it, and fit the animal’s skin over the cast. This meticulous attention to veracity—which was applied not merely to the taxidermic mounts but the plants, background paintings and even the light in the dioramas—resulted in fastidiously realistic, vivid reproductions of the world that Akeley wanted to preserve.

During Akeley’s final expedition, he fell ill and died. He was buried in Albert National Park (now Virunga National Park), the first wildlife sanctuary in central Africa, which he had helped to establish. The mountain location of his grave is near the scene depicted in the gorilla diorama in this hall.

Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites

The Arthur Ross
Arthur Ross (philanthropist)
Arthur Ross was an American businessman and philanthropist. He was known for his philanthropic contributions to the arts and environmental causes, including New York City's Central Park, specifically the Arthur Ross Pinetum.-Early life:Arthur Ross was born in Manhattan, New York City, on November...

 Hall of Meteorites contains some of the finest specimens in the world including Ahnighito, a section of the 200 ton Cape York
Cape York (Greenland)
Cape York is a cape on the northwestern coast of Greenland, in northern Baffin Bay. The cape, located west-south-west of the Savissivik settlement, delimits the northwestern end of Melville Bay, with the other end commonly defined as Wilcox Head, the western promontory on Kiatassuaq Island.-...

 meteorite which was found at the location of the same name in Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

. The meteorite's great weight—at 34 tons, makes it the largest meteorite on display at any museum in the world—requires support by columns that extend through the floor and into the bedrock below the Museum.

The hall also contains extra-solar nanodiamonds
Detonation nanodiamond
Detonation nanodiamond , often also called ultradispersed diamond , is diamond that originates from a detonation. When an oxygen-deficient explosive mixture of TNT/RDX is detonated in a closed chamber, diamond particles with a diameter of ca...

 (diamonds with dimensions on the nanometer level) more than 5 billion years old. These were extracted from a meteorite sample through chemical means, and they are so small that a quadrillion of these fit into a volume smaller than a cubic centimeter.

Bernard and Anne Spitzer Hall of Human Origins

The Bernard and Anne Spitzer
Bernard Spitzer
Bernard Spitzer is an American real estate developer and philanthropist in New York City who built several landmark buildings around the city including The Corinthian which was the largest individual apartment building in New York City when it was built. Spitzer is father of former New York...

 Hall of Human Origins, formerly The Hall of Human Biology and Evolution, opened on February 10, 2007. Originally known under the name "Hall of the Age of Man", at the time of its original opening in 1921 it was the only major exhibition in the United States to present an in-depth investigation of human evolution. The displays traced the story of Homo sapiens, illuminated the path of human evolution and examined the origins of human creativity.

Many of the celebrated displays from the original hall can still be viewed in the present expanded format. These include life-size dioramas of our human predecessors Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid that lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. A. afarensis was slenderly built, like the younger Australopithecus africanus. It is thought that A...

, Homo ergaster
Homo ergaster
Homo ergaster is an extinct chronospecies of Homo that lived in eastern and southern Africa during the early Pleistocene, about 2.5–1.7 million years ago.There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

, Neanderthal
The Neanderthal is an extinct member of the Homo genus known from Pleistocene specimens found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia...

, and Cro-Magnon
The Cro-Magnon were the first early modern humans of the European Upper Paleolithic. The earliest known remains of Cro-Magnon-like humans are radiometrically dated to 35,000 years before present....

, showing each species demonstrating the behaviors and capabilities that scientists believe they were capable of. Also displayed are full-sized casts of important fossils, including the 3.2-million-year-old Lucy
Lucy (Australopithecus)
Lucy is the common name of AL 288-1, several hundred pieces of bone representing about 40% of the skeleton of an individual Australopithecus afarensis. The specimen was discovered in 1974 at Hadar in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar Depression. Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years...

 skeleton and the 1.7-million-year-old Turkana Boy
Turkana Boy
Turkana Boy, also occasionally, Nariokotome Boy is the common name of fossil KNM-WT 15000, a nearly complete skeleton of a hominid who died in the early Pleistocene. This specimen is the most complete early human skeleton ever found. It is 1.5 million years old...

, and Homo erectus
Homo erectus
Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that lived from the end of the Pliocene epoch to the later Pleistocene, about . The species originated in Africa and spread as far as India, China and Java. There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

specimens including a cast of Peking Man
Peking Man
Peking Man , Homo erectus pekinensis, is an example of Homo erectus. A group of fossil specimens was discovered in 1923-27 during excavations at Zhoukoudian near Beijing , China...


The hall also features replicas of ice age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

 art found in the Dordogne
Dordogne is a départment in south-west France. The départment is located in the region of Aquitaine, between the Loire valley and the High Pyrénées named after the great river Dordogne that runs through it...

 region of southwestern France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. The limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 carvings of horses were made nearly 26,000 years ago and are considered to represent the earliest artistic expression of humans.

Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Gems and Minerals

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals houses hundreds of unusual geological specimens. It adjoins the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems
A gemstone or gem is a piece of mineral, which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments...

 showcasing many rare, and valuable gemstones.

On display are many renowned samples that are chosen from among the Museum's more than 100,000 pieces. Included among these are the Patricia Emerald, a 632 carat (126 g), 12 sided stone that is considered to be one of the world's most fabulous emeralds. It was discovered during the 1920s
File:1920s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: Third Tipperary Brigade Flying Column No. 2 under Sean Hogan during the Irish Civil War; Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol in accordance to the 18th amendment, which made alcoholic beverages illegal throughout the entire decade; In...

 in a mine
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 high in the Colombian Andes
Andean Region of Colombia
The Andes mountains form the most populated region of Colombia and contain the majority of the country's urban centres. They were also the location of the most significant pre-Columbian indigenous settlement...

 and was named for the mine-owner's daughter. The Patricia is one of the few large gem-quality emeralds that remains uncut. Also on display is the 563 carat (113 g) Star of India
Star of India (gem)
The Star of India is a 563.35 carat star sapphire, one of the largest such gems in the world. It is almost flawless and unusual in that it has stars on both sides of the stone...

