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The Arthur Ross Terrace will be closed this morning, Tuesday, October 21, for a private cultural observance. You many observe smoke and/or fire coming from the Terrace at that time. The FDNY has been notified in advance, and all safety precautions are in place. The Terrace will reopen at 1 pm.

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There are more species of life in the water than on land.

Whales have two blowholes. Dolphins have only one.

Below 2,000 feet the ocean is completely dark.

Sharks are more ancient than dinosaurs.

A Sea of Questions

Photos: A Sea of Questions: Ian Harrison: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin Mangrove: courtesy of OAR, National Undersea Research Program; Too many examples? Sample! Ian Harrison: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Illustrations: Russell Farrell

Scientists are full of questions. What do they ask when they study an ocean ecosystem?

A Whale of a Tale

Photos: Introductory Page: Melanie Stiassny: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; It All Began in the Oceans: Mark Siddall: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Diversity of Life on Earth: Blue-green alga: courtesy of MIT, Department of Biology, Claire Ting, Giant kelp: courtesy of NOAA, Extreme microbe: courtesy of Universitaet Regensburg, Lehrstuhl Fuer Mikrobiologie, Karl O. Stetter, Tubeworm: courtesy of Pennsylvania State University, Charles Fisher, Spiny lobster: courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, M.G. Harasewych, Red mangrove: courtesy of OAR, National Undersea Research Program, Fungus: courtesy of Steve Newell, Diatom: courtesy of University of Michigan, M.J. Wynne, White marlin: courtesy of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; A Whale of a Tale: Blue whale: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Illustrations: Jim Steck

Read about the Museum's 94-foot long star attraction!

Be an Ocean Helper

Photos: Gabby: courtesy of AMNH

Find out what you can do to protect the oceans and ocean life.

Crazy Camouflage

Photos: Flounder: courtesy of NOAA Sea Grant Program, James P. McVey; Mimic octopus: courtesy of NOAA, Susan Ritman Macdonald; Stonefish: Jeffrey Rosenfeld; Sea dragon: courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, John White; Supplies; What to Do: all photos: courtesy of AMNH

Create a flounder fish that's hard to spot!

Create a Coral Reef

Photos: Brain coral: courtesy of ReefNews, Jonathan Dowell; Fan coral: courtesy of Paul Janosi; Sea anemone: courtesy of California Academy of Sciences; Sponges: courtesy of REVEL Project, University of Washington; Andros Coral Reef: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Supplies, What to Do (all photos); Amy's Extras (all photos): courtesy of AMNH; Illustrations: Sean Murtha

Make a 3D diorama! All you need are pasta, Play-Doh, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and hair curlers.

Dive Into Worlds Within the Sea

Photos: Luke photo: courtesy of Luke; Illustrations: Sean Murtha

Find out what lives in the deep sea, coral reef, and continental shelf?

Diversity of Life on Earth

Photos: Introductory Page: Melanie Stiassny: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; It All Began in the Oceans: Mark Siddall: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Diversity of Life on Earth: Blue-green alga: courtesy of MIT, Department of Biology, Claire Ting, Giant kelp: courtesy of NOAA, Extreme microbe: courtesy of Universitaet Regensburg, Lehrstuhl Fuer Mikrobiologie, Karl O. Stetter, Tubeworm: courtesy of Pennsylvania State University, Charles Fisher, Spiny lobster: courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, M.G. Harasewych, Red mangrove: courtesy of OAR, National Undersea Research Program, Fungus: courtesy of Steve Newell, Diatom: courtesy of University of Michigan, M.J. Wynne, White marlin: courtesy of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; A Whale of a Tale: Blue whale: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Illustrations: Jim Steck

How well do you know the major groups of life on Earth? Take this challenge to find out.

It All Began in the Oceans

Photos: Introductory Page: Melanie Stiassny: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; It All Began in the Oceans: Mark Siddall: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Diversity of Life on Earth: Blue-green alga: courtesy of MIT, Department of Biology, Claire Ting, Giant kelp: courtesy of NOAA, Extreme microbe: courtesy of Universitaet Regensburg, Lehrstuhl Fuer Mikrobiologie, Karl O. Stetter, Tubeworm: courtesy of Pennsylvania State University, Charles Fisher, Spiny lobster: courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, M.G. Harasewych, Red mangrove: courtesy of OAR, National Undersea Research Program, Fungus: courtesy of Steve Newell, Diatom: courtesy of University of Michigan, M.J. Wynne, White marlin: courtesy of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; A Whale of a Tale: Blue whale: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Illustrations: Jim Steck

Examine this timeline to see when different kinds of life emerged.

