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The Museum will be open on Wednesday, January 28, during regular hours, from 10 am to 5:45 pm. Due to the weather, some programs have been cancelled. Please check here for a full list, and check back for regular updates.

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Not Just Another Animal

Before Darwin's time, humans were not considered part of the natural world. People saw that we resembled other animals, especially other primates like the orangutan and the chimpanzee. Still, despite the undeniable similarities between "us" and "them," only a handful of early naturalists classified humans, too, as animals.

In England during the 1700s and early 1800s, few questioned the Biblical story of creation. The prevailing view was that people were created to rule over animals, "over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky." Naturalists could see that, particularly beneath the skin, a chimpanzee looks a lot like a human--but the idea that we might somehow be related to apes was almost unthinkable.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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