, the largest, and most famous, star sapphire in the world. It was discovered over 300 years ago in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, most likely in the sands of ancient river beds from where star sapphires continue to be found today. It was donated to the Museum by the financier J.P. Morgan. The thin, radiant, six pointed star, or asterism
Asterism (gemmology)
Asteria, or star stone is a name applied to ornamental stones that exhibit a luminous star when cut en cabochon. The typical asteria is the star-sapphire, generally a bluish-grey corundum, milky or opalescent, with a star of six rays...

, is created by incoming light that reflects from needle-like crystals of the mineral rutile
Rutile is a mineral composed primarily of titanium dioxide, TiO2.Rutile is the most common natural form of TiO2. Two rarer polymorphs of TiO2 are known:...

 which are found within the sapphire. The Star of India is polished into the shape of a cabochon
A cabochon , from the Middle French caboche , is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted. The resulting form is usually a convex top with a flat bottom. Cutting en cabochon is usually applied to opaque gems, while faceting is usually applied to transparent stones...

, or dome, to enhance the star's beauty. Among other notable specimens on display are a 596 pound (270 kg) topaz
Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO42. Topaz crystallizes in the orthorhombic system and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces.-Color and varieties:...

, a 4.5 ton specimen of blue azurite
Azurite is a soft, deep blue copper mineral produced by weathering of copper ore deposits. It is also known as Chessylite after the type locality at Chessy-les-Mines near Lyon, France...

Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral, with the formula Cu2CO32. This green-colored mineral crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system, and most often forms botryoidal, fibrous, or stalagmitic masses. Individual crystals are rare but do occur as slender to acicular prisms...

 ore that was found in the Copper Queen Mine
Copper Queen Mine
The Copper Queen Mine was the copper mine in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, that gave birth to the surrounding town of Bisbee. In the early 1900s it was the most productive copper mine in Arizona.- History :...

 in Bisbee, Arizona
Bisbee, Arizona
Bisbee is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, 82 miles southeast of Tucson. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 6,177...

 at the turn of the century; and a rare, 100 carat (20 g) orange-colored padparadschan sapphire from Sri Lanka, considered "the mother of all pads." The collection also includes the Midnight Star Ruby, a 116.75-carat deep purplish-red star ruby.

On October 29, 1964, the Star of India
Star of India (gem)
The Star of India is a 563.35 carat star sapphire, one of the largest such gems in the world. It is almost flawless and unusual in that it has stars on both sides of the stone...

, along with several other precious gems including the Eagle Diamond
Eagle Diamond
The Eagle Diamond was discovered in Eagle, Wisconsin in 1876 by a man named Charles Wood while he was digging a well. The land in which he was digging was not his own; it belonged, rather, to Thomas Deveraux, and Charles and his wife Clarissa were merely renters...

 and the de Long Ruby, was stolen from the Museum by several thieves. The group of burglars, which included Jack Murphy, gained entrance by climbing through a bathroom window they had unlocked hours before the Museum was closed. The Star of India and other gems were later recovered from a locker in a Miami bus station, but the Eagle Diamond was never found; it may have been recut or lost.

Milstein Hall of Ocean Life

The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life opened in 1933 and was renovated in 1969 and later 2003. In the first of these renovations the hall's star attraction appeared; the 94 feet (28.7 m)-long blue whale
Blue Whale
The blue whale is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales . At in length and or more in weight, it is the largest known animal to have ever existed....

 model, which is suspended from the ceiling behind its dorsal fin. It was redesigned dramatically in the 2003 renovation: its flukes and fins were readjusted, a navel was added, and was repainted from a dull gray to various rich shades of blue. Other notable exhibits in this hall include the Andros Coral Reef Diorama, which is the only two-level diorama in the Western Hemisphere.

Fossil Halls

Most of the Museum's collections of mammalian and dinosaur fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

s remain hidden from public view. They are kept in numerous storage areas located deep within the Museum complex. Among these, the most significant storage facility is the ten story Childs Frick
Childs Frick
Childs Frick was an American vertebrate paleontologist.He was a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History and a major benefactor of its Department of Paleontology, which in 1916 began a long partnership with him. He established its Frick Laboratory...

 Building which stands within an inner courtyard of the Museum. During construction of the Frick, giant cranes were employed to lift steel beams directly from the street, over the roof, and into the courtyard, in order to ensure that the classic museum façade remained undisturbed. The predicted great weight of the fossil bones led designers to add special steel reinforcement to the building's framework, as it now houses the largest collection of fossil mammals and dinosaurs in the world. These collections occupy the basement and lower seven floors of the Frick Building, while the top three floors contain laboratories and offices. It is inside this particular building that many of the Museum's intensive research programs into vertebrate paleontology are carried out.

Other areas of the Museum contain repositories of life from thousands and millions of years in the past. The Whale
Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to suborder Odontoceti . This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga...

 Bone Storage Room is a cavernous space in which powerful winches come down from the ceiling to move the giant fossil bones about. Upstairs in the Museum attic there are yet more storage facilities including the Elephant
Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct...

 Room, and downstairs from that space one can find the tusk
Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth, usually but not always in pairs, that protrude well beyond the mouth of certain mammal species. They are most commonly canines, as with warthogs, wild boar, and walruses, or, in the case of elephants and narwhals, elongated incisors...

 vault and boar
Wild boar, also wild pig, is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family Suidae. The species includes many subspecies. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises...

The great fossil collections that are open to public view occupy the entire fourth floor of the Museum as well as a separate exhibit that is on permanent display in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, the Museum's main entrance. The fourth floor exhibits allow the visitor to trace the evolution of vertebrates by following a circuitous path that leads through several Museum buildings. On the 77th street side of the Museum the visitor begins in the Orientation Center and follows a carefully marked path, which takes the visitor along an evolutionary tree of life
Tree of life (science)
Charles Darwin proposed that phylogeny, the evolutionary relatedness among species through time, was expressible as a metaphor he termed the Tree of Life...

. As the tree "branches" the visitor is presented with the familial relationships among vertebrates. This evolutionary pathway is known as a cladogram
A cladogram is a diagram used in cladistics which shows ancestral relations between organisms, to represent the evolutionary tree of life. Although traditionally such cladograms were generated largely on the basis of morphological characters, DNA and RNA sequencing data and computational...


