Museum Menagerie: Historical Photos of the Construction of Early Wildlife Exhibits [Slide Show]
In honor of Darwin's birthday, we take a look back at diverse species being readied for display at the American Museum of Natural History
JAWS: A museum staff member sits inside the jaws of a restored Carcharodon megalodon, January 1927.
Image: Courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History
On this date more than two centuries ago a British scientist whose theory of evolution changed the way we look at the world was born. Charles Darwin is believed to have said, "It is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine." It was his great interest in nature and detailed study of biodiversity
that laid the foundation for modern biology.
To celebrate Darwin's birthday
, here is a slide show of the researchers who showcased the rich variety of animals
at the American Museum of Natural History
in New York City. In these historic photos, artists, preparators and taxidermists are seen constructing the museum's exhibits over a 50-year period. Producing the permanent halls and special exhibits involved painting detailed forest environments, building frames that faithfully represented specimens' complex shapes, meticulously cleaning numerous fossils and mounting massive skeletons.