Showing blog posts tagged with Paleontology
by AMNH on
For centuries, humans have been fascinated by giant squids, among the largest—and most elusive—living invertebrate species. The Museum's giant squid (Architeuthis kirkii) specimen is one of few housed in a museum in North America, says Curator Neil H. Landman, who studies fossil (and living) invertebrates in the Division of Paleontology.
by AMNH on
Not long ago, a descendant of John William Draper, a celebrated 19th-century naturalist, gave the Museum Draper’s collection of fossils from Whitby, England. The set, mostly ammonites, was neatly stowed in a wooden box along with a handwritten list of contents dated 1844 and a price stamp of 28 shillings.
“It’s a lovely cabinet of curiosities,” says Neil Landman, curator in the Division of Paleontology, who suspects Draper bought the collection whole, perhaps as a gift for his children or because it was “the kind of thing any respectable naturalist would have owned.”
Born in England in 1811, Draper emigrated to the U.S. in 1832 and rose to prominence as a chemist, botanist, historian, and pioneering photographer. He served as president of New York University from 1850 to 1873 and was a founder of the NYU Medical School, where he taught chemistry until a year before his death in 1882.