To create a cladogram, scientists look for shared physical characteristics to determine the relatedness of different species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

. For instance, a cladogram will show a relationship between amphibian
Amphibians , are a class of vertebrate animals including animals such as toads, frogs, caecilians, and salamanders. They are characterized as non-amniote ectothermic tetrapods...

s, mammals, turtle
Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines , characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield...

s, lizard
Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with nearly 3800 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica as well as most oceanic island chains...

s, and bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s since these apparently disparate groups share the trait of having 'four limbs with movable joints surrounded by muscle', making them tetrapod
Tetrapods are vertebrate animals having four limbs. Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are all tetrapods; even snakes and other limbless reptiles and amphibians are tetrapods by descent. The earliest tetrapods evolved from the lobe-finned fishes in the Devonian...

s. A group of related species such as the tetrapods is called a "clade
A clade is a group consisting of a species and all its descendants. In the terms of biological systematics, a clade is a single "branch" on the "tree of life". The idea that such a "natural group" of organisms should be grouped together and given a taxonomic name is central to biological...

". Within the tetrapod group only lizards and birds display yet another trait: "two openings in the skull behind the eye". Lizards and birds therefore represent a smaller, more closely related clade known as diapsid
Diapsids are a group of reptiles that developed two holes in each side of their skulls, about 300 million years ago during the late Carboniferous period. Living diapsids are extremely diverse, and include all crocodiles, lizards, snakes, and tuatara...

s. In a cladogram the evolutionary appearance of a new trait for the first time is known as a "node". Throughout the fossil halls the nodes are carefully marked along the evolutionary path and these nodes alert us to the appearance of new traits representing whole new branches of the evolutionary tree. Species showing these traits are on display in alcoves on either side of the path. A video projection on the Museum's fourth floor introduces visitors to the concept of the cladogram, and is popular among children and adults alike.

Many of the fossils on display represent unique and historic pieces that were collected during the Museum's golden era of worldwide expeditions (1880s
The 1880s was the decade that spanned from January 1, 1880 to December 31, 1889. They occurred at the core period of the Second Industrial Revolution. Most Western countries experienced a large economic boom, due to the mass production of railroads and other more convenient methods of travel...

 to 1930s
File:1930s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: Dorothea Lange's photo of the homeless Florence Thompson show the effects of the Great Depression; Due to the economic collapse, the farms become dry and the Dust Bowl spreads through America; The Battle of Wuhan during the Second Sino-Japanese...

). On a smaller scale, expeditions continue into the present and have resulted in additions to the collections from Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, and central and eastern Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...


The fourth-floor halls include the Hall of Vertebrate Origins, Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs (recognized by their grasping hand, long mobile neck, and the downward/forward position of the pubis bone, they are forerunners of the modern bird), Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs (defined for a pubic bone that points toward the back), Hall of Primitive Mammals, and Hall of Advanced Mammals.

Among the many outstanding fossils on display include:
  • Tyrannosaurus rex
    Tyrannosaurus meaning "tyrant," and sauros meaning "lizard") is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur. The species Tyrannosaurus rex , commonly abbreviated to T. rex, is a fixture in popular culture. It lived throughout what is now western North America, with a much wider range than other...

    : Composed almost entirely of real fossil bones, it is mounted in a horizontal stalking pose beautifully balanced on powerful legs. The specimen is actually composed of fossil bones from two T. rex skeletons discovered in Montana
    Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

     in 1902 and 1908 by the legendary dinosaur hunter Barnum Brown
    Barnum Brown
    Barnum Brown , a paleontologist born in Carbondale, Kansas, and named after the circus showman P.T. Barnum, discovered the second fossil of Tyrannosaurus rex during a career that made him one of the most famous fossil hunters working from the late Victorian era into the early 20th century.Sponsored...

  • Mammuthus: Larger than its relative the woolly mammoth
    Woolly mammoth
    The woolly mammoth , also called the tundra mammoth, is a species of mammoth. This animal is known from bones and frozen carcasses from northern North America and northern Eurasia with the best preserved carcasses in Siberia...

    , these fossils are from an animal that lived 11 thousand years ago in Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

  • Apatosaurus
    Apatosaurus , also known by the popular but scientifically deprecated synonym Brontosaurus, is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived from about 154 to 150 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period . It was one of the largest land animals that ever existed, with an average length of and a...

    : This giant specimen was discovered at the end of the 19th century. Although most of its fossil bones are original, the skull is not, since none was found on site. It was only many years later that the first Apatosaurus skull was discovered and so a plaster cast of that skull was made and placed on the Museum's mount. A Camarasaurus
    Camarasaurus meaning 'chambered lizard', referring to the hollow chambers in its vertebrae was a genus of quadrupedal, herbivorous dinosaurs. It was the most common of the giant sauropods to be found in North America...

    skull had been used mistakenly until a correct skull was found.
  • Brontops
    Brontops is an extinct genus of rhinoceros-like perissodactyl mammal.According to one source, Brontops is subsumed into genus Megacerops.-Appearance:...

    : Extinct mammal distantly related to the horse
    The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

     and rhinoceros
    Rhinoceros , also known as rhino, is a group of five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae. Two of these species are native to Africa and three to southern Asia....

    . It lived 35 million years ago in what is now South Dakota
    South Dakota
    South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

    . It is noted for its magnificent and unusual pair of horns.
  • Two skeletons of Anatotitan
    Anatotitan is a genus of flat-headed or hadrosaurine hadrosaurid ornithopod dinosaur from the very end of the Cretaceous Period, in what is now North America...

    , a large herbivorous ornithopod
    Ornithopods or members of the clade Ornithopoda are a group of ornithischian dinosaurs that started out as small, bipedal running grazers, and grew in size and numbers until they became one of the most successful groups of herbivores in the Cretaceous world, and dominated the North American...

  • On September 26, 2007, an 80-million-year-old, 2-feet-in-diameter fossil of ammonite
    Ammonite, as a zoological or paleontological term, refers to any member of the Ammonoidea an extinct subclass within the Molluscan class Cephalopoda which are more closely related to living coleoids Ammonite, as a zoological or paleontological term, refers to any member of the Ammonoidea an extinct...

     made its debut at the Museum. Neil Landman, curator, said that it became extinct 65 million years ago, at the time of the dinosaurs. Korite International
    Korite International
    Korite International is the largest commercial producer of ammolite. It is based in Alberta, Canada. The firm's sister company, Canada Fossils Ltd., provides it with ammonites and other fossils...

     donated it after its discovery in Alberta, Canada.

