New York City Travel
Mammals of the world exhibits and permanent collections in the museum. Guide and description for visitors.    
 
 
American Museum of Natural History.

SOUTHWEST WING
MAMMALS OF THE WORLD

At the entrance of this hall of the American Museum of Natural History is a well mounted specimen of "Hannibal," an African lion.
The exhibit is designed primarily as an introduction to the study of the orders and families of Mammals* and to indicate the relationships of existing mammals to one an-other and their point of origin in the past. The series includes a typical or characteristic example of every family of existing mammals. A line is drawn from each specimen to a diagrammatic representation of the later geologic periods—Tertiary and Quaternary—indicating the time in the world's history at which the given family probably originated. The visitor should examine first the wall case on the left containing specimens illustrating the Characters and Evolutionary Rank of Mammals and follow the series around the room. It has been so arranged as to present in graphic form the past history and development of the principal divisions.

The class Mammalia is divided into three subclasses: Prototheria, Metatheria and Eutheria.

The first contains a single order, Monotremata, represented by the duck-billed Platypus and Echidna (spiny anteater) of Australia.
The second likewise contains a single order, Marsupialia, or pouched animals, like opossums, kangaroos, wombats, etc.

The third subclass in the mammals is the largest and most important and embraces Insectivora, the insect eaters, like porcupines, shrews and moles; Chiroptera, the bats; Carnivora, flesh-eating mammals, like bears, ocelots, wolves, coyotes, martens, hyenas, walruses, seals, etc.; Rodentia, the gnawers, including squirrels, rabbits, mice, rats, beavers, etc.; Edentata, such as sloths, lesser anteaters and armadillos; Ungulata, a very important group of hoofed animals, containing deer, tapirs, rhinoceroses, horses, swine, camels, cattle, giraffes, goats, sheep and a few others; Proboscidea, elephants, extinct mammoth, mastodon, etc.; Sirenia, dugongs and manatees; Cetacea, whales and dolphins; Primates, the highest order, comprising lemurs, monkeys, apes and man.
 
In another part of this hall of the
American Museum of Natural History of the mammals is a life-size model of a sulphurhottom whale seventy-six feet in length. Attached to one of the pillars may be seen a model of a whale's head showing the whalebone, which takes the place of teeth and hangs in great plates from the inside of the upper jaw. Suspended from the ceiling are models of other whalebone whales and of the toothed sperm whale, and skeletons of smaller whales.

Circling the hall is a marine mural frieze which serves as a background for models of porpoises, dolphins and other members of the whale family.

In the railing cases are exhibits which give the visitor a general view of the enormous Class of Insects. There is a special exhibit of the Butterflies' Found Near New York City, another of the "Moths of the Limberlost" and one of the Plant Galls Caused by Insects.
 

 

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