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NYC - AMNH: Milstein Hall of Ocean Life - Sargasso Sea | by wallyg
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NYC - AMNH: Milstein Hall of Ocean Life - Sargasso Sea

This diorama depicts the Sargasso Sea, which is located in the North Atlantic Ocean and bound by four currents, that together form a circulating ocean stream called a gyre. The floating algae of the Sargasso Sea offers food and shelter for hundreds of animal species. Small invertebrates cling to the sargassum, attracting large predators, whose waste in turn fertilizes the algae. The ocean currents that cause sargassum also sweep up drifting animals such as the Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis). Feeding on its stinging tentacles, which do not harm them, are small man-of-war fish (Nomeus gronovii). When a loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) approaches, the fleeing fish are attacked by dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus).


The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life opened on the first floor of the American Museum of Natural History in 1933. The upper level of the hall exhibits a variety of ocean ecosystems. The lower half consists of fourteen large dioramas of larger marine organisms. In 1969, the two-floor, 29,000-square foot hall was renovated and given its centerpiece—a 94-foot long, 21,000-pound fiberglass model of a female blue whale, suspended from the ceiling behind its dorsal fin.


The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), located at Central Park West and 79th Street, comprises of 28 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library, across 2-million square feet. The collections contain over 33 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts. Founded in 1869, the museum opened in the original Victorian Gothic building designed by J. Wrey Mould in 1877. A southern expansion, a rusticated Richardsonian Romanesque by J. Cleveland Cady, extends 700 feet along West 77th Street and in 1936, John Russell Pope added the overscaled Beaux Arts entrance on Central Park West.


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Taken on February 4, 2017