I’ve been in New York for four weeks now, and yesterday I finally ticked my number one off my to-do list: The American Museum of Natural History.
Now I’ve been to a lot of museums before, but I can’t sat that I’ve been to anything quite like the Museum of Natural History. I think you can sum up a large portion of the museum’s exhibits with two words: taxidermy and fossils.
As a huge animal lover, I did find all the animal exhibits quite unnerving. Basically you walk from “enclosure” to “enclosure”, looking at stuffed animals in their simulated environment. I found it to be like a sad zoo, where all the animals are dead.
I would have to say that my favourite part was definitely the dinosaurs. Now, we have a National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra, however, I found it disappointingly lacking in dinosaurs. (It’s mostly small fossils, which are really interesting, but lacking that awe-factor of large-scale dinosaurs).
Well, I certainly got my fill of dinosaurs yesterday. What I found the most interesting though, was that the dinosaurs were full sized, which give you a real sense of just how large these animals were. These included a full-sized Apatosaurus, a Triceratops, an Allosaurus, a Stegosaurus, Duck-Billed Dinosaurs, a number of Pterosaurs, a Mammoth and of course, a Tyrannosaurus Rex!
One of the more interesting fossils I saw was the skull of a Platybelodon. This dinosaur was related to the elephant and lived from about 10 – 6 million years ago. What fascinated me is that it’s lower jaw looks just like a shovel! It’s thought that this animal fed by digging up vegetation with its jaw.
After I had well and truly gotten my fix of dinosaurs for the day, I headed home to watch Jurassic Park!