1. Bighorn Sheep - September Morning, Alberta, Canada
Stalwart symbols of mountain wilderness, a “bachelor band” of bighorn sheep stands before Mount Athabasca in the Canadian Rockies. Male sheep older than two years leave their mothers to follow a leading ram. Horn and body size determine rank, so the leader of this band is certainly the ram on the right. 
Equally sized males may duel to secure their rank. Rivals will repeatedly face off, charge and then crash horns until one loses balance and concedes. During the mating season, when rams fight for ewes, battles are even more violent. The collisions will echo across the ravines of the Rockies, and some contenders will even be pushed off the edge.
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

    Bighorn SheepSeptember Morning, Alberta, Canada

    Stalwart symbols of mountain wilderness, a “bachelor band” of bighorn sheep stands before Mount Athabasca in the Canadian Rockies. Male sheep older than two years leave their mothers to follow a leading ram. Horn and body size determine rank, so the leader of this band is certainly the ram on the right. 

    Equally sized males may duel to secure their rank. Rivals will repeatedly face off, charge and then crash horns until one loses balance and concedes. During the mating season, when rams fight for ewes, battles are even more violent. The collisions will echo across the ravines of the Rockies, and some contenders will even be pushed off the edge.

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

  2. This October, the Margaret Mead Film Festival returns with more than 40 films! Running from October 23-26, the Museum’s internationally renowned documentary festival features films from over 50 countries, discussions with filmmakers, and special events. 

    Click here to buy tickets and passes, and to watch film trailers

  3. A tabletop view in the Ichthyology collections area. Each jar and vial is filled with fish specimens from the research collection. Snapped by @samthecobra for #InsideAMNH.
Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

    A tabletop view in the Ichthyology collections area. Each jar and vial is filled with fish specimens from the research collection. Snapped by @samthecobra for #InsideAMNH.

    Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

  4. Silhouettes in the Hall of Biodiversity, beautifully captured by @jnsilva for #InsideAMNH.
Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

    Silhouettes in the Hall of Biodiversity, beautifully captured by @jnsilva for #InsideAMNH.

    Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

  5. A model in the Museum’s cephalopod display, photographed #InsideAMNH by djkrugman.
Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

    A model in the Museum’s cephalopod display, photographed #InsideAMNH by djkrugman.

    Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

  6. @samthecobra snaps a shot of @karim.mustafa in the empty Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.
See more from the #InsideAMNH collaboration. 

    @samthecobra snaps a shot of @karim.mustafa in the empty Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.

    See more from the #InsideAMNH collaboration. 

  7. This week, the American Museum of Natural History launched  #InsideAMNH a collaboration featuring some of Instagram’s most popular photographers. The participants, djkrugman jnsilva@jmsuarez_kmustafa, and samthecobra, were given access to the Museum’s iconic halls after-hours and a tour behind the scenes—sights rarely seen by most Museum visitors.

    Learn more about this collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

  8. Cougar - Summer, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park offers ideal habitat for cougars: shade to escape the heat, rugged terrain in which to ambush prey and nooks to eat carcasses in private. Typically solitary, males and females travel together only during the few days out of the year when they are mating. 

    Cougars are sometimes called mountain lions, although they are not closely related to lions in Africa. They are also called pumas, Florida panthers, catamounts and painters.

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

  9. Two-toed Sloth
Albert Seba’s (1665-1736) four volume Thesaurus (Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio…) illustrated the Dutch apothecary’s enormous collection of animal and plant specimens amassed over the years. Using preserved specimens, Seba’s artists could depict anatomy accurately—but not behavior. For example, this two-toed sloth is shown climbing upright, even though in nature, sloths hang upside down.
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.

    Two-toed Sloth

    Albert Seba’s (1665-1736) four volume Thesaurus (Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio…) illustrated the Dutch apothecary’s enormous collection of animal and plant specimens amassed over the years. Using preserved specimens, Seba’s artists could depict anatomy accurately—but not behavior. For example, this two-toed sloth is shown climbing upright, even though in nature, sloths hang upside down.

    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. Today’s peek into the archives takes us back to the Museum in 1910. “Sigurd Neandross painting figure in Haida ceremonial canoe, North Pacific Hall” was photographed by Thomas Lunt. 
The Great Canoe has since been moved to the Museum’s Grand Gallery. At 63 feet long, the seaworthy Great Canoe is one of the Museum’s most popular artifacts. It was carved in the 1870s from the trunk of a single cedar tree, and features design elements from different Native American peoples of the Northwest Coast, notably Haida and Heiltsuk. 
Learn more about the history of the Great Canoe.
AMNH/33006

    Today’s peek into the archives takes us back to the Museum in 1910. “Sigurd Neandross painting figure in Haida ceremonial canoe, North Pacific Hall” was photographed by Thomas Lunt.

    The Great Canoe has since been moved to the Museum’s Grand Gallery. At 63 feet long, the seaworthy Great Canoe is one of the Museum’s most popular artifacts. It was carved in the 1870s from the trunk of a single cedar tree, and features design elements from different Native American peoples of the Northwest Coast, notably Haida and Heiltsuk.

