1. Happy #MuseumCats day from the Canada Lynx! 
In this diorama, a snowshoe hare has captured the attention of a Canada lynx. If the hare acts quickly, it may escape. Lynxes specialize in hunting rabbits. They have broad, well-furred paws and fast reflexes. Lynx hearing and vision are also excellent for tracking rabbits on the run. 
Watch a video about the recent restoration of this diorama. 

    Happy #MuseumCats day from the Canada Lynx! 

    In this diorama, a snowshoe hare has captured the attention of a Canada lynx. If the hare acts quickly, it may escape. Lynxes specialize in hunting rabbits. They have broad, well-furred paws and fast reflexes. Lynx hearing and vision are also excellent for tracking rabbits on the run. 

    Watch a video about the recent restoration of this diorama

  2. On land, sunlight illuminates a world that’s bright and bursting with color. But in the ocean, light and color diminish as the water gets deeper. Take a look at what happens to light as it moves through the water, and how marine organisms have adapted.
Learn more in our traveling exhibition, Creatures of Light.  

    On land, sunlight illuminates a world that’s bright and bursting with color. But in the ocean, light and color diminish as the water gets deeper. Take a look at what happens to light as it moves through the water, and how marine organisms have adapted.

    Learn more in our traveling exhibition, Creatures of Light.  

  3. The Peregrine Falcon, the swiftest of all birds of prey, is one of the most widely distributed species of birds, nesting on every continent except Antarctica. The world’s largest urban population of nesting Peregrine Falcons is in New York City.
The display in this hall was conceived by the Museum’s great ornithologist Frank M. Chapman. Under Chapman, the Museum’s bird collection grew to one of the greatest in the world. It holds over 95 percent of all known species of birds, or about 9,100 different kinds.
More in the Leonard C. Sanford Hall of North American Birds.

    The Peregrine Falcon, the swiftest of all birds of prey, is one of the most widely distributed species of birds, nesting on every continent except Antarctica. The world’s largest urban population of nesting Peregrine Falcons is in New York City.

    The display in this hall was conceived by the Museum’s great ornithologist Frank M. Chapman. Under Chapman, the Museum’s bird collection grew to one of the greatest in the world. It holds over 95 percent of all known species of birds, or about 9,100 different kinds.

    More in the Leonard C. Sanford Hall of North American Birds.

  4. The design of this armillary sphere was inspired by those of antiquity, but its content captures our modern understanding of the universe. Early armillaries, dating back to the second century AD, were used as tools to derive the coordinates of a star or planet on the sky. This sculpture, which places the Milky Way galaxy at the center, is positioned to demonstrate New York City’s galactic address-it’s precise location-at the moment the Hayden Planetarium opened.

    The design of this armillary sphere was inspired by those of antiquity, but its content captures our modern understanding of the universe. Early armillaries, dating back to the second century AD, were used as tools to derive the coordinates of a star or planet on the sky. This sculpture, which places the Milky Way galaxy at the center, is positioned to demonstrate New York City’s galactic address-it’s precise location-at the moment the Hayden Planetarium opened.

  5. Millions of years ago, pterosaurs roamed the skies, and now they rule the Museum! In the exhibition Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of the Dinosaurs visitors can see rare fossils, life-size models, and experience hands-on interactives that bring these ancient animals to life. Want to take Pterosaurs with you? Two iPad apps let you learn more at the push of a button. 

    With the free Pterosaurs exhibition iPad app, adapted from the 2014 exhibition, get an in-depth look at these fascinating flying reptiles and the latest fossil discoveries that reveal how these animals walked, flew, ate, and more. 

    Also make sure to download the companion app for Pterosaurs: The Card Game! This game and app explores amazing ancient reptiles and their food chains.

  6. Are you cut out for a trip to Mars? Do you have what it takes to go on a months-long mission to the Red Planet?
Take our quick quiz and find out!

    Are you cut out for a trip to Mars? Do you have what it takes to go on a months-long mission to the Red Planet?

    Take our quick quiz and find out!

  7. "Fish jumping, Turners River, Florida"
This beautiful photo was taken by Julian A. Dimock in 1908. Dimock, who donated over 3,400 photographic negatives to the Museum in 1920, traveled the Southern states over many years during Museum funded trips to Southern locations like The Everglades. Carrying heavy and cumbersome photographic equipment over challenging terrain, Dimock trained his lens on the people and landscape of the South. 
See more of the Julian Dimock Collection in our Digital Special Collections. 

