My Trip to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
December 15, 2021

My Trip to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Anindya Ghosh

Anindya Ghosh

Author

The Los Angeles Museum of Natural History is world class, (https://nhmlac.org/) family-friendly outing. It has tons of dinosaur fossil, rare stone and seasonal exhibits. It hosts many events that range from live DJ's, to educational events for children. https://nhmlac.org/calendar

According to their website: https://nhmlac.org/about-us, they have over 35 million specimens and artifacts. According to their Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_History_Museum_of_Los_Angeles_County, the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History was opened in 1913! There are three floors of exhibits.

See some pics from my visit below:

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Microline, Var. amazonite, with albite

Ten-Percenter mine, Teller County, Colorado

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METAMORPHIC

Metamorphic rocks are igneous or sedimentary socks that have undergone change by the effects of pressure and, or heat beneath the surface of the earth. The folding of large masses of rocks, as in mountain building, results in the formation of high pressure, low temperature minerals such as jadeite and garnet. Hot volatile-rich magma may intrude into the earth's crust and alter the surrounding rock to form “skarn zones" and such minerals as epidote.


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MALACHITE

Copper Queen mine, Bisboo, Arizona

Gift from Men Hindi

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Most minerals are found in the crust of the earth which is the 5-40 mile outer layer of this planet. The crust is ever changing. There are three basic changing environments in which minerals are forming: Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic as depicted in this large cutaway block diagram of the earth's crust.

IGNEOUS:

Igneous rocks were once hot molten magma, which erupted as volcanoes and associated lava flows on the earth's surface, or as intrusive magma chambers which cooled far below the earth's surface. Sulfur is commonly formed by volcanic activity. Amazonite and tourmaline are characteristically found in pegmatite, associated with intrusive granitic plutons.

SEDIMENTARY:

Sedimentary rocks are made up of material derived from the breakdown of pre-existing rocks Rocks exposed to water and air at the earth's surface undergo chemical or physical break down, destroying some minerals and forming new ones Colemanite, halite, gypsum and opal are all products of sedimentary processes.

METAMORPHIC:

Metamorphic rocks are igneous or sedimentary Rocks that have undergone change by the effects of pressure and/or heat beneath the surface of the earth. The folding of large masses of focks, as in mountain building, results in the formation of high pressure, low temperature minerals such as jadeite and garnet. Hot volatile-rich magma may intrude into the earth's crust and alter the surrounding rock to form "skarn zones" and such minerals as epidote.

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RUBY EAGLE

Ruby corundum. 14K

gold on quartz base

Carved in Germany (late 20th Century)

Human Beverly Savinar Collection


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TOURMALINE BIRD BROOCH

Elbaite tourmaline 140 gold

on quarta bone

Carved in Germany (late 20th Century)

Human Beverly Savinar Collection

NEPHRITE

Pernalo Figure

China (20th Century)

NEPHRITE

Covered Vase

China (late 19th Century)

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NEPHRITE

Resonant Stone

China (18th Century)

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The exhibit was made possible by Dr. S. Jerome and Judith D. Tamkin and The Tamkin Foundation in honor of their grandchildren Evan AND Erin Harmn Andrew and Lina Litvak William Catlett and the present and future grandchildren of the County of Los Angeles.

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ARTINITE

New Idria district,

San Benito County

Gift from Kay Robertson

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SVANBERGITE

Champion mine,

White Mts., Mono County

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COAST RANGES

The Coast Ranges extend parallel to the Pacine coast trom north of the California Oregon border to north of Santa Barbara These mountains have resulted from the collision between the North American Content and the Pacific Ocean or the heat and prese produced from the collision caused many changes metamorphism in the earlier rocks and generated hydrothermal solutions Most of the mineral deposits in the Coast Ranges were formed by metamorphism nephriadel or hydrothermal solution.

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THE MINERALS OF CALIFORNIA

California is blessed with a remarkable diversity of mineral deposits. More than 800 different minerals have been found in California. Many of these were first discovered in this state and some are found nowhere else. This exhibit displays some of California's most beautiful minerals,grouped by geologic province.