There are also a Triceratops
Triceratops is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur which lived during the late Maastrichtian stage of the Late Cretaceous Period, around 68 to 65 million years ago in what is now North America. It was one of the last dinosaur genera to appear before the great Cretaceous–Paleogene...

and a Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus is a genus of armored stegosaurid dinosaur. They lived during the Late Jurassic period , some 155 to 150 million years ago in what is now western North America. In 2006, a specimen of Stegosaurus was announced from Portugal, showing that they were present in Europe as well...

on display, among many other specimens.

The Art of the Diorama: Recreating Nature

Renowned naturalists, artists, photographers, taxidermists and other Museum personnel have blended their talents to create the great habitat diorama
The word diorama can either refer to a nineteenth century mobile theatre device, or, in modern usage, a three-dimensional full-size or miniature model, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase for a museum...

s which can be found in halls throughout the Museum. Born in an era of black-and-white photography, when wildlife photography was in its earliest stages, the dioramas have themselves become major historic attractions. Notable among them is the Akeley
Carl Akeley
Carl Ethan Akeley was a taxidermist, sculptor, biologist, conservationist, inventor, and nature photographer, noted for his contributions to American museums, most notably to the Field Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History...

 Hall of African Mammals which opened in 1936. The enormous hall showcases the vanishing wildlife of Africa, in spaces where the human presence is notably absent, and includes hyperrealistic depictions of elephants, hippopotamuses, lions, gorillas, zebras, and various species of antelope
Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a miscellaneous group within the family Bovidae, encompassing those old-world species that are neither cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, nor goats...

, including the rarely-seen aquatic sitatunga
The situtunga or marshbuck is a swamp-dwelling antelope found throughout Central Africa, centering on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and parts of Southern Sudan as well as in Ghana, Botswana, Zambia, Gabon, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.-Description:Situtunga stand about one and a...

. Some of the displays are up to 18 feet (5 m) in height and 23 feet (7 m) in depth.

Carl Akeley was an outstanding taxidermist employed at the Field Museum in Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 when the American Museum of Natural History sent him to Africa to collect elephant hides. Akeley fell in love with the rainforests of Africa and decried the encroachment of farming and civilization into formerly pristine natural habitats. Fearing the permanent loss of these natural areas, Akeley was motivated to educate the American public by creating the hall that bears his name. Akeley died in 1926 from infection while exploring the Kivu Volcanoes
Virunga Mountains
The Virunga Mountains are a chain of volcanoes in East Africa, along the northern border of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. The mountain range is a branch of the Albertine Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley. They are located between Lake Edward and Lake Kivu...

 in his beloved Belgian Congo
Belgian Congo
The Belgian Congo was the formal title of present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo between King Leopold II's formal relinquishment of his personal control over the state to Belgium on 15 November 1908, and Congolese independence on 30 June 1960.-Congo Free State, 1884–1908:Until the latter...

, an area near to that depicted by the hall's gorilla diorama.

With the 1942 opening of the Hall of North American Mammals, diorama art reached a pinnacle. It took more than a decade to create the scenes depicted in the hall which includes a 432 square foot (40 m²) diorama of the American bison
American Bison
The American bison , also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds...


Today, although the art of diorama has ceased to be a major exhibition technique, dramatic examples of this art form are still occasionally employed. In 1997 Museum artists and scientists traveled to the Central African Republic
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic , is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the north east, South Sudan in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west. The CAR covers a land area of about ,...

 to collect samples and photographs for the construction of a 3,000 square foot (300 m²) recreation of a tropical West African rainforest, the Dzanga-Sangha rain forest diorama in the Hall of Biodiversity.

Other notable dioramas, some dating back to the 1930s have been restored in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. The hall is a 29,000 square foot (2,700 m²) bi-level room that includes a delicately mounted 94 foot (29 m) long model of a Blue Whale swimming beneath and around video projection screens and interactive computer stations. Among the hall's notable dioramas is the "sperm whale
Sperm Whale
The sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, is a marine mammal species, order Cetacea, a toothed whale having the largest brain of any animal. The name comes from the milky-white waxy substance, spermaceti, found in the animal's head. The sperm whale is the only living member of genus Physeter...

 and giant squid
Giant squid
The giant squid is a deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by as many as eight species...

", which represents a true melding of art and science since an actual encounter between these two giant creatures at over one half mile depth has never been witnessed. Another celebrated diorama in the hall represents the "Andros coral reef" in the Bahamas, a two-story-high diorama that features the land form of the Bahamas and the many inhabitants of the coral reef found beneath the water's surface.

Rose Center and Planetarium

The Hayden Planetarium
Hayden Planetarium
The Hayden Planetarium is a public planetarium, part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, currently directed by astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson....

, connected to the Museum, is now part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space
Rose Center for Earth and Space
The Rose Center for Earth and Space is a part of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The Center's complete name is The Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space. The main entrance is located on the northern side of the museum on 81st Street near...

, housed in a glass cube containing the spherical Space Theater, designed by James Stewart Polshek. The Heilbrun Cosmic Pathway
Heilbrun Cosmic Pathway
The Heilbrunn Cosmic Pathway is an interactive exhibit located inside the Rose Center for Earth and Space located at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Once visitors exit the interior of the Hayden Planetarium exhibit, they stand at the beginning of the Cosmic Pathway, a...

 is one of the most popular exhibits in the Rose Center, which opened February 19, 2000.

The original Hayden Planetarium was founded in 1933 with a donation by philanthropist Charles Hayden
Charles Hayden (banker)
Charles Hayden was an American financier and philanthropist. He was the senior partner of Hayden, Stone & Co. and his influence was such that James W...

