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The Museum of Natural History in London is one of the oldest and most respected science museums in the world. Built in 1881, even the building itself is a work of art; the exterior terracotta walls display relief carvings of past and present life, the interior ceiling contains detailed paintings of plants from around the world, and even the interior columns are modeled after the bark of extinct trees. Home of a vast collection of some 70 million specimens, the Museum remains a center of scientific research.

These photos were taken during a visit in 2011.

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The Museum of Natural History

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The Rotunda

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Me and Chuckie Darwin in the Museum Rotunda

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The Rotunda columns, patterned after the bark of extinct trees

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Diplodocus, donated to the Museum by Andrew Carnegie

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The Butterfly Garden on the Museum's lawn

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Ichthyosaur

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Plesiosaur skeleton found in southern England by the famous 19th century fossil collector Mary Anning.

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A fossil Ichthyosaur that died as it was giving birth

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Skull of a Mosasaur, a giant marine lizard

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Iguanodon skeleton

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T rex and Triceratops skulls

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Animatronic Velociraptors

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A model of dinosaur egg nests found in the Gobi Desert

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A Ceolacanth. Thought extinct for 65 million years, a living specimen was caught off the coast of Magadascar in 1938.

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The Hall of Mammals, including lifesize model of blue whale

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An ancient two-horned rhinoceros

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The human evolution exhibit

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Hominid skulls

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A cast of "Ida", the most complete early primate. I was later fortunate enough to see the original fossil on display in Oslo, Norway.

Originally posted to Lenny Flank on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 01:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Shutterbugs and SciTech.

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