GEOLOGIC PROVINCES

Northern Highlands

Coast Ranges

Great Valley

Sierra Nevada

Desert Regions

Transverse Ranges

Peninsular Ranges

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WYOMING JADE

One of the most important jade producing regions in the Western Hemisphere is in south central Wyoming. Boulders nephrite jade, varying from bright green to the olive green to almost black, have been strewn across this vast desert region. Jade pebbles were first picked up in 1908 by cowboys rooming the hills in the area. This two-ton boulder, one of the largest known, exhibits the reddish brown Weathered skin typical of neph from the area west of Lander, Wyoming Sanding and polishing courtesy of The Gem & Mineral Council.

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RHODOCHROSITE ON QUARTZ & SULFIDES

Hedge Hog Pocket Sweet Home Mine

Alma Colorado USA

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APATITE with Spessartine

Little Three mine,

Ramona, San Diego County

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TOPAZ on Albite with Quartz

Little Three mine, Ramona San Diego County

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LEPIDOLITE

Ware mine. Aguanga Min.,

San Diego County

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ELBAITE TOURMALINE on Quartz

Tourmaline Queen mine, Pala, San Diego County Deutsch Fund purchase

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ELBAITE TOURMALINE

Lithia Dyke, Cahuilla Min.,

Riverside County

Chromy Collection

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PYRITE

Darwin, Inyo County

Gift from Kay Robertson

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WULFENITE

Darwin, Inyo County

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SCHORL

Hunter Mountain, Inyo County

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QUARTZ, var Amethyst

Kingston Range, San Bernardino County

Gift from the California Institute of Technology

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VANADINITE

Mibladen, Morocco

Gift from Mr. & Mrs. Hyman Savinar

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DIOPTASE

Tsumeb, Namibia

Robert and Nancy Steinberg gift

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CASSITERITE

Araca, La Paz, Bolivia

Morphet Collection

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Cape buffalo

Syncerus caffer (Sparrman, 1779)

SCENE : Waterhole near the Tana River, Kenya.

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Guereza

Colobus guereza Rüppell, 1835

SCENE: Tropical rain forest, northern Aberdare Mountains, Kenya.

SPONSOR: John Jewett Garland

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Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger (Harris, 1838)

SCENE: Munyati Valley, Zimbabwe.

SPONSORS: Leslie Simson and Dean Witter

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Spotted hyena

Crocuta crocuta (Erxleben, 1777)

SCENE: Serengeti Plain, Tanzania.

SPONSOR: Leslie Simson

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Natural History Museum taxidermist Tim Bovard shows the shoulder bone used to sculpt the new lioness forms.

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Lion

Panthera leo

SCENE: Maswa Game Reserve, Tanzania

SPONSOR: Thornton N. Snider

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Arabian oryx

Ora leucoryx (Pallas, 1777)

SCENE: Rub el Khali, southern Saudi Arabia.

SPONSOR: Maurice A. Machris and the Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation

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KYANITE

Vitrefrax Hill, Imperial County

Gift from Richard Thomssen

SCHEELITE

Darwin, Inyo County

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QUARTZ, var. Chalcedony

Turtle Mountains, San Bernardino County

Gift from Norman Hoefler

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QUARTZ, var Smoky

Dogtooth Peak, Fresno County

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Western lowland gorilla

Gorilla gorilla gorilla (Savage and Wyman, 1847)

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Bongo

Tragelaphus eurycerus (Ogilby, 1837)

SCENE: Bamboo forest belt, Aberdare Mountains, Kenya.

SPONSOR: Dr. Purvis L. Martin

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Black rhinoceros

Diceros bicornis (Linnaeus, 1758)

SCENE: Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

SPONSORS: John Jewett Garland and the Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation

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Ratel or honey badger

Melivora capensis (Schreber, 1776)

SCENE: Serengeti Plain, Tanzania.

SPONSOR: Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation

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African elephant

Loxodonta africana Blumenbach, 1797

SCENE: Waterhole near the Tana River, Kenya.

SPONSORS: Maurice A. Machris and the Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation

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Immense in size and bizarre in appearance, dinosaurs are wrapped in mystery and lost in time. We piece together clues we find in dinosaur fossils to bring these puzzling animals to life.

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Jane G. Pisano

Dinosaur Hall

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Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus amphibius (Linnaeus, 1758)

SCENE: Athi River, Kenya.

