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НазваThe American Museum of Natural History (реферат)
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The American Museum

 

When the American Museum of Natural History opened to the public on

April 6, 1869, a few hundred mounted birds and mammals were on view.

Today it is home to vast collections of insects, invertebrates, fish,

amphibians, reptiles, anthropological artifacts, and more fossil mammals

and dinosaurs than any other museum in the world. It has over 200

working scientists and welcomes millions of visitors each year.

 

INCLUDEPICTURE \d "history.files/armory.gif" INCLUDEPICTURE \d

"history.files/f.gif" Founded by a young Harvard graduate named Albert

Bickmore, the Museum swiftly outgrew the Arsenal Building in Central

Park. On June 2, 1874, President Ulysses S. Grant laid the cornerstone

for the Museum's permanent home in what would become known as Museum

Park. The site now houses twenty-three buildings, including the Theodore

Roosevelt Memorial on Central Park West and the Hayden Planetarium,

which will reopen in 2000 as part of the new Rose Center for Earth and

Space.

 

Both within these walls and far, far beyond them, the American Museum of

Natural History has pioneered scientific research and discovery, a

process characterized by scientists of great vision and nerve. One was

Henry Fairfield Osborn, whose fossil hunters raced West in the 1890s.

 

INCLUDEPICTURE \d "history.files/osbourne.gif"

 

Roy Chapman Andrew's famous Central Asiatic Expeditions found dinosaur

eggs in the Gobi Desert in 1935.

 

Another legendary museum figure was scientist, explorer, writer, and

teacher Margaret Mead, whose dedication to exploring the history of life

and what it means to be human exemplifies the Museum's ongoing purpose.

 

The 25-foot-long male giant squid (Architeuthis kirkii) weighs 250

pounds and came to the Museum in 1998 from New Zealand's National

Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

 

The squid's arrival in June 1998 attracted considerable attention

because so little is known about these mysterious creatures. Giant squid

live at least a mile below the ocean's surface, and they have never been

seen alive.

 

Of the dozens of squid species of large squid in the oceans, none comes

close to the giant squid in size. It remains the stuff of nightmares and

lurks as a sea monster in literature like Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues

Under the Sea.

 

"The giant squid is the largest invertebrate on Earth, and a member of

the class Cephalopoda, which includes octopus, nautilus, and extinct

ammonites," said Neil Landman, curator in the Division of Paleontology.

"It has the largest eyes in the animal kingdom - this one's eyes are six

inches across. It also has a huge, parrotlike beak that it uses to rip

chunks of flesh from its prey, probably fish. The squid has eight arms

and two long tentacles, all equipped with toothed sucker rings. The

mantle, or main body cavity of the Museum's specimen is 4 feet long, the

head and arms are another 6 feet, and the two tentacles extend 15 feet

beyond the end of the arms."

 

The Museum's squid was caught accidentally in late 1997, by a fishing

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