. Opened in 1935, it was demolished and replaced in 2000 by the $210 million Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space. Designed by James Stewart Polshek, the new building consists of a six-story high glass cube enclosing a 87 feet (26.5 m) illuminated sphere that appears to float — although it is actually supported by truss work. James Polshek has referred to his work as a "cosmic cathedral". The Rose center and its adjacent plaza, both located on the north facade of the Museum, are regarded as some of Manhattan's most outstanding recent architectural additions. The facility encloses 333500 square feet (30,983.2 m²) of research, education, and exhibition space as well as the Hayden planetarium. Also located in the facility is the Department of Astrophysics
Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

, the newest academic research department in the Museum. Further, Polshek designed the 1800 square feet (167.2 m²) Weston Pavilion, a 43 feet (13.1 m) high transparent structure of "water white" glass along the Museum's west facade. This structure, a small companion piece to the Rose Center, offers a new entry way to the Museum as well as opening further exhibition space for astronomically related objects. The planetarium's former magazine, The Sky, merged with "The Telescope", to become the leading astronomy magazine Sky & Telescope
Sky & Telescope
Sky & Telescope is a monthly American magazine covering all aspects of amateur astronomy, including the following:*current events in astronomy and space exploration;*events in the amateur astronomy community;...


Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies, gaining wide notice in 1988's Big, before achieving success as a dramatic actor in several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title...

 provided the voice-over for the first planetarium show during the opening of the new Rose Center for Earth & Space in the Hayden Planetarium in 2000. Since then such celebrities as Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg is an American comedian, actress, singer-songwriter, political activist, author and talk show host.Goldberg made her film debut in The Color Purple playing Celie, a mistreated black woman in the Deep South. She received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won...

, Robert Redford
Robert Redford
Charles Robert Redford, Jr. , better known as Robert Redford, is an American actor, film director, producer, businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, and founder of the Sundance Film Festival. He has received two Oscars: one in 1981 for directing Ordinary People, and one for Lifetime...

, Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in...

 and Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is an American author and poet who has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly...

 have been featured.


From its founding, the Library of the American Museum of Natural History has grown into one of the world's great natural history collections. In its early years, the Library expanded its collection mostly through such gifts as the John C. Jay conchological
Conchology is the scientific or amateur study of mollusc shells. Conchology is one aspect of malacology, the study of molluscs, however malacology studies molluscs as whole organisms, not just their shells. Conchology pre-dated malacology as a field of study. It includes the study of land and...

 library, the Carson Brevoort library on fishes and general zoology, the ornithological library of Daniel Giraud Elliot
Daniel Giraud Elliot
Daniel Giraud Elliot was an American zoologist.Elliot was one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the American Ornithologists' Union. He was also curator of zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago.Elliot used his wealth to publish a series of sumptuous...

, the Harry Edwards
Henry Edwards (entomologist)
Henry Edwards , known as "Harry", was an English-born stage actor, writer and entomologist who gained fame in Australia, San Francisco and New York City for his theater work....

 entomological library, the Hugh Jewett collection of voyages and travel and the Jules Marcou
Jules Marcou
Jules Marcou was an eminent Swiss-American geologist.He was born at Salins, in the département of Jura, in France....

Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 collection. In 1903 the American Ethnological Society
American Ethnological Society
The American Ethnological Society is the oldest professional anthropological association in the United States.- History of the American Ethnological Society :...

 deposited its library in the Museum and in 1905 the New York Academy of Sciences
New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is the third oldest scientific society in the United States. An independent, non-profit organization with more than members in 140 countries, the Academy’s mission is to advance understanding of science and technology...

 followed suit by transferring its collection of 10,000 volumes. Today, the Library's collections contain over 550,000 volumes of monographs, serials
Periodical publication
Periodical literature is a published work that appears in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most familiar examples are the newspaper, often published daily, or weekly; or the magazine, typically published weekly, monthly or as a quarterly...

, pamphlets, reprints, microform
Microforms are any forms, either films or paper, containing microreproductions of documents for transmission, storage, reading, and printing. Microform images are commonly reduced to about one twenty-fifth of the original document size...

s, and original illustrations, as well as film, photographic, archives and manuscripts, fine art, memorabilia and rare book collections. The Library collects materials covering such subjects as mammalogy
In zoology, mammalogy is the study of mammals – a class of vertebrates with characteristics such as homeothermic metabolism, fur, four-chambered hearts, and complex nervous systems...

, earth and planetary science, astronomy and astrophysics
Astronomy and Astrophysics
* Astronomy and Astrophysics has a 2010 impact factor of 4.410.-See also:*The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review‎*Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics*Astronomy & Geophysics*Astronomical Journal*Astrophysical Journal...

, anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, entomology, herpetology
Herpetology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians and reptiles...

, ichthyology
Ichthyology is the branch of zoology devoted to the study of fish. This includes skeletal fish , cartilaginous fish , and jawless fish...

, paleontology, ethology
Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a sub-topic of zoology....

, ornithology, mineralogy
Mineralogy is the study of chemistry, crystal structure, and physical properties of minerals. Specific studies within mineralogy include the processes of mineral origin and formation, classification of minerals, their geographical distribution, as well as their utilization.-History:Early writing...

, invertebrate
An invertebrate is an animal without a backbone. The group includes 97% of all animal species – all animals except those in the chordate subphylum Vertebrata .Invertebrates form a paraphyletic group...

s, systematics
Biological systematics is the study of the diversification of terrestrial life, both past and present, and the relationships among living things through time. Relationships are visualized as evolutionary trees...

, ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

, oceanography
Oceanography , also called oceanology or marine science, is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean...

, conchology, exploration and travel, history of science
History of science
The history of science is the study of the historical development of human understandings of the natural world and the domains of the social sciences....

, museology
Museology is the diachronic study of museums and how they have established and developed in their role as an educational mechanism under social and political pressures.-Overview:...

, bibliography
Bibliography , as a practice, is the academic study of books as physical, cultural objects; in this sense, it is also known as bibliology...

, genomics
Genomics is a discipline in genetics concerning the study of the genomes of organisms. The field includes intensive efforts to determine the entire DNA sequence of organisms and fine-scale genetic mapping efforts. The field also includes studies of intragenomic phenomena such as heterosis,...

, and peripheral biological sciences. The collection is rich in retrospective materials — some going back to the 15th century — that are difficult to find elsewhere.

Research activities

The Museum has a scientific staff of more than 200, and sponsors over 100 special field expeditions each year. Many of the fossils on display represent unique and historic pieces that were collected during the Museum's golden era of worldwide expeditions (1880s to 1930s). Examples of some of these expeditions, financed in whole or part by the AMNH are: Jesup North Pacific Expedition
Jesup North Pacific Expedition
The Jesup North Pacific Expedition was a major anthropological expedition to Siberia, Alaska, and the north west coast of Canada. The purpose of the expedition was to investigate the relationships between the peoples at each side of the Bering Strait...