SPONSOR: John Jewett Garland

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Sitatunga

Tragelaphus spekei Speke, 1863

SCENE: Swamp near Lake Victoria, Kenya.

SPONSOR: Leslie Simson

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Chimpanzee

Pan troglodytes (Blumenbach, 1775)

SCENE: Mahale Mountains, Tanzania.

SPONSORS: Maurice A. Machris and Thornton N. Snider

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Theropoda

Predatory dinosaur

Footprints of predatory dinosaurs show the long toes and narrow feet that characterized these animals.

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A longneck's long arm bone

Brachiosaurus were among the tallest dinosaurs. These enormous animals had forelimbs longer than their hindlimbs. With their long necks, they were well suited for cropping plants high above ground. This fossil is just the upper arm bone. Imagine the size of this colossal dinosaur!


Brachiosauridae

Long-necked dinosaur

SPECIMEN: Arm bone

AGE: Approximately 150 million years old

LOCATION: Utah, USA

ACQUISITION: Thornbury Dinosaur Expedition 2008. Collected from BLM land, Utah.

CATALOG: LACM 154064

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Adaptations for lightness

These gigantic backbones have fossilized and therefore are extremely heavy. In life, the backbones of long-necked dinosaurs had hollows and struts that kept bones lightweight yet very strong. Even with such adaptations for lightness, the biggest longnecks may have weighed more than 50 tons! When we were in the field, we encased these fossils in layers of burlap and plaster. This jacket protected them when we transported them back to the Museum.

Sauropoda

Long-necked dinosaur

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NEPHRITE

Candlestick Holder

China (18” Century)

On from word Dominik

NEPHRITE

Covered Vase

China (Late 19 Century)

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Ammonites

Many ammonites - invertebrates related to squid and octopuses-had curled shells like the animal above. Others had long, tapered shells. Most swam through the water using jet propulsion. Their shells had chambers - the animal lived in the largest, and the others provided buoyancy. We find some ammonite fossils with the tooth marks of giant marine reptiles.

Birds

Many kinds of birds lived along the Western Interior Seaway. Hesperomis, a large diving bird, had a long, torpedo-like body. Its sharp teeth help it catch fish as it propels itself through the water with its powerful legs. Up to 5 feet tall, Hesperomis was larger than the modern emperor penguin.

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INVESTIGATING STANCE

Triceratops posture

Scientists face challenges in figuring out how dinosaurs stood. Sometimes we find fossils arranged exactly how they were in an animal's body. But usually bones are scattered or missing, and we have to look for other clues. Today, based on decades of field and laboratory research and new discoveries, we have a much clearer understanding of dinosaur posture.

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JADEITE

Covered Vase

China (Late 19th Century)

JADEITE

Covered Vase

China (19 or 20" Century)

from George Hodge

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Other invertebrates

In addition to ammonites, many different types of invertebrates (animals without backbones) thrived in the tropical waters of the Western Interior Seaway. Clams - some of them up to 4 feet wide – were very diverse, and crinoids (sea lilies) were abundant. Some sea lilies formed "thickets" on the seafloor. Others lacked a stem and were able to live adrift in marine waters.

Clam

Inoceramus

AGE: 78-72 million years old

LOCATIO : Montana, USA

CATALOG: LACMIP 27090-1

Sea lilies

Uintacrinus socialis

AGE: 87-82 million years old

LOCATION: Kansas, USA

CATALOG: LACMIP 10875

Snail

Buccinidae

AGE: 78-72 million years old

LOCATION: Montana, USA

CATALOG: LACMIP 8059-1

Clam

Cremnoceramus deformis

AGE: 87-82 million years old

LOCATION: Kansas, USA

CATALOG: LACMIP 1331-1

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Living relatives of Tyrannosaurus provide parental care

Birds are the living descendants of dinosaurs; crocodiles are also close relatives. Since birds and crocodiles care for their young, we can infer that dinosaurs did so as well.

Like birds, Tyrannosaurus may have built nests and brooded their eggs until they hatched.