    "Fish jumping, Turners River, Florida"

    This beautiful photo was taken by Julian A. Dimock in 1908. Dimock, who donated over 3,400 photographic negatives to the Museum in 1920, traveled the Southern states over many years during Museum funded trips to Southern locations like The Everglades. Carrying heavy and cumbersome photographic equipment over challenging terrain, Dimock trained his lens on the people and landscape of the South. 

    See more of the Julian Dimock Collection in our Digital Special Collections

  8. New research suggests that dinosaurs fell victim to a “perfect storm” of events.
Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had taken place slightly earlier or later in time, according to new research conducted in part by the American Museum of Natural History. The study, published today in Biological Reviews, builds a new narrative of the prehistoric creatures’ demise some 66 million years ago when a six-mile- (10-kilometer-) wide asteroid struck what is now Mexico.
Read the full story. 

    New research suggests that dinosaurs fell victim to a “perfect storm” of events.

    Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had taken place slightly earlier or later in time, according to new research conducted in part by the American Museum of Natural History. The study, published today in Biological Reviews, builds a new narrative of the prehistoric creatures’ demise some 66 million years ago when a six-mile- (10-kilometer-) wide asteroid struck what is now Mexico.

    Read the full story

  9. Johann Friederich Wilhelm Herbst (1743-1807), a German churchman, naturalist, and superb artist, drew this illustration of the crab Cancer reticulatus for his book series Versuch einer Naturgeschichte der Krabben und Krebse… (Attempt at a natural history of crabs and crayfish…). In this three-volume work, Herbst illustrated and described crabs and crayfish. Thanks to their meticulous detail and coloring, the beautiful images endure as a useful scientific resource. 
See this and other illustrations from the Museum’s Rare Book Collection in Natural Histories: 400 Years of Scientific Illustration from the Museum’s Library.

    Johann Friederich Wilhelm Herbst (1743-1807), a German churchman, naturalist, and superb artist, drew this illustration of the crab Cancer reticulatus for his book series Versuch einer Naturgeschichte der Krabben und Krebse… (Attempt at a natural history of crabs and crayfish…). In this three-volume work, Herbst illustrated and described crabs and crayfish. Thanks to their meticulous detail and coloring, the beautiful images endure as a useful scientific resource. 

    See this and other illustrations from the Museum’s Rare Book Collection in Natural Histories: 400 Years of Scientific Illustration from the Museum’s Library.

  10. "Shooting stars" are actually meteors. People once thought they were stars falling from the sky. These tiny grains of dust glow brightly in Earth’s atmosphere because they’re traveling so fast that they release a tremendous amount of energy. 
Meteorites can be huge or tiny. The biggest one ever found weighs around 60 tons, while others are the size of a grain of sand. 
All meteorites come from inside our solar system. Most of them are fragments of asteroids that broke apart long ago in the asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter. 
Small pieces of the Moon occasionally reach Earth as meteorites. We know where they come from because they’re identical in composition to the lunar rocks collected by Apollo astronauts. 
Certain “primitive” meteorites contain the first solid material to form in our solar system. Researchers have used the age of this material—4.568 billion years—to determine the age of our solar system.
Learn much more in the Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites. 

    • "Shooting stars" are actually meteors. People once thought they were stars falling from the sky. These tiny grains of dust glow brightly in Earth’s atmosphere because they’re traveling so fast that they release a tremendous amount of energy. 
    • Meteorites can be huge or tiny. The biggest one ever found weighs around 60 tons, while others are the size of a grain of sand. 
    • All meteorites come from inside our solar system. Most of them are fragments of asteroids that broke apart long ago in the asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter. 
    • Small pieces of the Moon occasionally reach Earth as meteorites. We know where they come from because they’re identical in composition to the lunar rocks collected by Apollo astronauts. 
    • Certain “primitive” meteorites contain the first solid material to form in our solar system. Researchers have used the age of this material—4.568 billion years—to determine the age of our solar system.

