The Other Side Pt. 2: Justine Cooper

My friend Don Hoyt Gorman from SEED Magazine sends over Justine Cooper's incredible peek into the "other side" of the American Museum of Natural History. Don's very good at circumnavigating in tall ships, as well as writing, so I'll just steal his captions.

The Carnivore Room in the AMNH's department of Mammalogy houses large cat skins with interesting origins, including one that was tagged "gift of Central Park Zoo, 1944" and another tagged "Lord & Taylor cold storage."

The key to this cafe full of rack mounts was long gone, and so the lock had to be picked so Cooper could gain entry.

A motley crew of specimens wait to have their carpet beetle infestations dealt with by a visit to the -20°C freezer located behind the silver door.

These newspaper-wrapped Cretaceous bones (75-65 million years old) have not been unwrapped since they were excavated nearly 100 years ago.

Be sure to check out Carl Zimmer's great essay on the secret side of natural history museums.


  1. This reminds me of that children's book where the little girl and her brother hide out in a museum- this is the sort of thing they'd spend the night investigating- not the stuff you can see during regular hours...delightful!

  2. Annabelle says:

    Those images are amazing! I used to want to be an archaeologist when I was little, so I guess they stirred past memories something up, too.

    I wonder why those bones haven't been unwrapped in 100 years!?

  3. Giuseppe says:

    Bones a million years old wrapped in newspaper 100 years old?

    Double awesome!

  4. Andrew says:

    Richard Fortey's Dry Storeroom No. 1 goes behind the scenes at the London Natural History Museum
    Supposed to be good; it's on my list.

  5. Caroline says:

    Wow...behind the scenes seems to be more interesting than what's on display.