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EXPLORING DINOSAUR DIVERSITY

Weird and wonderful Many dinosaurs had features that look downright weird to us. What roles did frills, head crests, and long spine play in dinosaur survival? Some surely served to protect others to attract mates or warn off rivals. We may never know. But the fact they existed hints at specialized styles and highlights the great diversity of dinosaurs.

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Meet Thomas the T. rex

Thomas, the largest T. rex on this platform, is one of the 10 most complete T. rex specimens ever found. Fewer than 50 partially complete skeletons have been discovered - and four of them are right here at the Natural History Museum! So far, there is no way to tell if Thomas was male or female. So why “Thomas"? In 2003, high school teacher Robert Curry discovered T. rex fossils poking out of the ground in a remote part of Montana. He named the animal after his brother Thomas, who had shared his love for fossil-hunting ever since they were young boys.

THE REAL THING

This fossil toe bone belonged to a grown-up T. rex. Go ahead touch it!

Tyrannosaurus rex

Predatory dinosaur

This real fossil is more than 10 times older than the human lineage. Touch this toe bone and imagine the vast span of time separates us from this mighty predator.

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Ammonites

Many ammonites - invertebrates related to squid and octopuses - had curled shells like the animal above. Others had long, tapered shells. Most swam through the water using jet propulsion. Their shells had chambers - the animal lived in the largest, and the others provided buoyancy. We find some ammonite fossils with the tooth marks of giant marine reptiles.

Ammonite

Placenticeras

AGE: 78-72 million years old

LOCATION: South Dakota, USA

CATALOG: LACMIP 6746-1

Ammonite

Placenticeras

AGE: 75-72 million years old

LOCATION: Montana, USA

CATALOG: LACMIP 6745-1

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WULFENITE

Glove mine, Amado, Arizona

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Vast layers of chalk, limestone, and shale underlie much of the midwestern United States and central Canada. They formed from sediments on the floor of the Western Interior Seaway, an inland ocean that split North America in two during the last 30 million years of the Age of Dinosaurs, 100 million years ago. Fossils preserved in the ancient layers of chank and shale reveal a rich marine ecosystem.

Fish

From sharks to gars and several extinct groups, the Western Interior Seaway hosted a wide range of fish. Some fish migrated between salt and brackish water, while many lived their entire lives in the salty water of this seaway. Among the most notable fish were the fearsome Xiphactinus, which reached up to 18 feet in length, and the skinny predator Sourodon, which had pointy lower jaws.

Turtles

Different types of mar turtles lived in the Western Interior Scene Some like Toxochelys were modest in size, there's such as Protostega and Archelon constitute largest known turtles, reaching sizes of more in 10 and 13 feet, respectively. These turtles have a complete shell, unlike most modern turns. However, they were fully adapted for living in the ocean.

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Tyrannosaurus rex

Predatory dinosaur

T. rex shared its world with other meat eating dinosaurs, but it was the largest. It ate huge prey, such as duckbills and horned dinosaurs. It also probably scavenged dead animals, including other tyrannosaurs. This skull belonged to a mature adult.

Lambeosaurus lambei

Duck-billed dinosaur

This dinosaur may have browsed in herds on a range of plants, from low shrubs to trees. They ground tough plant material with the large surface formed by blocks of dozens of teeth. When their teeth wore down, they were replaced with new teeth.

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Polycotylus latippinus

Plesiosaur reptile

This specimen shows that plesiosaurs gave birth to a single large baby. Unlike dinosaurs, plesiosaurs gave birth to live young, which indicates that they lived entirely in the water, never venturing onto land. If this baby had been born, it would have been close to 40 percent the size of its mother - which is very unusual in reptiles.

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INVESTIGATING LIFE IN ANCIENT OCEANS

This mother had an unborn baby! It's not often easy to tell from fossils just how ancient animals reproduced. But sometimes, we're lucky enough to find ones that provide direct evidence – and we can see it here in this fossil of a female plesiosaur! Look inside the outline of her body and you can see the remains of a baby. This suggests that these marine predators gave birth to live young.

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Feather-like filaments

Named Tianyulong, this small forest dweller lived some 155 million years ago in what is now northeastern China. Its most notable feature is the row of long, stiff filaments along its back. While we're not sure if they're feathers, they are similar to feather-like structures found in other groups of dinosaurs.

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