, the Whitney South Seas Expedition
Whitney South Seas Expedition
The Whitney South Seas Expedition to collect bird specimens for the American Museum of Natural History , under the initial leadership of Rollo Beck, was instigated by Dr Leonard C. Sanford and financed by Harry Payne Whitney, a thoroughbred horse-breeder and philanthropist.Beck, an expert bird...

, the Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition
Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition
The Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition was jointly led by Theodore Roosevelt and Cândido Rondon in 1913–1914 to be the first explorers of the 1000-mile long "River of Doubt" located in a remote area of the Brazilian Amazon basin...

, the Crocker Land Expedition
Crocker Land Expedition
The Crocker Land Expedition was an ill-fated 1913 expedition to investigate Crocker Land, a huge island supposedly sighted by the explorer Robert Peary from the top of Cape Colgate in 1906...

, and the expeditions to Madagascar and New Guinea by Richard Archbold
Richard Archbold
Richard Archbold was an American zoologist and philanthropist. He was independently wealthy, being the grandson of the capitalist John Dustin Archbold. He was educated at private schools and later attended classes at Columbia University though he never graduated...

. On a smaller scale, expeditions continue into the present. The Museum also publishes several peer-reviewed journals, including the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History
Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History
The Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History is a peer-reviewed scientific journal in the fields of zoology, paleontology, and geology...


Educational outreach

AMNH's education programs include outreach to schools in New York city by the Moveable Museum.


The Museum is located at 79th Street and Central Park West, accessible via the trains of the New York City Subway
New York City Subway
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit...

. There is a low-level floor direct access to the Museum via the 81st Street - Museum of Natural History subway station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line
IND Eighth Avenue Line
The Eighth Avenue Line is a rapid transit line in New York City, United States, and is part of the B Division of the New York City Subway...

 at the south end of the upper platform (where the uptown trains arrive).

The Museum also houses the stainless steel time capsule designed after a competition won by Santiago Calatrava
Santiago Calatrava
Santiago Calatrava Valls is a Spanish architect, sculptor and structural engineer whose principal office is in Zürich, Switzerland. Classed now among the elite designers of the world, he has offices in Zürich, Paris, Valencia, and New York City....

, which was sealed at the end of 2000 to mark the millennium
A millennium is a period of time equal to one thousand years —from the Latin phrase , thousand, and , year—often but not necessarily related numerically to a particular dating system....

. It takes the form of a folded saddle-shaped volume, symmetrical on multiple axes, that explores formal properties of folded spherical frames, which Calatrava described as a flower. It stands on a pedestal outside the Museum's Columbus Avenue entrance. The capsule is to remain sealed until the year 3000.

In popular culture


  • In the fourth volume of Mirage's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michelangelo
    Michelangelo (TMNT)
    Michelangelo is a fictional character, one of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles . His mask is typically portrayed as orange outside of the Mirage/Image comic series and his weapons are dual nunchaku, though he has also been portrayed using other weapons, such as a grappling hook, tonfa, and a...

     acts as a tour guide for visiting aliens. His first assignment is the Saurian Regenta Seri and her Styracodon bodyguards who wish to see the Museum, specifically the dinosaur exhibit.


  • The AMNH is featured in the film An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island
    An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island
    An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island, titled in the film as An American Tail III: The Treasure of Manhattan Island was the first direct-to-video and third film in the An American Tail series. This film was first released in the UK in 1998. It was released by Universal Studios Home...

    . Fievel Mousekewitz and Tony Toponi go to the AMNH to meet Dr. Dithering to decipher a treasure map they have found in an abandoned subway.

  • The Central Park West facade and the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life were featured in the 1984 film Splash
    Splash (film)
    Splash is a 1984 American fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Ron Howard and written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The original music score was composed by Lee Holdridge...

    when the characters played by Tom Hanks, John Candy, and Eugene Levy were heading into the secret laboratory where the mermaid Madison, played by Daryl Hannah, was being held and experimented upon. The exterior was used again during their escape.

  • Several scenes in the 2004 movie The Day After Tomorrow
    The Day After Tomorrow
    The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American science-fiction disaster film that depicts the catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling which leads to a new ice age. The film did well at the box office, grossing $542,771,772 internationally...

    were set in the Museum's halls.

  • A scene in John Boorman
    John Boorman
    John Boorman is a British filmmaker who is a long time resident of Ireland and is best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Zardoz, Excalibur, The Emerald Forest, Hope and Glory, The General and The Tailor of Panama.-Early life:Boorman was born in Shepperton, Surrey,...

    's Exorcist II: The Heretic
    Exorcist II: The Heretic
    Exorcist II: The Heretic is a 1977 American horror film and the sequel to The Exorcist , directed by John Boorman from a screenplay by William Goodhart and starring Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow, James Earl Jones, Ned Beatty and Kitty Winn...

    is set before one of the dioramas.

  • A scene from the biographic film Malcolm X
    Malcolm X (film)
    Malcolm X is a 1992 biographical motion picture about the Muslim-American figure Malcolm X . It was co-written, co-produced, and directed by Spike Lee. It stars Denzel Washington as the titular character. It co-stars Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman, Jr., and Delroy Lindo...

    was filmed in the Hall of African Mammals.

  • The Museum appeared in the film The Nanny Diaries
    The Nanny Diaries
    The Nanny Diaries is a 2002 novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, both of whom are former nannies. The book satirizes upper class Manhattan society as seen through the eyes of their children's caregivers....


  • The museum in the film Night at the Museum
    Night at the Museum
    Night at the Museum is a 2006 fantasy adventure-comedy film based on the 1993 children's book The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc. It follows a divorced father trying to settle down, impress his son, and find his destiny...

    (2006) is based on a 1993 book that was set at the AMNH (The Night at the Museum
    The Night at the Museum
    The Night at the Museum, published in 1993, is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Milan Trenc. This book is Trenc's best known title, and in 2006 was produced as a feature film titled Night at the Museum...

