Here are a few of the photos I took today during my visit to the AMNH. I decided to be “adventurous” and take exclusively B&W shots, hoping to better convey the mood of some of the fossils (or their replicas) that I was looking at. I’ll leave you to be the judge as to whether any of them succeeded in giving more life to the old bones than I have been able to do with color photography.
The relatively gracile (at least compared to the specimen on the 4th floor, see below), yet dynamic mount of Allosaurus in the Grand Rotunda of the AMNH.
The skull of the 4th floor Allosaurus, the famous mount being bent over the chewed vertebral column of an Apatosaurus.
Skull of the “Bear Dog” Amphicyon, a member of the Carnivora from the 4th floor mammal halls. Notice the big saggital crest, the placement of the cheekbones further out from the head, and lack of bone that (while typically not closed at the back) would normally surround the eye. This creature would have had an incredibly powerful bite.
Indeed, the skull of Amphicyon reminded me of that of the creodont Hyaenodon. Again, notice the sagittal crest, the cheekbones placed further out from the skull, and the near lack of bone that would enclose the eye. While smaller than the “Bear Dog,” I still wouldn’t want to cross a Hyaenodon on a bad day.
Compare both those skulls with that of the nimravid Hoplophoneus and you’ll see what I mean. Hoplophoneus doesn’t have as prominent a sagittal crest, and although it still seemed to have large jaw muscles, there isn’t the same degree of reduction of bone surrounding the eye as is seen in the previous two mammals.
And, if you like, you can compare them further still with this Smilodon that had broken off it’s left canine. Such occurrences were likely painful, debilitating, and possibly even eventually fatal, and it makes me wonder if this one died as a result of it’s wound or if it continued to survive for some time longer (which opens up all sorts of questions).
A close-up of a more intact Smilodon.
A stuffed Giant Anteater from the Hall of Biodiversity. I much prefer photographing lives xenarthrans, however.
Apatosaurus is the first sight to grace visitors entering the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs.
The robust neck of Apatosaurus looms high above.
Casts of the sauropod footprints R.T. Bird found in Paluxy, TX.
Apatosaurus from the rear.
The head of Barosaurus, held up to (perhaps literally) dizzying heights.
One of the forelimbs of Barosaurus, held out threateningly at the Allosaurus in the first photo.
The head of a mini-reconstruction of Barosaurus.
The juvenile Stegosaurus model was pretty impressive, too.
A skull of Camarasaurus.
One of the largest self-contained “bioshpheres” I have ever seen. The little dots are shrimp.
One of the most wonderfully preserved (and in my opinion, publicly unappreciated) skeletons every found; a complete and articulated Corythosaurus with skin impressions, collected from the Red Deer River region of Canada.
A juvenile hadrosaur, probably either Corythosaurus or Lambeosaurus. I ran back and forth looking at skulls to try and figure it out, but the skull of the juvenile is slightly distorted, so (me being without access and a CAT scan at hand) I wasn’t able to confirm or deny my leaning towards my hypothesis of it being a Corythosaurus.
A reconstruction of a Deinonychus skull. I looked at the forearms of the skeleton for signs of feather attachments (as had just been announced for Velociraptor by AMNH scientists) but I couldn’t see any, nor could I get close enough to get a good look.
Outside, one of it’s distant, extant relatives took a sip from a small puddle.
The skull of the synapsid Edaphosaurus.
The toothy jaws of Elasmosaurus.
The famous Giant Squid that spreads its tentacles above the Hall of Biodiversity.
The skull of Gorgosaurus, formerly Albertosaurus (although this specimen was first introduced to me as Gorgosaurus in the first place…)
Perspective on a large, iron meteorite.
One of my most favorite mounts in the entire museum; Prestosuchus.
A close-up of Triceratops.
The most popular dinosaur in the museum, Tyrannosaurus rex.
The crushing jaws of Tyrannosaurus.
A stuffed Leopard, posed over a peacock. This is another animal I would much rather photograph while living.
And last but not least, my little cat Charlotte, silhouetted against the evening light while she watched the birds outside.