The American Museum of Natural History is the biggest natural history museum in the world with a large collection of artifacts relating to many species that are still existing on the planet together with some other species that have already been extinct. The museum hosts many exhibitions that focus on different plants, animals, and periods. The museum building spans across four city blocks and include about twenty-five interconnected buildings.
The phrase “natural history” is now restricted to the branch that mostly deals with the study of animal life. However, the American Museum of Natural History, which was founded in 1869, uses the original sense of the word “natural history” and covers the study of natural objects, plants, animals, and minerals. The five floors of the building are dedicated to the history of our planet. These floors cover everything from fossils of dinosaurs, to galaxies that are far away and discuss things from the past and present worlds. The exhibitions in the museum are entertaining and educating to both children and adults.
The museum is located in the heart of Manhattan, very near to Central Park, and is one of the greatest cultural and scientific institutions in the world that is housed inside a magnificent building complex. Below are some of the attractions in the American Museum of Natural History that you should not miss in your New York City tour.
Manhattan Dinosaur Bones Exhibition
You can find a large dinosaur exhibition on the fourth floor of the museum. Numerous dinosaur fossils have been assembled on the floor that can offer you a feel of these prehistoric creatures. There are two halls of the Koch Dinosaur Wing and feature almost hundred specimens, eighty-five percent of which are fossils, not casts.
These specimens are a very small fraction of the dinosaur fossil collection of the museum, which is one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world. Many of the displays like the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton were features in the movie “Night at the Museum.” You can find the famous skeleton of Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs.
Incredible Ocean Life
You can find incredible displays in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life. The hall highlights the complex and diverse web of life in the oceans together with the beauty of underwater life forms in a marine environment that is much immersive. The ninety-four feet long fiberglass replica of a blue whale is the main highlight of the hall. History says that we have hunted blue whales to near extinction. The blue whale serves as a reminder of the responsibilities that we have to the environment. You will be amazed to see the size of these underwater creatures.
The Big Bang
You can find the Big Bang theater inside the Rose Center for Earth and Space, which is a big glass cube enclosing the theater. You can find the Big Bang Theater and Hayden Planetarium inside the huge sphere enclosed in the glass cube. You should watch the four-minute Big Bang presentation, and then walk along the Cosmic Pathway that will let you explore our planet from a very different perspective. The displays in the Rose Center for Earth and Space will remind us that we are just small specks in the huge and unending universe.
Valuable Past Collections
The Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals has an abundant collection of mineral-bearing specimens that are collected from different parts of the world. You can find a huge topaz crystal from Brazil, a nephrite jade slab from Poland, and a block of azurite-malachite ore from Arizona weighing 4.5 tons. You can also check out the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems that exhibits many ornamental and precious stones, some of which are uncut and some polished. You can also find stones that are set in beautiful and elaborate jewelries. You can also find organic materials like amber and coral displayed in the exhibition of natural colors and elements.
Visit IMAX Theatre
The museum has its own IMAX Theater with a very large high definition screen. Movies are shown in 2D and 3D in breathtaking clarity. The movies shown in the IMAX Theater are directed by people like Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas and take viewers around the globe to provide breathtaking experiences like encounter with predators, dinosaurs, and many more. You will have chances to look at the role of the animals in various food chains. The IMAX theater experience is something that you should not miss in your New York City tours.