    Learn more about the history of the Great Canoe.

    AMNH/33006

  11. Sewellel (Mountain Beaver) - August Morning, Mount Rainier, Washington
Neither a beaver nor a high-mountain dweller, the sewellel is a rather singular animal. It’s the last living member of a once-successful family of rodents called the Aplodontiidae. The sewellel is a “living fossil,” showing primitive skeletal features that other rodents have lost. Its kidneys are also unusual: they are inefficient at maintaining the body’s water balance. Thus the sewellel needs to live close to water so it can drink a lot—a third of its weight in water per day. 
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

    Sewellel (Mountain Beaver)August Morning, Mount Rainier, Washington

    Neither a beaver nor a high-mountain dweller, the sewellel is a rather singular animal. It’s the last living member of a once-successful family of rodents called the Aplodontiidae. The sewellel is a “living fossil,” showing primitive skeletal features that other rodents have lost. Its kidneys are also unusual: they are inefficient at maintaining the body’s water balance. Thus the sewellel needs to live close to water so it can drink a lot—a third of its weight in water per day. 

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

  12. Today’s peek into the archives shows us “Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Horsfall working on background of Wild Turkey Habitat Group, North American Bird Hall.” Photographed by Otis J. Wheelock in 1907. 
For more images of diorama construction and more than 7,000 other archival images, head to our new online database Digital Special Collections.
AMNH/31655

    Today’s peek into the archives shows us “Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Horsfall working on background of Wild Turkey Habitat Group, North American Bird Hall.” Photographed by Otis J. Wheelock in 1907. 

    For more images of diorama construction and more than 7,000 other archival images, head to our new online database Digital Special Collections.

    AMNH/31655

  13. On this #MuseumMonday we’re taking a look at the inlay representing the face of the Aztec Sun Stone. Visitors who enter through the Weston Pavilion Entrance (Columbus Ave. and 79th St.) are greeted by this beautiful piece set in the floor. The Aztec Sun Stone was a centerpiece of the Hall of the Sun in the original Hayden Planetarium, built in 1935 (pictured above). 

    The original stone is a 25-ton monolith, which represents the fifth sun, or age, which began with the accession of King Itzcoatl (1427-1440). It is on view at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, and a full-size cast stands in the Hall of Mexico and Central America.

    The central image depicts Tonatiuh, the Aztec sun god and principal deity during the fifth sun, and Aztec cycle that relates to time and politics. Four icons - jaguar, wind, rain, and water - represent the four previous suns, or ages, when the world was repeatedly created and destroyed. The twenty central signs belong to the 13 cycles in the 260-day Aztec ritual calendar. Two fire serpents encircle the mosaic, their heads face each other at the bottom and tails meet at the top.

    Learn more about the Inlay Aztec Sun Stone.

    Archival image: AMNH/327132

  14. Mountain Goat - August, Tongass National Forest, Southern Alaska
No mammal is more sure-footed on steep peaks than the mountain goat. Its agility and traction surpasses even that of wild sheep. Among the goat’s advantages are muscular forelimbs to help brake on downhills and race upslope.  This climber can gain 75 feet (23 meters) of altitude in only a minute. 
In fact, a young mountain goat can climb anywhere its mother can within a week after birth.   The kid in this scene is about three months old  and was probably born on a high cliff.  

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

    Mountain GoatAugust, Tongass National Forest, Southern Alaska

    No mammal is more sure-footed on steep peaks than the mountain goat. Its agility and traction surpasses even that of wild sheep. Among the goat’s advantages are muscular forelimbs to help brake on downhills and race upslope.  This climber can gain 75 feet (23 meters) of altitude in only a minute. 

    In fact, a young mountain goat can climb anywhere its mother can within a week after birth.   The kid in this scene is about three months old  and was probably born on a high cliff.  

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

  15. In the past, people could be poisoned from seemingly innocuous products. Lead was in sweetened wine, cosmetics, hair dye—and paint.
The famous Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746–1828) suffered a mysterious illness with symptoms including partial paralysis, mood changes and blindness. Some researchers think lead poisoning was the cause, perhaps brought on by ingesting toxic dust when preparing his lead-based paints or by wetting his brushes with his tongue. Pictured is the painting “Saturn devouring one of his sons” by Goya, 1821-23, via Wikimedia. 
Learn more in the exhibition The Power of Poison, closing August 10!

    In the past, people could be poisoned from seemingly innocuous products. Lead was in sweetened wine, cosmetics, hair dye—and paint.

    The famous Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746–1828) suffered a mysterious illness with symptoms including partial paralysis, mood changes and blindness. Some researchers think lead poisoning was the cause, perhaps brought on by ingesting toxic dust when preparing his lead-based paints or by wetting his brushes with his tongue. Pictured is the painting “Saturn devouring one of his sons” by Goya, 1821-23, via Wikimedia

    Learn more in the exhibition The Power of Poison, closing August 10!