The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






National Museum of Natural History

The National Museum of Natural History is a museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, USA.

Established in 1910, the museum's collections total over 125 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and human cultural artifacts. The museum is the second most popular of all of the Smithsonian museums. Notable exhibits on the first floor (mall entrance) include the Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals, which displays preserved pelts of mammals throughout the world, some of which were collected by former president Theodore Roosevelt. Also located on the first floor is the Hall of Dinosaurs. Adjacent to the dinosaur collection are exhibits which detail the evolution of life on Earth, going as far back as the Pre-Cambrian. The first floor also has many artifacts from non-western cultures. The second floor contains the National Gem collection, which includes the Hope Diamond. Also on the second floor is the Orkin Insect Zoo. The ground floor contains a gift store, cafeteria, and an auditorium. The only notable exhibit on the ground floor is a collection of over 100 bird species which inhabit the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

The museum is also home to about 185 professional natural history scientists, the largest group of scientists dedicated to the study of the natural and cultural history in the world.

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Last updated: 05-16-2005 21:35:13