Are the Animals in the Museum of Natural History Real?

If you’ve ever visited a museum of natural history, you may have wondered if the animals on display are real or not. It’s a common question and one that has a complex answer.

The Short Answer

The short answer is yes, most of the animals in the museum of natural history are real. However, there are some exceptions.


Some of the animals on display may be replicas or models. This is especially true for extinct species like dinosaurs. While some museums do have real dinosaur bones on display, many use replicas instead.

Another exception is for animals that are too large or dangerous to be displayed in their natural state. For example, a blue whale cannot fit inside a museum, so museums often use models or skeletons instead.

Preservation Process

The process of preserving an animal for display in a museum is complicated and time-consuming. The first step is to remove all of the flesh from the animal’s bones. This can take several months depending on the size of the animal.

Once all of the flesh has been removed, the bones are cleaned and treated with chemicals to prevent decay and insect damage. The next step is to mount the bones on a metal frame that mimics the animal’s stance in life.

Finally, the skin and fur (if applicable) are carefully placed over this frame to create a lifelike appearance. This process can take years to complete and requires careful attention to detail.

Real vs Replica

So how can you tell if an animal on display in a museum is real or not One way is to look closely at its eyes – if they appear glassy or unnaturally bright, it’s likely that they’re artificial.

Another way is to look for signs of wear and tear – if an animal has been on display for many years, it may show signs of fading or damage. Real animals may also have imperfections like scars or missing teeth, while replicas will be perfect.


In conclusion, most of the animals in the museum of natural history are real, but there are some exceptions. The preservation process is complicated and time-consuming, but it allows us to learn about and appreciate these amazing creatures up close. Next time you visit a museum of natural history, take a closer look at the animals on display and see if you can spot any differences between the real and replica specimens.