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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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At a Glance

Written in Bone

The Museum’s Osteology Hall displays bones from the extensive collections in Vertebrate Zoology, including fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Students can observe a variety of skeletons grouped by their evolutionary relationships and see for themselves the comparative anatomy of vertebrates.

Next to the Hall of Bones is the Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians. There, life-size displays illustrate the eating habits, defenses, and locomotion of a variety of reptiles and amphibians. Reptiles on view include a preserved king cobra, reticulated python, and boa constrictors from the Malayan and Amazonian jungles; sea turtles; crocodiles; and lizards.

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Web-based Student Activities

Expedition to Galapagos

The Museum produced the 3D IMAX Film Galapagos, starring Fishes Curator Carole Baldwin. Students can explore the Galapagos with the scientific crew. (The film includes new species found in the Galapagos, a Q&A with Carole, and her personal journal and photo log.)

North American Mammals Bones and Teeth Collection

Students can search the website of North American Mammals to compare and contrast the dental and skeletal features of mammals representing their unique adaptations. Each North American mammal has its own page containing life history and geographic information, specimen photos, scientific illustration, photos of living mammals, recorded vocalizations, and a glossary of scientific terms.

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