It Takes All Kinds to Make a World

Photos: Introductory Page: Melanie Stiassny: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; It All Began in the Oceans: Mark Siddall: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Diversity of Life on Earth: Blue-green alga: courtesy of MIT, Department of Biology, Claire Ting, Giant kelp: courtesy of NOAA, Extreme microbe: courtesy of Universitaet Regensburg, Lehrstuhl Fuer Mikrobiologie, Karl O. Stetter, Tubeworm: courtesy of Pennsylvania State University, Charles Fisher, Spiny lobster: courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, M.G. Harasewych, Red mangrove: courtesy of OAR, National Undersea Research Program, Fungus: courtesy of Steve Newell, Diatom: courtesy of University of Michigan, M.J. Wynne, White marlin: courtesy of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; A Whale of a Tale: Blue whale: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Illustrations; Jim Steck

The ocean's one diverse place. Take the surfboard challenge, and ride the waves of biodiversity!

Journey to the Bottom of the Sea

Photos: Adriana Aquino: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Illustations: Jim Paillot

Can you make it down to the ocean floor? Along the way, discover what makes water special.

Make Your Own Marine Biology Stationery

Illustrations: Sean Murtha (Option 1); Eric Hamilton (Option 2); Jim Paillot (Option 3)

Send a note to a friend with these watery letterheads.

Meet the OLogist: Melanie Stiassny

Photos: Natural History Museum, Charles Darwin: courtesy of The Natural History Museum, London; Cichlid and babies, Children fishing, Melanie and helpers, Testing water, Melanie's nets, New species, Melanie and colleague, ET's fish, Melanie fishing: courtesy of AMNH, Melanie Stiassny; Fish collections, Type specimen: courtesy of AMNH; Seagrass meadow: courtesy of NOAA, Heather Dine; Mary Kingsley: courtesy of West African Study, Mcmillian, London; Dolphins: courtesy of Golden State Images; Oil spill: courtesy of NOAA; Restoration Center, Passenger pigeon: courtesy of AMNH, Sharon Simpson; Beach cleanup: courtesy of NOAA; Restoration Research Program; Mangrove: courtesy of OAR, National Undersea Research Program; Binoculars: courtesy of National Park Service

Dive into the oceans with Melanie.

Meet the Marine BiOLogists

Photos: Melanie Stiassny pages: Natural History Museum, Charles Darwin: courtesy of The Natural History Museum, London; Cichlid and babies, Children fishing, Melanie and helpers, Testing water, Melanie's nets, New species, Melanie and colleague, ET's fish, Melanie fishing: courtesy of AMNH, Melanie Stiassny; Fish collections, Type specimen: courtesy of AMNH; Seagrass meadow: courtesy of NOAA, Heather Dine; Mary Kingsley: courtesy of West African Study, Mcmillian, London; Dolphins: courtesy of Golden State Images; Oil spill: courtesy of NOAA; Restoration Center, Passenger pigeon: courtesy of AMNH, Sharon Simpson; Beach cleanup: courtesy of NOAA; Restoration Research Program; Mangrove: courtesy of OAR, National Undersea Research Program; Binoculars: courtesy of National Park Service; Kids: Gabby: courtesy of AMNH; All photos of Luke and Gwyneth: courtesy of the subjects; Black turnstone: courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, Antonio J. Ferreira; Nene: courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, John White; Harbor seal: courtesy of National Marine Fisheries Service, NEFSC; Illustrations: Common Dolphin: Sean Murtha

Dive into the oceans with Melanie, Gabriela, Gwyneth, and Luke.

Ocean Books

Dive into the oceans with these 12 books.

Ocean Creature Feature

Photos: Striped bass courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Orange roughy: courtesy of NOAA, Ocean Explorer; Sea otter: courtesy of USGS, R. Mattison; Giant sea spider: courtesy of AMNH, Norbert Wu; Triton trumpet: courtesy of National Marine Fisheries Service, Andrew Bruckner; Snowy egret: courtesy of AMNH Department of Library Services; Brown pelican: courtesy of NOAA; Giant tube worms: courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

What adaptations help these creatures survive?

Rubber Blubber Gloves

Photos: Pilot whale: courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, John H. Tashjian; Supplies; What to Do: all photos: courtesy of AMNH

How do whales and walruses stay warm in chilly waters? Grab some gloves and find out.

Slowing the Flow

All photos: courtesy of AMNH

How do mammals respond to cold water? Take the plunge into icy water and find out.

Test Density with a Supersaturated Solution

Photos: Dead Sea: courtesy of Frieda Supplies; What to Do: courtesy of AMNH

Do freshwater and saltwater mix? Find out in this experiement.

They Glow!

Photos: Flashlight fish: courtesy of John E. Randall; Lanternfish: Monterey Bay Aquarium; Bioluminescence animation: Armistead Booker

Discover how these deep sea creatures create their own light!

Tide Poll

Photos: Earth oceans: courtesy of NASA, GSFC, SeaWiFs Project; Moon: courtesy of NASA, JPL, Galileo Project; Cichlid and babies: courtesy of AMNH, Melanie Stiassny; Coelacanth: courtesy of Johnny Jensen; Humpback whale: courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, Jim O'Brien; Orange roughy: courtesy of NOAA, Ocean Explorer; Snipe eel: courtesy of Planet Poster Editions; Cock-eyed squid: courtesy of Tree of Life Web Project; Dolphins: courtesy of Golden State Images; Trash: courtesy of NREL, Mike Linenberger; Dried seahorses, Toothbrush, Tap water: courtesy of AMNH; Global warming: courtesy of NCAR, Robert M. Chervin; Dolphin-safe tuna: courtesy of U.S. Department of Commerce; Sea dragon, Spiny lobster, Horseshoe crab: courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, John White Flounder: courtesy of NOAA; Sea Grant Program, James P. McVey; Mimic octopus: courtesy of NOAA, Susan Ritman Macdonald; Nudibranch, Kelp forest: courtesy of Ian Skipworth; California Sea lion: courtesy of Hoss Firooznia; Harbor Seal, Humpback whale, Elephant seal: courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, Gerald and Buff Corsi; Mudskipper: courtesy of EcologyAsia.com, Nick Baker; Feather duster worms: courtesy of NOAA, Chris Gotschalk; Florida Keys: courtesy of NOAA, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; Andros Coral Reef: courtesy of NOAA, Ken Marks; Great Barrier Reef: courtesy of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Ray Berkelmans; Hawaii: courtesy of NOAA, Jennifer Smith; Blue whale: courtesy of Mike Johnson; Giant sea spider: courtesy of AMNH, Norbert Wu; Brown pelican: courtesy of NOAA; Blue-ringed octopus: courtesy of Roy Caldwell; Flashlight fish: courtesy of John E. Randall; Bearded fireworm: courtesy of Duane Zehr; Illustrations: Bacteria, Giant squid: Eric Hamilton; Cookie cutter shark, Lantern fish, Continental shelf, Coral reef, Deep sea: Sean Murtha

Make your opinion count!

What Do You Know About Marine Biology?

Test your knowledge about our watery world with this quiz.

What's the Big Idea About Marine Biology?

Photos: Alvin: courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; Seagrass meadow: courtesy of NOAA, Heather Dine Florida seagrass map: courtesy of Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Kelp: courtesy of Ian Skipworth; Harbor Seal: courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, Gerald and Buff Corsi; Lateral Lines: courtesy of AMNH Department of Library Services; Dolphins: courtesy of Golden State Images; Ocean helpers: courtesy of Charlene Joachim, Margo Henderson; Illustrations: Bacteria, Blue whale and argentinasaurus, Ocean zones, Continental shelf: Eric Hamilton; Common dolphins, Comb jelly, Zooplankton: Sean Murtha; Vertical migration: courtesy of Debbie Steinberg, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

There are so many ways and places to live in the oceans. Discover its wonders and importance.

What's This?

Photos: Frozen Tissue Collection: All specimens from the Frozen Tissue Collection, frilled leaf-tailed gecko: AMNH / Denis Finnin cryovat, test tubes: AMNH / Craig Chesek humpback whale: John J. Mosesso / NBII coyote: AMNH; Gold: gold sheet mouflon, miniature sacrificial figurine, Spanish coins: AMNH / Craig Chesek Inca necklace: AMNH / Denis Finnin Eureka Bar: AMNH / Roderick Mickens astronaut in space: NASA computer chip: stock.xchng; Leeches: jaw: Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc. bite mark: Geoff Tompkinson / Photo Researchers, Inc. leech feeding on snail: Edward Hendrycks, reproduce courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Nature leeches before and after blood meal, leeches on foot, American Medicinal Leech, Malagobdella vagans, Mark Siddall in swamp: courtesy of Mark Siddall; Dioramas: AMNH / Roderick Mickens; Mythic Creatures: All photos courtesy of American Museum of Natural History; Vietnam: pygmi loris, Tonkin snub-nosed monkey: Tilo Nadler / Frankfurt Zoological Society Oriental pit viper: Robert W. Murphy / Royal Ontario Museum scientists with camera trap: Kevin Frey / AMNH Center for Biodiversity and Conservation saola: European Commission, Social Forestry and Nature Conservation

Can you tell the difference between a leech's jaw and its back sucker? 

Work the System!

Photos: A Sea of Questions: Ian Harrison: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin Mangrove: courtesy of OAR, National Undersea Research Program; Too many examples? Sample! Ian Harrison: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin; Illustrations: Russell Farrell

Grab the magical magnifying glass and take a close look at what's living in the mangroves.

Make Your Own Creatures of Light

Create land and sea animals that "glow" in the dark!

In Pictures: Fascinating Fish

Photos: &copy AMNH/Melanie Stiasnny

Check out these fascinating fish from Africa's lower Congo River.

Journey to Deep Sea Vents

Photos: Ro Kinzler: courtesy of AMNH; Illustrations: Alvin exterior and interior, school of fish, jellyfish, deep-sea angler fish: Ned Shaw; deep sea vents and animals: Kathy Konkle

All aboard! Hop on a submersible and explore an amazing diversity of life at the ocean floor.

Humpback Whale Journal

Photos: George Barrowclough: courtesy of R.J. Gutierrez; Humpback whales, Howard Rosenbaum: courtesy of Peter J. Ersts, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, AMNH; Owl: John and Karen Hollingsworth, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Yael Wyner: courtesy of Yael Wyner; Joel Cracraft: courtesy of Joel Cracraft; Sumatran Tiger: courtesy of Jessie Cohen, Smithsonian's National Zoo; Lemur: courtesy of Duke University Primate Center; Daniela Calcagnotto: Courtesy of Daniela Calcagnotto; Pacu: courtesy of Leonard Lovshin, Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, Auburn University; St. Vincent parrots, Mike Russello: courtesy of Mike Russello; Illustrations: Louis Pappas, Steve Thurston, Eric Hamilton

Join scientist Howard Rosenbaum on a journey to Madagascar where you'll meet a species of whales with fingerprint-like tails.

Living on Ice

Video: "Polar bears weather the winter": Footage by David O. Brown, courtesy of the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; "Polar bears need ice to survive": Footage by David O. Brown, courtesy of the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; "An Inuit man sees changes": Footage courtesy of the International Institute of Sustainable Development; "Arctic sea ice is shrinking": Images created using data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center; Illustrations: Polar bear illustrations by Chris Burda

Solve these interactive story puzzles to find out how people and other animals live in the Arctic.

Be a Water Saver

Simple things that you can do to help protect fresh water and the living things that depend on it.

Arctic Story Puzzles

Illustrations: Eric Hamilton

Solve these story puzzles to find out more about how life in the Arctic is affected by climate change. 

Around the World with DNA

Photos: George Barrowclough: courtesy of R.J. Gutierrez; Humpback whales, Howard Rosenbaum: courtesy of Peter J. Ersts, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, AMNH; Owl: John and Karen Hollingsworth, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Yael Wyner: courtesy of Yael Wyner; Joel Cracraft: courtesy of Joel Cracraft; Sumatran Tiger: courtesy of Jessie Cohen, Smithsonian's National Zoo; Lemur: courtesy of Duke University Primate Center; Daniela Calcagnotto: Courtesy of Daniela Calcagnotto; Pacu: courtesy of Leonard Lovshin, Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, Auburn University; St. Vincent parrots, Mike Russello: courtesy of Mike Russello; Illustrations: Louis Pappas, Steve Thurston, Eric Hamilton

Travel around the world with museum scientists: from Madagascar to the Western U.S. to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

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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