1. 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

  2. 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

  3. In celebration of our new film, Great White Shark, now playing in 3D and 2D at the Museum, today’s peek into the archives is a mouthful.
“Seated in fossil shark jaw restoration” was taken by H.S. Rice in January, 1927, after the restoration of the jaws of the fossil shark, Carcharodon megalodon. 
Learn more about the prehistoric predator, Carcharodon, and our new film, Great White Shark. 
AMNH/319969

    In celebration of our new film, Great White Shark, now playing in 3D and 2D at the Museum, today’s peek into the archives is a mouthful.

    Seated in fossil shark jaw restoration” was taken by H.S. Rice in January, 1927, after the restoration of the jaws of the fossil shark, Carcharodon megalodon

    Learn more about the prehistoric predator, Carcharodon, and our new film, Great White Shark

    AMNH/319969

  4. Today’s peek into the archives takes us to the beach!
“Alligator walking on beach, Cape Romano, Florida, 1907" was photographed by Julian A. Dimock, and is part of the Museum’s collection of over 3,400 images taken by Dimock in the United States in the early part of the 20th century from about 1904 to 1911. He traveled the Southern states on 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, to great effect. 
See the Julian A. Dimock Collection.
AMNH/46784

    Today’s peek into the archives takes us to the beach!

    Alligator walking on beach, Cape Romano, Florida, 1907" was photographed by Julian A. Dimock, and is part of the Museum’s collection of over 3,400 images taken by Dimock in the United States in the early part of the 20th century from about 1904 to 1911. He traveled the Southern states on 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, to great effect. 

    See the Julian A. Dimock Collection.

    AMNH/46784

  5.  
From the archives: visitors enjoy an early version of an audio guide. Photographed by Lee Boltin, “Using Guide-a-phone" was taken in the Whitney Hall of Oceanic Birds in 1954. 

     
    From the archives: visitors enjoy an early version of an audio guide. Photographed by Lee Boltin, “Using Guide-a-phone" was taken in the Whitney Hall of Oceanic Birds in 1954. 

  6. Today’s peek into the archives is for the birds.
“Raymond B. Potter preparing bird specimens for Diomede Bird Group" was photographed by Irving Dutcher in 1930. Find this and more than 7,000 other archival images on our new online database Digital Special Collections.

AMNH/313113

    Today’s peek into the archives is for the birds.

    Raymond B. Potter preparing bird specimens for Diomede Bird Group" was photographed by Irving Dutcher in 1930. Find this and more than 7,000 other archival images on our new online database Digital Special Collections.

    AMNH/313113

  7. "Early June" from the display Seasons on the Farm, located in the Felix M. Warburg Hall of New York State Environment. 

    "Early June" from the display Seasons on the Farm, located in the Felix M. Warburg Hall of New York State Environment. 

  8. Today’s peek into the archives shows a truly hands-on approach to learning about dinosaurs. “Children viewing Brontosaurus exhibit” by H. S. Rice and Irving Dutcher was taken in 1927. Brontosaurus is no longer used by paleontologists to refer to this massive herbivorous species, which was originally thought to be distinct from—but turned out to be the same as—the Apatosaurus. Nearly a century after this specimen was first mounted at the Museum, it underwent a major revision, including a replacement of its skull. Learn more about the history of this dino misnomer.AMNH/312229

    Today’s peek into the archives shows a truly hands-on approach to learning about dinosaurs. “Children viewing Brontosaurus exhibit” by H. S. Rice and Irving Dutcher was taken in 1927. 

    Brontosaurus is no longer used by paleontologists to refer to this massive herbivorous species, which was originally thought to be distinct from—but turned out to be the same as—the Apatosaurus. Nearly a century after this specimen was first mounted at the Museum, it underwent a major revision, including a replacement of its skull. 
    Learn more about the history of this dino misnomer.

    AMNH/312229

  9. The Museum is renowned for the halls of habitat dioramas. Popularized in an era when film and wildlife photography were in their infancy, dioramas introduced museum visitors to an early form of “virtual reality.”
In a 1908 New York Times article about the Hall of North American Birds, a visitor observed the Wading Birds Diorama: “That’s pretty good, but I don’t see why the Museum authorities allow that dirty water to stand there like that…I should think it would be unhealthy.” Since the water the viewer referenced is an artificial recreation of a swamp, Museum artists would consider this response a great success. 

    The Museum is renowned for the halls of habitat dioramas. Popularized in an era when film and wildlife photography were in their infancy, dioramas introduced museum visitors to an early form of “virtual reality.”

    In a 1908 New York Times article about the Hall of North American Birds, a visitor observed the Wading Birds Diorama: “That’s pretty good, but I don’t see why the Museum authorities allow that dirty water to stand there like that…I should think it would be unhealthy.” Since the water the viewer referenced is an artificial recreation of a swamp, Museum artists would consider this response a great success. 

