1. Play Pterosaurs: The Card Game!
Challenge your friends to this Pterosaurs card game, and explore animals and plants that lived during the Mesozoic Era along the way. The game was co-designed with students in the Museum’s #scienceFTW program based on an existing biodiversity card game, Phylo.
    Purchase or print the cards, play the game, and don’t forget to download the companion app which reveals animations of pterosaurs walking, flying, and more!

    Play Pterosaurs: The Card Game!

    Challenge your friends to this Pterosaurs card game, and explore animals and plants that lived during the Mesozoic Era along the way. The game was co-designed with students in the Museum’s #scienceFTW program based on an existing biodiversity card game, Phylo.

    Purchase or print the cards, play the game, and don’t forget to download the companion app which reveals animations of pterosaurs walking, flying, and more!

  2. Museum researcher Mary Blair is blogging from Vietnam, where she’s surveying for endangered primates called slow lorises—at night. In her latest post, read about spotting pygmy lorises, bay owls, and avoiding the smelly, ill-tempered gaur.
Read the full dispatch from Vietnam.

    Museum researcher Mary Blair is blogging from Vietnam, where she’s surveying for endangered primates called slow lorises—at night. In her latest post, read about spotting pygmy lorises, bay owls, and avoiding the smelly, ill-tempered gaur.

    Read the full dispatch from Vietnam.

  3. Dinoland at the 1964-5 New York World’s Fair: Museum Connections

    Fifty years ago today, the 1964−1965 New York World’s Fair opened at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. During the Fair’s two six-month runs, it drew over 50 million visitors to Queens to see a multitude of exhibitions showcasing technological innovations and international cultures.

    As noted in the New York Times last week, one of the highlights was the Dinoland pavilion, sponsored by Sinclair Oil Corporation, which featured nine life-size models of dinosaurs, including Brontosaurus (now  Apatosaurus), Triceratops, and a 20-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex, that loomed over enthralled visitors in a spectacular outdoor re-creation of a Jurassic environment. 

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    Tyrannosaurus rex from the Sinclair Oil Corporation Dinoland pavilion. Via Flickr/Karen Horton

    The towering sculptures were crafted out of fiberglass by wildlife artist Louis Paul Jonas, who earlier in his career had studied with naturalist and pioneering taxidermist Carl Akeley. Jonas had even helped create the African elephant group for the Museum’s Akeley Hall of African Mammals as well as sculptures for the Hall of Asian Mammals. To produce Dinoland’s fiberglass models, Jonas worked with another Museum luminary: the then-89-year-old Barnum Brown, the fossil hunter who had discovered T. rex at the turn of the 20th century.

    Click here for a video about Barnum Brown. 

    By the early 1900s, Brown had gained fame as a great dinosaur collector (and as a snappy dresser), sending back more then 1,200 crates of fossils back to the American Museum of Natural History from far-flung expeditions. (For more about Brown’s incredible life and career, read the 2010 book Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus Rex by Museum Curator Mark Norell, chair of the Division of Paleontology, and Research Associate Lowell Dingus.) 

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    By the time preparations for the 1964 New York World’s Fair were getting under way, Brown had become a bona fide celebrity, hosting a weekly CBS radio broadcast and consulting on Walt Disney’s Fantasia. As the man who had introduced American audiences to dinosaurs and fossil hunting, and as the curator of vertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, Brown was the natural choice to consult on Dinoland, an attraction designed to bring together then-recent scientific discoveries with the spectacle of a prehistoric world populated by dinosaurs.

    While working on the exhibition, Brown traveled frequently to Louis Paul Jonas’s studio, in Hudson, NY. Unfortunately, Brown did not live to see Dinoland become a reality; he died shortly before the opening of the World’s Fair on April 22, 1964.

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    Brown measuring the femur of Tyrannosaurus rex, 1938 (AMNH Vertebrate Paleontology Archive, 5:6 Portrait box)

    Today, Brown’s legacy continues not just in the fossil halls of the Museum—where no fewer than 57 of the specimens on display are his discoveries—but in the in the worldwide love of dinosaurs and paleontology that he helped to spark.

  4. Extinct mollusks known as ammonites inhabited the planet for more than 300 million years—almost twice as long as dinosaurs—before disappearing in the mass extinction event more than 65 million years ago. 
As many as 10,000 species may have existed, ranging from tiny organisms that measured only a fraction of an inch across to formidable animals more than 2 feet in diameter, such as the spectacular 75-million-year-old specimen shown above, which is on view in the Museum’s Grand Gallery. 
Learn more about these amazing ammonites.

    Extinct mollusks known as ammonites inhabited the planet for more than 300 million years—almost twice as long as dinosaurs—before disappearing in the mass extinction event more than 65 million years ago.