    Learn much more in the Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites

  11. North American Beaver - July evening, Central Michigan
The beaver is not your typical rodent. It’s the largest one on the continent, and the only one that can cut down mature trees. Beavers use the timber to build large, elaborate nests—dome-shaped lodges with underwater entrances—inside ponds. If there is no pond, beavers will create one by building a dam to block a stream. The resulting moat around their lodges keeps wolves, coyotes and other predators at bay.
    As semiaquatic rodents, beavers have closeable ears and nostrils, webbed hind feet and very dense fur coats. Their paddlelike tails appear to be covered in scales like a fish, but they aren’t. Rather, the skin is grooved in a scaly pattern, which makes the thick tail more flexible.
Beavers can drastically alter landscapes. Working  in family groups of four to eight, a beaver colony can cut down more than a ton of trees per year. This colony has dammed a stream with logs, mud and stones to make a pond. The land is so newly flooded that some trees have not yet drowned. 
By altering streams, beavers expand wetlands , offering rich habitat for other species. Beaver ponds can also control runoff and reduce erosion. Eventually, this pond will clog with sediment. At that point, or when all accessible trees are cut, the colony will abandon its effort and begin again elsewhere.
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

    North American Beaver - July evening, Central Michigan

    The beaver is not your typical rodent. It’s the largest one on the continent, and the only one that can cut down mature trees. Beavers use the timber to build large, elaborate nests—dome-shaped lodges with underwater entrances—inside ponds. If there is no pond, beavers will create one by building a dam to block a stream. The resulting moat around their lodges keeps wolves, coyotes and other predators at bay.

    As semiaquatic rodents, beavers have closeable ears and nostrils, webbed hind feet and very dense fur coats. Their paddlelike tails appear to be covered in scales like a fish, but they aren’t. Rather, the skin is grooved in a scaly pattern, which makes the thick tail more flexible.

    Beavers can drastically alter landscapes. Working  in family groups of four to eight, a beaver colony can cut down more than a ton of trees per year. This colony has dammed a stream with logs, mud and stones to make a pond. The land is so newly flooded that some trees have not yet drowned. 

    By altering streams, beavers expand wetlands , offering rich habitat for other species. Beaver ponds can also control runoff and reduce erosion. Eventually, this pond will clog with sediment. At that point, or when all accessible trees are cut, the colony will abandon its effort and begin again elsewhere.

    This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals

  12. The American Museum of Natural History has approximately 200 working scientists who undertake more than 100 expeditions a year, doing original research and expanding the Museum’s world-class collection of more than 32 million specimens and artifacts. The Expedition Report podcast series offers an insider’s look at what it’s like to live and work in the field. Academic pursuits combine with adventure—whether racing against the cold in Antarctica, scouting reclusive snakes in Madagascar, or keeping one step ahead of the chainsaws in the rainforest.

    In this episode, curator emeritus Norman Platnick discusses his trek through the highly diverse habitats of Chile in search of spider species found nowhere else in the world.

    Learn more on the Museum website

  13. The weekend is almost here and it’s going to be out of this world!
This weekend at the Museum, Explore our Dark Universe, go deep inside the Earth’s crust, and learn about the evolution of our sense of smell. 
Here are some highlights from the past week:
We’ve been celebrating National Moth Week!
Check out this 20 million year old spider trapped in amber. 
The Maximilian collection was an important early acquisition for the Museum.
Museum Curator John Sparks was trained in the Exosuit. 
We learned some big cat facts.
Have a great weekend!

    The weekend is almost here and it’s going to be out of this world!

    This weekend at the Museum, Explore our Dark Universe, go deep inside the Earth’s crust, and learn about the evolution of our sense of smell. 

    Here are some highlights from the past week:

    Have a great weekend!

  14. Don’t get too close, this #fossilfriday has spikes!
This heavily armored, highly spiked ankylosaur is Edmontonia rugosidens, a dinosaur that lived 75 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period. This mount shows the front limb positioned as it may have been in life. Although it certainly wasn’t a sprinter, Edmontonia could probably move quickly.
Find this fossil in the Museum’s Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs.

    Don’t get too close, this #fossilfriday has spikes!

    This heavily armored, highly spiked ankylosaur is Edmontonia rugosidens, a dinosaur that lived 75 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period. This mount shows the front limb positioned as it may have been in life. Although it certainly wasn’t a sprinter, Edmontonia could probably move quickly.

    Find this fossil in the Museum’s Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs.

  15. We’re celebrating National Moth Week with marvelous moth specimens. The existence of the Morgan’s sphinx moth was predicted by Charles Darwin more than 40 years before it was discovered! 
Take a peek at the moths we featured this week, the Madagascan sunset moth, the Hornet moth, the Atlas moth, and the Indian comet moth.
And find more moth facts on the blog!

    We’re celebrating National Moth Week with marvelous moth specimens. The existence of the Morgan’s sphinx moth was predicted by Charles Darwin more than 40 years before it was discovered! 

    Take a peek at the moths we featured this week, the Madagascan sunset moth, the Hornet moth, the Atlas moth, and the Indian comet moth.

    And find more moth facts on the blog!