  10. Today’s look into the Museum archives shows the delicate processes that take place during the creation of a habitat diorama. In this 1960 photograph by Alex J. Rota, a Museum preparator gently sets a Yellow-throated Bunting on a blade of grass in the Japanese Bird Group.
The completed diorama can be found in the Hall of Birds of the World today. For a closer look at the Museum’s bird dioramas, check out our video series, Birding at the Museum.
AMNH/327429

    Today’s look into the Museum archives shows the delicate processes that take place during the creation of a habitat diorama. In this 1960 photograph by Alex J. Rota, a Museum preparator gently sets a Yellow-throated Bunting on a blade of grass in the Japanese Bird Group.

    The completed diorama can be found in the Hall of Birds of the World today. For a closer look at the Museum’s bird dioramas, check out our video series, Birding at the Museum.

    AMNH/327429

  11. This image shows the 1947 progression of a mount for the Wolf Diorama in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.
It begins with the positioning of the skeleton, then modeling the wolf form with plaster of paris, followed by the making of a cast, ending with a completed paper manikin which the wolf skin is fitted over. 
Learn more in this video series about the restoration of the Hall of North American Mammals.

    This image shows the 1947 progression of a mount for the Wolf Diorama in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

    It begins with the positioning of the skeleton, then modeling the wolf form with plaster of paris, followed by the making of a cast, ending with a completed paper manikin which the wolf skin is fitted over. 

    Learn more in this video series about the restoration of the Hall of North American Mammals.

  12. Today’s peek into the archives transports us to Shabarahk Usu, Mongolia. 
Taken in 1925 during one of the Museum’s Central Asiatic Expeditions to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert by James B. Shackelford, the picture shows a “Group of Mongol visitors at camp listening to [a] phonograph.” Shackelford extensively documented this leg of the expedition, whose participants included Roy Chapman Andrews, the famed adventurer known for discovering some of the richest fossil sites in the world. 
Take a look at the amazing images here.
AMNH/410703

    Today’s peek into the archives transports us to Shabarahk Usu, Mongolia.

    Taken in 1925 during one of the Museum’s Central Asiatic Expeditions to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert by James B. Shackelford, the picture shows a “Group of Mongol visitors at camp listening to [a] phonograph.” Shackelford extensively documented this leg of the expedition, whose participants included Roy Chapman Andrews, the famed adventurer known for discovering some of the richest fossil sites in the world.

    Take a look at the amazing images here.

    AMNH/410703

  13. Today’s peek into the archives takes us back to 1911. Photographed by A. Thompson, this mount of a “Ground Sloth Group” is no longer in the Museum, but a Lestodon specimen can be found on the fourth floor in the Hall of Primitive Mammals. 
Find this and more than 7,000 other archival images on our new online database Digital Special Collections.
AMNH/35517

    Today’s peek into the archives takes us back to 1911. Photographed by A. Thompson, this mount of a “Ground Sloth Group” is no longer in the Museum, but a Lestodon specimen can be found on the fourth floor in the Hall of Primitive Mammals. 

    Find this and more than 7,000 other archival images on our new online database Digital Special Collections.

    AMNH/35517

  14. From the Archives: Paul Wright working on a model of the American Bison Group, photographed by Charles H. Coles in 1939.                      AMNH/291072
This model was made during the development of the American Bison diorama in the Hall of North American Mammals. The scene is set in the mid-1800s between Rawlins and Saratoga, Wyoming, when the prairies teemed with tens of millions of bison.
Learn more about the American Bison Diorama and the 2012 restoration of the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

    From the Archives: Paul Wright working on a model of the American Bison Group, photographed by Charles H. Coles in 1939.                      AMNH/291072

    This model was made during the development of the American Bison diorama in the Hall of North American Mammals. The scene is set in the mid-1800s between Rawlins and Saratoga, Wyoming, when the prairies teemed with tens of millions of bison.

    Learn more about the American Bison Diorama and the 2012 restoration of the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

  15. From the archives: Modeling a Giraffe for the Water Hole Group, Akeley Hall of African Mammals.
The photograph on the left and the model in the foreground on the right were used to accurately re-create a giraffe for the Water Hole diorama. Featuring Grévy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, Grant’s gazelle, the olive baboon, and herds of elephants, the diorama depicts a scene in the Guaso Nyiro River Valley in Kenya. 
Find this and more than 7,000 other archival images on our new online database Digital Special Collections.
AMNH/ppc_533_b02_f029_007

    From the archives: Modeling a Giraffe for the Water Hole Group, Akeley Hall of African Mammals.

    The photograph on the left and the model in the foreground on the right were used to accurately re-create a giraffe for the Water Hole diorama. Featuring Grévy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, Grant’s gazelle, the olive baboon, and herds of elephants, the diorama depicts a scene in the Guaso Nyiro River Valley in Kenya. 

    Find this and more than 7,000 other archival images on our new online database Digital Special Collections.

    AMNH/ppc_533_b02_f029_007