    As many as 10,000 species may have existed, ranging from tiny organisms that measured only a fraction of an inch across to formidable animals more than 2 feet in diameter, such as the spectacular 75-million-year-old specimen shown above, which is on view in the Museum’s Grand Gallery.

    Learn more about these amazing ammonites.

  5. Over 540,000 marine fossils have been added to the Museum’s collection thanks to a recent donation from Ohio University. Most of the collection is from the Paleozoic era and includes both marine invertebrates such as ammonites as well as fossil fish and sharks. In this video, Museum curators Neil Landman and John Maisey talk about the importance of this new addition and the interesting findings these specimens have yielded so far, including John Maisey’s recent study on the evolution of shark jaws.

    An exceptionally well-preserved skull of a newly discovered 325-million-year-old shark-like species suggests that early cartilaginous and bony fishes have more to tell us about the early evolution of jawed vertebrates—including humans—than do modern sharks, as was previously thought.

    The new study is based on shark fossil collected in Arkansas, where an ocean basin once was home to a diverse marine ecosystem. The fossilized skull of the new species Ozarcus mapesae was imaged with high-resolution x-rays at the European Synchrotron, letting the scientists “digitally dissect out the cartilage skeleton.”

    Learn more about this new study and see more of the marine fossil additions to our collections

  6. In the Scales of the Universe walkway in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, the Hayden Sphere serves as a scale of reference for exploring the relative sizes of objects and our place in space. For example, if the Hayden sphere - 26.5 meters (87 feet) in diameter - were the size of the Sun, then Jupiter would be 2.7 meters (9 feet) across, while earth would would be a mere 24 centimeters (9.5 inches) in diameter! 
Learn more about the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

    In the Scales of the Universe walkway in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, the Hayden Sphere serves as a scale of reference for exploring the relative sizes of objects and our place in space. For example, if the Hayden sphere - 26.5 meters (87 feet) in diameter - were the size of the Sun, then Jupiter would be 2.7 meters (9 feet) across, while earth would would be a mere 24 centimeters (9.5 inches) in diameter! 

    Learn more about the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

  7. An exceptionally well-preserved skull of a newly discovered 325-million-year-old shark-like species suggests that early cartilaginous and bony fishes have more to tell us about the early evolution of jawed vertebrates—including humans—than do modern sharks, as was previously thought.

The new study is based on shark fossil collected in Arkansas, where an ocean basin once was home to a diverse marine ecosystem. The fossilized skull of the new species Ozarcus mapesae was imaged with high-resolution x-rays at the European Synchrotron, letting the scientists “digitally dissect out the cartilage skeleton.”

Learn more about this new study.

    An exceptionally well-preserved skull of a newly discovered 325-million-year-old shark-like species suggests that early cartilaginous and bony fishes have more to tell us about the early evolution of jawed vertebrates—including humans—than do modern sharks, as was previously thought.

    The new study is based on shark fossil collected in Arkansas, where an ocean basin once was home to a diverse marine ecosystem. The fossilized skull of the new species Ozarcus mapesae was imaged with high-resolution x-rays at the European Synchrotron, letting the scientists “digitally dissect out the cartilage skeleton.”

    Learn more about this new study.

  8. As Slate pointed out, the internet loves crappytaxidermy. While we may not have much to contribute to that illustrious canon, we do know taxidermy. Our video "Modeling Animals in Habitat Dioramas" about how artists create the animal sculptures for the Museum’s famous habitat dioramas, shows what it takes to create a meticulously accurate specimen. 
Watch the video.

    As Slate pointed out, the internet loves crappytaxidermy. While we may not have much to contribute to that illustrious canon, we do know taxidermy. Our video "Modeling Animals in Habitat Dioramas" about how artists create the animal sculptures for the Museum’s famous habitat dioramas, shows what it takes to create a meticulously accurate specimen. 

    Watch the video.

  9. Museum researcher Mary Blair is blogging from Vietnam, where she’s surveying for endangered primates called slow lorises—at night. 
Read her latest post to find out what she takes into the field—and how she’s training others to spot a loris in the dark.

    Museum researcher Mary Blair is blogging from Vietnam, where she’s surveying for endangered primates called slow lorises—at night. 

    Read her latest post to find out what she takes into the field—and how she’s training others to spot a loris in the dark.

  10. If the sky is clear during early morning hours of Tuesday April 15, viewers in the Eastern time zone will see a full lunar eclipse beginning at 3:07 am and ending at 4:25 am. By coincidence, that night, Mars will be the brightest it’s been since 2007 and won’t be again until 2016.
Learn more from the SKY REPORTER.

    If the sky is clear during early morning hours of Tuesday April 15, viewers in the Eastern time zone will see a full lunar eclipse beginning at 3:07 am and ending at 4:25 am. By coincidence, that night, Mars will be the brightest it’s been since 2007 and won’t be again until 2016.

    Learn more from the SKY REPORTER.