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.