Tag Archive | Mammals

Hall of Mammals Dioramas, Museum of Natural History

Impala
The Tame Impala (All Photos By Gail)

I remember when I first saw the trailer for Night at the Museum, and I was so excited for the movie because it had long been a fantasy of mine to be in NYC’s Museum of Natural History after closing time to see if all of those animals in the nature dioramas might come to life. Just being serious.

I like to visit the Natural History Museum on Central Park West a few times a year to see the special, temporary exhibits, but I also try to spend time when I am there at my favorite installations which are the Hall of Ocean Life and the Guggenheim Hall of Gems and Minerals, where I could lose myself for hours.

Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bears

On a recent trip however, Geoffrey and I decided to spend a couple of hours really exploring the Mammal Halls – including animals from North America, Africa and Asia displayed in painstakingly recreated lifelike dioramas of their natural habitats – which is generally a section of the museum we end up racing through on our way to somewhere else. Although these dioramas undergo regular maintenance and periodic restorations, they are essentially unchanged in 50 years and the stories they tell are eternal.

I really love the mammal halls because they are kept mostly in darkness, where the only lights come from inside the dioramas. This makes them somewhat challenging to photograph but gives the exhibits a timeless sense of romance and adventure.

Baboons
Baboons

You can read a bit of the background on how these dioramas were created at This Link. But for now, let’s see more pictures.

Alaskan Brown Bear
Alaskan Brown Bears

Wapiti Elk
Wapiti (Elk)

American Bison
American Bison

Alaska Moose
Alaskan Moose

Musk Ox
Musk Ox

Mountain Goat Family
Mountain Goat Family

Ice Age Mammals
Miniature Diorama of North American Ice Age Mammals

Big Horn White Sheep
Big Horn White Sheep

Cheetahs
Cheetahs

Water Buffalo
Water Buffalos

GiraffesZebras

The Giraffes and Zebras above are actually two halves of the same large Diorama.

These photos represent just a tiny fraction of the all the animals and exhibits we saw. It was such a fun day! you should go and have your own adventure!

The American Museum of Natural History is located on Central Park West Between 79th and 83rd Streets on NYC’s Upper West Side. Take the C train to the 83rd Street Stop.

My Rad Visit to the Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium Signage
All Photos By Gail

Whenever I am visiting a new city, I like to find out if they have an aquarium; and if they do, I like to go there. I was in Seattle a couple of weeks ago on the front end of an Alaskan Cruise (so awesome) and spent a marvelous few hours at the Seattle Aquarium, which is right on the waterfront. The last time I was at the Seattle Aquarium, the Internet was not even a thing yet, so it was fun to see that they have made so many changes and improvements to the facility. With an emphasis on education, the Aquarium is dedicated to preserving local marine life and they have integrated many green practices into their daily operations, so it is not only a beautiful and fun place to visit, but an organization that you can feel good about supporting.

Red Starfish Tide Pool

On the main floor of the Aquarium you will find many Tide Pools and Touch Pools, which are fun for kids because they can see the animals up close and even touch them. There are a few pools with large collections of anemones and brightly colored red and green Sea Stars, some with too many arms to even count.

Jellyfish Ring Tank

My favorite feature of the main exhibit area is the archway-shaped Moon Jellies Illuminated tank of Sea Jellies (Jellyfish), in which the jellies appear to transition color as the recessed tank lighting runs the full colors of the spectrum. I would like to have this in my house.

Octopus Facts

The Aquarium is home to a giant Octopus who likes to hide in his tank so he is a bit hard to see. They can squish themselves up into fairly small spaces, apparently (see above photo). Several times a day you can watch them feed the Octopus, and that is really cool. If you see a scheduled feeding time listed, be sure to get yourself close to the tank about 15 minutes before the show starts, otherwise you will miss all the action. Did you know that the life expectancy of the average Octopus is only one to four years? I did not know that.

Anemone with Clown Fish

A tiny Clown Fish makes his home among the Anemones and Coral in this Pacific Coral Reef Tank.

Vagina Coral

Here is a very interesting type of Coral. I think this is called Plate Coral (judging by results from the very obvious search terms I put into Google when I got home and started writing this post) but I probably should have paid attention to its name while I was at the Aquarium. If you can confirm this coral’s proper name please leave it in the comments, thanks!

Seattle Aquarium Cow Fish

This is a Cow Fish: The Most Awesome Fish Ever In the Universe of All Time. The Cow Fish swims so very fast around the circumference of the tank that he was hard to photograph, but I got him. Moo.

Puffer Fish

In the same tank as the Cow Fish I saw this Puffer Fish, who had an angry look on his face like he was about to Puff Up, but he did not.

Sea Plumes

These intriguing creatures are called Sea Pens, for their resemblance to the old fashioned, plumed writing instruments. Sea Pens can be found in the Ocean Oddities section of the Aquarium.

Seattle Aquarium Sea Otters

Like any aquarium that is worth its salt (water), The Seattle Aquarium has a separate, outdoors habitat area that houses aquatic mammals including River Otters, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Northern Fur Seals and various types of Aquatic Birds, which affords a very complete experience for all visitors. These cute little guys are Sea Otters, and the staff can tell you all about them including their names and ages and how they came to have a home at the Aquarium. I was so charmed by the Otter in the above photo, who was floating leisurely on his back while playing with a plastic bowl and an empty water jug. Adorable.

Another added bonus of visiting the Aquarium is that is it so close to The Great Wheel Ferris Wheel, also located on the pier, so you can head over there for a spin in the sky and lovely views of the Puget Sound after your visit with the fish. Visit Seattle Aquarium Dot Org to find out about special exhibits and get further information on the Aquarium so that you can plan your visit!

The Seattle Aquarium is located on Pier 59 on the Waterfront, 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101-2015. Phone (206) 386-4300. Hours are 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM daily. Last entry is at 5:00 PM and exhibits close at 6:00 PM.
Aquatic Sculpture
Cool Aquatic Sculpture On the Boardwalk Adjacent to the Aquarium