The American Museum of Natural History showcases the world’s largest collection of natural wonders, from dinosaur fossils to microscopic organisms. Visitors have the chance to explore a diverse range of exhibits in an inspiring and educational environment.
This museum also acts as an important research center for scientists looking to uncover new mysteries about nature and the universe around us.
American Museum of Natural History Facts for Kids
AMNH has over 32 million specimens & artifacts.
- It’s the largest natural history museum in the world.
- The museum was founded in 1869.
- It has 45 permanent exhibition halls.
- Its collections span 4 billion years of Earth’s history.
- It offers educational programs for all ages!
History of the Museum
The Foundation of the complex was laid in 1874, with the opening of its first Victorian Gothic building in Central Park – now hidden by modern constructions.
The State Memorial to Theodore Roosevelt in 1936 greeted visitors as they passed through the entrance of Central Park West.
Dinosaurs await inside, a suspended Haida canoe hangs proudly in its Grand Gallery, and Northwest Coast Indians Hall is the oldest exhibit in the museum.
Little has changed since 1930 until Kevin Roche’s renovations since the 1990s brought fresh perspectives: Dinosaur Hall and mural restoration for Roosevelt Memorial Hall – plus a new eight-story AMNH Library in 1992.
It’s clear that standing still is not an option for this venerable institution; striving ever towards improvement, it remains open to change and exploration.
The Fossil halls
Hidden from view, deep in the museum’s bowels, lie spectacular collections of mammalian and dinosaur fossils. But if you want a glimpse of these treasures from the prehistoric past, head to the fourth floor – or better still, take a tour through Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, the museum’s main entrance.
Once there, you’ll be treated to an array of fossilized wonders spanning millions of years – tracing evolution and relationships between vertebrates. Known as a cladogram – an evolutionary tree of life – visitors are presented with evidence that illuminates just how interconnected our planet is.
This anthropological journey began during what was seen as the golden era for worldwide expeditions (the 1880s – 1930s), though field trips still happen occasionally, bringing new samples from places like Vietnam, Madagascar, and various parts of Africa and South America.
From Saber-Toothed Felines to Megalodon Sharks, Paraceratherium Brygmophyseter, and whale skeletons hanging in midair – it really has something for everyone. Not forgetting two incredible specimens being showcased; a Triceratops skeleton plus Stegosaurus at every turn!
The Akeley Hall of African Mammals
Standing testament to a man’s passion, Akeley Hall of African Mammals serves to simultaneously enlighten and remind.
Its 28 dioramas bring to life the intricate ecosystems of our distant continent, each one featuring mammals at their most vital and vibrant.
In the center of the hall stands an impressive group of eight elephants, standing still in a state of fear.
The workmanship behind the dioramas cannot be ignored: from birds to flora, each element captures Africa’s natural splendor with exceptional detail and is balanced meticulously to help tell its story.
That these species have avoided extinction thus far can partially be credited to Akeley’s own contributions – including his involvement in setting up Virunga National Park. A connected exhibit – Hall of African Peoples – further underscores how closely we are all connected.
Together these two halls become an ode to conservation and preservation – lessons that remain as relevant today as they were when they first opened their doors 80 years ago.
Milstein Hall of Ocean Life
Immersed in a marine environment, Milstein Hall of Ocean Life captures the grandeur and complexity of life below the waves. The upper level highlights aquatic ecosystems like polar seas, kelp forests, mangroves, and coral reefs, where vibrant colors and an array of wildlife thrive.
Simultaneously, the lower level is home to larger creatures such as whales, squids, and sea turtles in eye-catching displays, like the ‘Squid and the Whale’ diorama, that highlights the battle between two creatures of the deep.
Adding to its already impressive panoramas is the Andros Coral Reef Diorama — a remarkable two-level presentation that features all kinds of aquatic life that inhabit this region.
The hall’s allure isn’t just its visuals either — interactive computer stations with high-definition video projections provide opportunities for visitors to dive even deeper into marine life’s science and ecology.
This melding of technological capability and vivid displays provides guests with an educational experience unparalleled anywhere else on Earth.
Important Facts and Overview
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a substantial collection of twentieth-century art, including works by well-known artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Pollock.
The American Wing of the Met houses a collection of North American art from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
The Met’s 19th-century American collection includes paintings by John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer, among others.
The Hall of Biodiversity, housed in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, is a monument to scientist and explorer Carl Akeley, who was influential in the early twentieth-century creation of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of African Mammals.
The Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, located near the Met’s main entrance, has a grand stairway and a bronze equestrian figure of Theodore Roosevelt.