Hall of Mammals and Iridescence

More sets from the Harvard Museum of Natural History. The Hall of Mammals was my favorite room – classic in both layout and contents. There were other exhibits that were better, educationally and aesthetically, but taken as a whole this room took the prize.


Mammal set here.

The Hall of Mammals also contained a lot bird mounts, as did the South American Animals room. There was a wall of hummingbird mounts in the South American room – I managed to capture this bit of iridescence:


Bird set here.

6 thoughts on “Hall of Mammals and Iridescence

  1. Glad to see that they have resisted temptations to modernize and it is still a “cabinet museum.” Steven Jay Gould and Oliver Sacks wrote good essays in praise of such and Jonathan Kingdon spoke of it. How better to see biodiversity and evolutionary ditto?

    Libby said “Did he photograph the Argus pheasant?” You DID photo our favorite I think, but called it a Peacock pheasant, which has similar “3D” ball markings. Was it the huge one displaying in its own case?

    You also got my other favorite display, the hummingbird case, and my favorite bird of all in the world bar Goshawks and “Great falcons”, the Satyr tragopan– well, maybe a tie with Temminck’s!

    Anyway, many thanks.

  2. It was the huge one in it’s own case (and I corrected my label on the photo – did it from (bad) memory – didn’t pull my Beebe out). I had a heck of a time dealing with focus and reflections – next time, I’m just going to sit and look.

    Check out the comment on the hummingbird case picture – I’m not sure what of make of it – funny or serious?

    Coincidentally, the day before I went down to Cambridge, an artist whose Flickrstream I’d been following for all of a week posted this. Notice the flicker and the tragopan together – just as in the Harvard case – and she’s in Chicago – go figure.

    Couldn’t agree more about the Hall of Mammals – it’s similar in some ways to a library with open stacks. You’re free to look, make your own connections, etc. And there’s something about the hall with balcony setup that’s just right.

  3. Saw that comment– I think she assumes they were hunted as trophies or something. Scientific collecting is not well- understood.

    I agree that the artist’s bird is an Osprey– have handled enough Gyrs and half Gyrs and 3/4 Gyrs!

    I might add that “Great falcon” was an old term for the Gyr and Saker together– perhaps more taxonomically valid than scholars in intervening times knew.

  4. I didn’t know the phrase “Great falcon” – thanks! Your gyr/saker posts have got me drooling – hmm…

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