    ). The interior scenes were shot at a sound stage
    Sound stage
    In common usage, a sound stage is a soundproof, hangar-like structure, building, or room, used for the production of theatrical filmmaking and television production, usually located on a secure movie studio property.-Overview:...

     in Vancouver, British Columbia, but exterior shots of the museum's façade
    A facade or façade is generally one exterior side of a building, usually, but not always, the front. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face"....

     were done at the actual AMNH. The museum in the film itself features a Hall of African Mammals, a Hall of Reptiles is mentioned, "Gems and Minerals" can be seen on a sign, there is a brief scene featuring the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life and the Blue Whale model, and it is dedicated to Teddy Roosevelt. AMNH officials have credited the movie with increasing the number of visitors during the holiday season in 2006 by almost 20%. According to Museum president Ellen Futter, there were 50,000 more visits over the previous year during the 2006 holiday season. Its 2009 sequel
    Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
    Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is an American adventure comedy film directed by Shawn Levy, and starring Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, and Steve Coogan. The film is a sequel to Night at the Museum...

     was partially set in this museum.

  • The title of Noah Baumbach
    Noah Baumbach
    Noah Baumbach is an American writer, director and independent filmmaker.-Background and education:Baumbach was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of novelist/film critic Jonathan Baumbach and Village Voice critic Georgia Brown. He graduated from Brooklyn's Midwood High School in 1987 and ...

    's 2005 film The Squid and the Whale
    The Squid and the Whale
    The Squid and the Whale is a 2005 American drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach and produced by Wes Anderson. It tells the semi-autobiographical story of two boys in Brooklyn dealing with their parents' divorce in the 1980s. The film is named after a giant squid and sperm whale diorama...

    refers to a diorama in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. The diorama is shown at the end of the film.

  • An ending for the film We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story
    We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (film)
    We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story is a 1993 American animated film, produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblimation animation studio, distributed by Universal Pictures, and originally released to theaters on November 24, 1993 for the United States. It was rated G by the MPAA...

    shows all four dinosaurs finally reaching the AMNH.


  • The AMNH is featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV
    Grand Theft Auto IV
    Grand Theft Auto IV is a 2008 open world action video game published by Rockstar Games, and developed by British games developer Rockstar North. It has been released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles, and for the Windows operating system...

    where it is known as the Liberty State Natural History Museum.

  • The AMNH appears as a Resistance-controlled building in the Sierra
    Sierra Entertainment
    Sierra Entertainment Inc. was an American video-game developer and publisher founded in 1979 as On-Line Systems by Ken and Roberta Williams...

     game Manhunter: New York
    Manhunter: New York
    Manhunter: New York is a post-apocalyptic adventure game designed by Barry Murry, Dave Murry and Dee Dee Murry of Evryware and published in 1988 by Sierra On-Line. A sequel, Manhunter 2: San Francisco was released the next year in 1989-Scenario:...


  • Portions of the Sony
    , commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

    The is a 32-bit fifth-generation video game console first released by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan on December 3, .The PlayStation was the first of the PlayStation series of consoles and handheld game devices. The PlayStation 2 was the console's successor in 2000...

     game Parasite Eve
    Parasite Eve (video game)
    is a horror action role-playing game developed by SquareSoft . The game is a sequel to the novel Parasite Eve, written by Hideaki Sena. It is the first game in the Parasite Eve series.-Gameplay:...

    take place within the AMNH.

  • A version of this museum was included in Ghostbusters The Video Game as one of the nodes


AMNH is featured in numerous books, short stories, and comic books.
  • The novel The Bone Vault, by Linda Fairstein
    Linda Fairstein
    Linda Fairstein is an American feminist author and former prosecutor focusing on crimes of violence against women and children. She served as head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office from 1976 until 2002 and is the author of a series of novels featuring Manhattan...

    (2003), features the museum.

  • The Museum was the setting for the 1970 novel The Great Dinosaur Robbery
    The Great Dinosaur Robbery
    The Great Dinosaur Robbery is a now out-of-print book released in 1970 and written by David Eliades and Robert Forrest Webb under the pseudonym of David Forrest...

    by David Forrest, but was not featured in the film adaptation One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing
    One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing
    One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing is a 1975 British comedy film, which is set in the early 1920s, about the theft of a dinosaur skeleton from the Natural History Museum. The film was produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution Company. The title is a parody of the...

    , which was set in the Natural History Museum
    Natural History Museum
    The Natural History Museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, England . Its main frontage is on Cromwell Road...

     in London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    , England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...


  • The novel Murder at the Museum of Natural History, by Michael Jahn
    Michael Jahn
    Joseph Michael Jahn is an American author and critic.He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in Sayville, New York. He moved to New York City in 1966 and was educated at Dowling College, Adelphi University, and Columbia University...

    (1994), features the museum.

  • The Museum has appeared repeatedly in the fiction of dark fantasy
    Dark fantasy
    Dark fantasy is a term used to describe a fantasy story with a pronounced horror element.-Overview:A strict definition for dark fantasy is difficult to pin down. Gertrude Barrows Bennett has been called "the woman who invented dark fantasy". Both Charles L...

     author Caitlín R. Kiernan
    Caitlin R. Kiernan
    Caitlín Rebekah Kiernan is the author of many science fiction and dark fantasy works, including seven novels, many comic books, more than one hundred published short stories, novellas, and vignettes, and numerous scientific papers.- Overview :Born in Dublin, Ireland, she moved to the United States...

    , including appearances in her fifth novel Daughter of Hounds, her work on the DC/Vertigo comic book The Dreaming
    The Dreaming (comics)
    The Dreaming is a fictional place, a comic book location published by DC Comics. The Dreaming first appeared in the Sandman vol. 2 #1, , and was created by Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth. The Dreaming is the domain of Dream of the Endless....

    (#47, "Trinket"), and many of her short stories, including "Valentia" and "Onion" (both collected in To Charles Fort, With Love
    To Charles Fort, With Love
    To Charles Fort, With Love is a short-story collection by fantasist Caitlin R. Kiernan, published by Subterranean Press in 2005. As the author explains in the preface, many of these stories were inspired by the writings of Charles Fort , and many of them have a Lovecraftian flavor...

    , 2005).

  • A brief scene in the novel Motherless Brooklyn
    Motherless Brooklyn
    Motherless Brooklyn is a Jonathan Lethem detective story set in Brooklyn and published in 1999. Lethem's protagonist, Lionel Essrog, has Tourette syndrome, a disorder marked by involuntary tics...

