American Museum of Natural History

Jul 28

"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

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

Jul 27

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.

"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. 

Learn much more in the Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites

Jul 26

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

[video]

Jul 25

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!

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.

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!

Jul 24

Today’s look into the archives shows a Museum preparator working on the mount of an East Indian ox for the Hall of Asian Mammals. 

See thousands of images from the Museum’s archives over on our Digital Special Collections website. 

AMNH/311796

Today’s look into the archives shows a Museum preparator working on the mount of an East Indian ox for the Hall of Asian Mammals

See thousands of images from the Museum’s archives over on our Digital Special Collections website

AMNH/311796

National Moth Week continues with the beautiful comet moth. Check our featured moths, the Madagascan sunset moth, the Hornet moth, and the Atlas moth. 
Find more moth facts on the blog!

National Moth Week continues with the beautiful comet moth. Check our featured moths, the Madagascan sunset moth, the Hornet moth, and the Atlas moth

Find more moth facts on the blog!

Jul 23

This spider was trapped in tree resin about 20 million years ago. Over time, the resin fossilized to amber, preserving the animal inside. Specimens like this are helpful given that spiders don’t fossilize well in sediment. They offer researchers good information about the group’s more recent history. The oldest known amber specimen is from around 130 million years ago. This specimen was collected in the Dominican Republic. 
Learn more in our exhibition, Spiders Alive! open now. 

This spider was trapped in tree resin about 20 million years ago. Over time, the resin fossilized to amber, preserving the animal inside. Specimens like this are helpful given that spiders don’t fossilize well in sediment. They offer researchers good information about the group’s more recent history. The oldest known amber specimen is from around 130 million years ago. This specimen was collected in the Dominican Republic. 

Learn more in our exhibition, Spiders Alive! open now. 

[video]

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! 

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

Jul 22

[video]