American Museum of Natural History

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El American Museum of Natural History (or Museum of Natural Sciences of New York, in English American Museum of Natural History and also known by its abbreviations, AMNH) is one of the best museums of the world of its species. Located in Central Park West, very close to the Dakota building or Strawberry Fields in Central Park, it contains an impressive collection of fossils of dinosaurs and dioramas representing the world's main habitats. In its collection it has more than 32 million cataloged species.

History of the museum

The American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869, being Theodore Roosevelt Sr. (father of the famous American president of the same name) one of its founders. In its beginnings it had several locations in barracks near Central Park, until the 22 of December of 1877 the president of the United States of that time, Rutherford B. Hayes, presides over the inauguration of the first building in its current location, between the streets 77th and 81th of Central Park West.

From this moment, the museum enters its golden age of exploration, a period of 50 years (1880-1930) in which the museum is involved in expeditions that discover the North Pole, explore and map unexplored areas of Siberia, they cross Mongolia and the Gobi desert or penetrate the dense jungles of the Congo, making representatives of the museum on all the continents of the globe.

At present, the museum participates annually in more than one hundred scientific expeditions and has more than 200 scientists on payroll.

Some famous museum directors have been the paleontologist and geologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, who was the first scientist director of the museum, the legendary dinosaur explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, in which they say they were inspired for the character of Indiana Jones and that in 1921 He led the expedition that found the most important dinosaur fossil sites in the world in the Gobi desert, George Gaylord Simpson, the biologist Ernst Mayr, the pioneers in cultural anthropology, Margaret Mead and Franz Boas and the ornithologist Robert Cushman Murphy.

The AMNH collection

The Museum of Native History of New York has dioramas that represent the habitat of mammals in Africa, Asia and North America, a full-size model of a blue whale suspended in the Ocean Living Room, a huge piece of 31 tons of the Cape York meteorite, and "Star of India," the world's largest carved star sapphire. It also has a collection that occupies a whole floor dedicated to show the evolution of vertebrates.

The Museum also has extensive anthropological collections: Peoples of Asia, the population of the Pacific, Man in Africa, American Indians and Native Americans and collections from Mexico and Central America.

View from the Natural History Museum
View from the Natural History Museum

African mammals

Since its opening in 1936, the room of African mammals is considered by many as one of the best in the world and the New York Museum of Natural History. The room is named after Carl Akeley (1864-1926), explorer, conservationist, taxidermist, sculptor and photographer who conceived, designed and created the room. Akeley led teams of scientists and artists on three expeditions to Africa during the first two decades of the twentieth century, and changed forever the taxidermy practice, filling and assembly of animal skins, since Akeley was the first to start to recreate the shape of the animal with a wooden frame, wire and sometimes parts of the real skeleton. Next, he used the clay to add each muscle, tendon, or vein, and when he completed these works he covered everything with plaster and put over the skin of the animal, resulting in a very faithful representation of the stuffed animal.

Hall of meteorites

The meteor room contains one of the most complete meteorite collections in the world, including Ahnighito, a section of the Cape York meteorite, which weighed 200 tons and was found in Greenland. The weight of this great meteorite is 34 tons, which makes it the largest meteorite on display in a museum in the world, and requires it to be supported by columns that extend across the ground and into the rock below the Museum.

Hall of gems and minerals

These room contain hundreds of rare geological specimens and some high-value gems selected from among the more than 10000 specimens that the museum has in its collection, such as Estrella de la India, which was donated to the museum by JP Morgan and is the world's largest carved sapphire star, the Esmeralda Patricia, considered one of the most spectacular emeralds in the world, a topaz of 270 kg, a specimen of 4,5 tons of azurite / blue malachite found in Arizona or Midnight Star Ruby, an intense purple-red ruby ​​star of 116,75 carat.

Living room ocean life

This room was opened in 1933 and has been recently restored in the 2003 year. It shows a model of blue whale of 29 meters in length. Other notable exhibits in this room include the Coral Reef diorama, which is the only two-level diorama that can be visited in the Western Hemisphere.

Interior of the Natural History Museum
Interior of the Natural History Museum

Hall of fossils

The most of the collection of fossils of mammals and dinosaurs The museum is hidden for reasons of preservation and its visit is not allowed. In spite of that, the fossil exhibition that this museum offers is probably one of its most spectacular sections and houses the largest collection of fossils of mammals and dinosaurs in the world. Located mostly on the fourth floor of the main building of the museum, you can admire it Specimens of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Brontosaurus,…

Video of the museum

In this video we show you some of the most famous sections of the Natural History Museum, I hope you enjoy it:

Schedule of the American Museum of Natural History

  • The museum opens daily from 10: 00 am to 5: 45 pm.
  • The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day (last Friday in November) and Christmas Day.

Rates (year 2018)

This museum is included in all New York tourist cards. The suggested rates for the entrance to the museum are the following:

  • Adults: $ 23
  • Children (2-12 years): $ 13
  • Retired / Students (with supporting document): $ 18

How to get to the AMNH?

By subway:

  • Lines B or C, stop 81st Street
  • 1 line, Broadway and West stop 79th Street

More information from the AMNH

For more information from the American Museum of Natural History, get to know your temporary exhibitions and buy tickets in advance, visit the Official website of the Museum, in English.

Other sites and routes of interest nearby: