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The dry coral collection at the American Museum of Natural History dates back to the late 1800s. Specimens collected by researchers such as Crocker, Emerson and Miner are housed in our collection. Whereas corals and coral reefs were once abundant, global episodic elevated ocean temperatures, increased ocean acidification due to increased burning of fossil fuels and other anthropogenic activities have led to alarming coral population declines in recent years. We recently received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to rehouse our historic coral collection in state of the art cabinets and to image and database the collection so that the coral is protected for years to come and the data is available to researchers.
More about the project can be found here: IMLS Dry Coral Rehousing Project