The Atlas moth is our featured moth of the day as we celebrate National Moth Week.
Did you know? Primitive moths appeared 195 million years ago, during the Jurassic period. Since then, more than 150,000 known species of moths have evolved in diverse colors, shapes, and sizes ranging from the European pygmy sorrel moth, with a wingspan of just 0.1 inch (3 millimeters), to the Atlas moth of Southeast Asia, whose wingspan can reach up to 12 inches (30 centimeters).
Learn more moth facts!
Our celebration of National Moth Week continues with the Hornet moth! Yesterday we featured the Madagascan sunset moth, and if you’re looking for more moth facts, head over to the Museum blog.
Happy National Moth Week!
We’re celebrating all week with marvelous moth species. First up, the Madagascan Sunset moth. Head over to the Museum’s blog to learn more.
The opening of the Akeley Hall of African Mammals in 1936 marked the birth of the golden age of the diorama. Named for Carl Akeley—the naturalist, explorer, and Museum taxidermist—the hall showcases large mammals of Africa.
At the center is a freestanding group of eight elephants, poised as if to charge, surrounded by 28 vivid habitat dioramas. These provide a glimpse of the diverse topography of Africa and its wildlife, from the Serengeti Plain to the waters of the Upper Nile to the volcanic mountains of what was once the Belgian Congo.
Learn more about the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.
The Patricia Emerald is a large and superbly colored specimen. At 632 carats, the dihexagonal, or twelve-sided, crystal is considered one of the great emeralds in the world. Found in Colombia in 1920, it was named after the mine owner’s daughter.
The flaws in this emerald are normal but compromise the hard gem’s durability. This specimen is one of the very few large emeralds that have been preserved uncut. Today, Colombia is still the world’s major source of emeralds.
See other superb specimens in the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems.
Considered the most social of cats, lions live in prides that consist of one or more males, several females, and cubs. While a male lion consumes an average of 5,500 pounds of meat a year—mostly wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes—females do most of the actual hunting.
African lions breed at 3½ years old, and the cubs are born spotted at birth. Male lions weigh about 375 pounds while females average 265 pounds. In captivity, lions have lived up to 25 years, but in the wild they usually survive only half as long.
Find this diorama in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.
Pictured is the view from inside the Museum’s Rose Center for Earth and Space, at sunset.
Astronomers have long pondered the origins of enormous elliptical galaxies in the young Universe. An object 11 billion light-years away spotted by the Herschel mission may help unravel the mystery.
Two massive spiral galaxies merged to create a giant elliptical galaxy, which were previously believed to form through the absorption of dwarf galaxies over time.
Learn more about this finding in a Science Bulletin video.
This image from Giuseppe Poli’s Testacea utriusque Siciliae…(1791-1827) depicts the internal and external structures of a Mediterranean scallop (Pecten jacobaeus), with a degree of detail that had not previously been seen in a published work.
This illustration is on view now at the Museum in the exhibition, Natural Histories: 400 Years of Scientific Illustration from the Museum’s Library.
Spending the weekend in the great outdoors? Here are some tips for identifying poison ivy:
POISON IVY (Toxicodendron radicans)
Anyone that thinks they might have touched poison ivy should wash thoroughly with soap and water. Any clothes that have been in direct contact with poison ivy should be carefully removed and laundered. The unpleasant itching of poison ivy can be relieved by applying calamine lotion or a paste made of baking soda.
Learn more about poison ivy.