    , by Jonathan Lethem
    Jonathan Lethem
    Jonathan Allen Lethem is an American novelist, essayist and short story writer. His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, a genre work that mixed elements of science fiction and detective fiction, was published in 1994. It was followed by three more science fiction novels...

    (1999), features the museum.

  • The novel Funny Bananas: The Mystery in the Museum, by Georgess McHargue (1975), features the museum.

  • As the "New York Museum of Natural History", the Museum is a favorite setting in many Douglas Preston
    Douglas Preston
    Douglas Preston is an American author who has written seventeen popular techno-thriller and horror novels, four alone and the rest with Lincoln Child...

     and Lincoln Child
    Lincoln Child
    Lincoln Child is an author of seventeen techno-thriller and horror novels. He often writes with Douglas Preston. Many of their novels have become bestsellers, and one, Relic, was adapted into a feature film...

    novels, including Relic, Reliquary
    Reliquary (novel)
    Reliquary is the 1997 New York Times best-selling sequel to Relic, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. The legacy of the blood-maddened Mbwun lives on in "Reliquary", but the focus is shifted from the original museum setting to the tunnels beneath the streets of New York City.-Plot summary:The...

    , The Cabinet of Curiosities
    The Cabinet of Curiosities
    The Cabinet of Curiosities is a 2002 novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.-Plot summary:Dr. Nora Kelly's life as an archeologist at New York City's American Museum of Natural History becomes complicated when Aloysius X. L...

    , and The Book of the Dead
    The Book of the Dead (novel)
    The Book of the Dead is a novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. It is the third and final installment to the trilogy concentrating on FBI Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast and his relationship with Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta in their pursuit to stop Pendergast's brother,...

    . F.B.I. Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast plays a major role in all of these thrillers. Preston was actually manager of publications at the Museum before embarking upon his fiction writing career.

  • In J. D. Salinger
    J. D. Salinger
    Jerome David Salinger was an American author, best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, as well as his reclusive nature. His last original published work was in 1965; he gave his last interview in 1980....

    's novel The Catcher in the Rye
    The Catcher in the Rye
    The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage confusion, angst, alienation, language, and rebellion. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major...

    , the protagonist Holden Caulfield
    Holden Caulfield
    Holden Caulfield is the 16-to-17 years old protagonist of author J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. He is universally recognized for his resistance to growing older and desire to protect childhood innocence...

     at one point finds himself heading towards the Museum, reflecting on past visits and remarking that what he likes is the permanence of the exhibits there.


  • In 2009, the Museum hosted the live finale of the second season of The Celebrity Apprentice
    The Apprentice (U.S. Season 8)
    The Celebrity Apprentice 2 is the eighth installment of the United States version of the reality television series, The Apprentice. It premiered on March 1, 2009. The Celebrity Apprentice 2 aired for two hours on Sundays at 9:00 Eastern time...


  • The museum is featured in the Dinosaur King episode, "The Big Apple Grapple".

  • On early seasons of Friends
    Friends is an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. The series revolves around a group of friends in Manhattan. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television...

    , Ross Geller
    Ross Geller
    Ross Eustace Geller, Ph.D. is a fictional character on the popular U.S. television series Friends, portrayed by David Schwimmer. The character is noted for his geeky, lovable demeanor.- Origin :...

     works at the Museum.

  • The museum is featured in the How I Met Your Mother
    How I Met Your Mother
    How I Met Your Mother is an American sitcom that premiered on CBS on September 19, 2005, created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays.As a framing device, the main character, Ted Mosby with narration by Bob Saget, in the year 2030 recounts to his son and daughter the events that led to his meeting...

    episode Natural History, although it is renamed the Natural History Museum.

  • An episode of Mad About You
    Mad About You
    Mad About You is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 23, 1992 to May 24, 1999. The show starred Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as a newly married couple in New York City. Reiser played Paul Buchman, a documentary film maker. Hunt played Jamie Stemple Buchman, a public relations specialist...

    , titled "Natural History", is set in the museum.

  • In a second season episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man titled "Destructive Testing", Spider-Man
    Spider-Man is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15...

     fights Kraven the Hunter
    Kraven the Hunter
    Kraven the Hunter is a fictional character, a supervillain and enemy of Spider-Man appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Kraven's name is Sergei Kravinoff. He also appears as Xraven, with white-grey skin and red eyes, possessing the powers of X-Men. He is the half-brother of Dmitri...

     in the Museum.

  • In many episodes of the Time Warp Trio
    Time Warp Trio
    The Time Warp Trio is a book series written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith and later by Adam McCauley, which chronicles the adventures of three boys - Joe, Sam, and Fred - who travel through time and space with the aid of the mysterious Book.The storyline has been adapted into an...

    on Discovery Kids
    Discovery Kids
    Discovery Kids is an American website owned by Discovery Communications, Inc. created for children. Until October 10, 2010, it was an American digital cable specialty channel, owned by Discovery Communications with television programming for education of children. It was launched in October 1996...

    , Joe, Sam, and Fred are in the Museum; in one episode they see it 90 years into the future.

  • In the episode Top Chef: All-Stars, "Night at the Museum", both the Quickfire Challenge and Elimination Challenge required the cheftestants to cook at the American Museum of Natural History.

Neighboring area

The museum is situated in a 17 acres (68,796.6 m²) park known as "Theodore Roosevelt Park". The park contains pleasant park benches, beautiful gardens and fields, and a dog run. This small park has made the area around the museum very desirable and some of the most expensive real estate in the Upper West Side (even more so after the completion of the renovation of the southern-facing museum facade) lies in this area. In 2007 it was not uncommon to see museum facing apartments sell for as much as $2000 per square foot. Additionally, the museum is surrounded by many gourmet restaurants that have outdoor cafes where patrons can sit outside and enjoy the view.

See also

  • Education in New York City
    Education in New York City
    Education in New York City is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. The city's public school system, the New York City Department of Education, is the largest in the world, and New York is home to some of the most important libraries, universities, and research centers in...

  • List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival
    Margaret Mead Film Festival
    The Margaret Mead Film Festival is an annual film festival held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It is the longest-running, premiere showcase for international documentaries in the United States, encompassing a broad spectrum of work, from indigenous community media to...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.