American Museum of Natural History

This New York icon was established in 1869, when everything was housed in the Arsenal Building by the Central Park Zoo. In 1877, they started building at its current location on Central Park West. Throughout the years, there have been several buildings added to the complex; the latest was the Rose Center for Earth and Space in 2000.

During the golden age of colonialism, the living animals exhibits were collected via the means of going to their habitat in the world, shooting/trapping a lot of them, then bringing them back to be mounted and displayed.

Since this is New York, there was no shortage of Fifth Avenue Millionares who donated vast sums and unique items to the collections, and still do to this day.

The Arrival

I took the subway up with my kidlings on a New York holiday to the subterranean entrance. Easy access, quick purchase of tickets, and we went in.

Dinosaurs and Fossils

One of the best parts of the museum is the halls of Fossils showcasing the almost endless numbers of dinosaurs. (I love dinosaurs, and if you don't have some affinity for them left over from childhood, we cannot drink together). Many prime examples of the monsters from the past, and they are given their space.
What a terrible lizard! T-rex is always a crowd favorite Apatosaurus or Brontosaurus? Old habits die hard; most use the latter which is incorrect Sneak picture of me by my 3 year old who was already a natural with composition and not taking blurry shots
Pre dinosaur Postosuchus Apatosaurus in the flesh
Mastadon with a Mammoth photo-bombing Can you dig it?

Animals

Displays of the 19th century style permeate the museum, and honestly being an Exploration Age fanboy, I love this old school style.

Each area was created with extreme detail. One must keep in context that at the opening of the museum, travel to the places these animals lived was no small affair. Even a trip to Nebraska could take a week, one direction. Africa, a month. This was a way to travel without the time and cost for many people in the area.
The main hall on the first and second floors.  Yes it is this dark Primates Excruciating detail
Chimps Kitty! Another form of animal
Collection of the Native Americans of the west while they were still living a historic lifestyle

Gems and other things

A large hall of minerals and of course gemstones. The gems are behind lots of security, and with good cause. They have been stolen before.
The Star of India, Largest flawless star sapphire in the world
My youngest boy, loving the Night at the Museum display

Summary

The American Museum of Natural History has amazing collections, a good restaurant in the basement, and great old school displays, making it a definite must-see in NYC. I still think the Field in Chicago is better, but this one's just amazing.

Easy subway access, and right next to Central Park, it just screams "This is New York".



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