Are the Animals in the Natural History Museum Taxidermy?

If you’ve ever visited a natural history museum, you may have wondered whether the animals on display are real or fake. While some museums do use replicas or models of animals for their exhibits, many display real animals that have been preserved through a process called taxidermy.

What is Taxidermy

Taxidermy is the art and science of preserving animal remains to create lifelike representations of them. This is done by removing the animal’s skin and preserving it with chemicals so that it can be stretched over a mannequin made to look like the animal’s body. Other parts of the animal, such as its bones and eyes, may also be preserved and used in the final display.

Why Do Museums Use Taxidermy

Museums use taxidermy to create realistic displays of animals for educational purposes. By displaying real animals, visitors can get a sense of their size, shape, and texture up close. They can also learn about the animal’s habitat, behavior, and other characteristics that make it unique.

The Benefits of Using Taxidermy in Museums

  • Taxidermy allows museums to display animals that are rare or extinct
  • Realistic displays help visitors better understand and appreciate wildlife
  • Taxidermy specimens are valuable scientific resources for researchers studying animal behavior and ecology
  • Preserving specimens through taxidermy ensures that they will be available for future generations to study and appreciate

How Do You Know If an Animal is Taxidermied

If you’re visiting a natural history museum and want to know whether an animal on display is real or fake, there are a few clues you can look for.

First, look closely at the animal’s eyes. If they are shiny and glassy, it’s likely that they are fake. If they are dull and cloudy, the animal may be real.

Second, look at the animal’s fur or feathers. If they are perfectly groomed and symmetrical, it’s likely that the animal is fake. Real animals tend to have a more natural, uneven appearance.

Third, look at the animal’s position and posture. If it appears to be in a lifelike pose, it may be real. If it looks stiff or unnatural, it may be fake.


So, are the animals in the natural history museum taxidermy The answer is yes – many of them are!

Taxidermy allows museums to create lifelike displays of animals for educational purposes, and these specimens serve as valuable scientific resources for researchers studying animal behavior and ecology. By looking closely at an animal on display, you can often tell whether it has been taxidermied or is a replica. Either way, visiting a natural history museum is a great way to learn about and appreciate wildlife up close!