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The Museum of Comparative Zoology, full name "The Louis Agassiz Museum of Comparative Zoology", often abbreviated simply to "MCZ", is a zoology museum located on the grounds of Harvard Universitymarker in Cambridgemarker, Massachusettsmarker. It is one of three museums which collectively comprise the Harvard Museum of Natural Historymarker. The current director of the museum is James Hanken, the Louis Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University.

Many of the exhibits in the museum have not only zoological interest but also historical significance. These include a fossil sand dollar which was found by Charles Darwin in 1834, Captain Cook's mamo, and two pheasants which once belonged to George Washington.

This museum and the other institutions that comprise the Harvard Museum of Natural History are physically connected to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnologymarker; for visitors, one admission ticket grants access to both museums.

History

The Museum of Comparative Zoology was founded in 1859 through the efforts of Louis Agassiz, the zoologist, and the museum is sometimes referred to as "The Agassiz" after its founder. Agassiz designed the collection to illustrate the variety and comparative relationships of animal life.

Departments

The museum comprises twelve departments: Biological Oceanography, Entomology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Paleontology, Invertebrate Zoology, Mammalogy, Marine invertebrates, Malacology, Ornithology, Population Genetics, and Vertebrate Paleontology. The Ernst Mayr Library and its archives join in supporting the work of the museum. The Ernst Mayr Library is a founding member of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Displays

In contrast to more modern museums, the Harvard Museum of Natural History has many hundreds of stuffed animals on display, from the collections of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Notable exhibits include whale skeletons, the largest turtle shell ever found (eight feet long), "the Harvard mastodon", a long Kronosaurus skeleton, the remains of a Dodo, and a Coelacanth preserved in fluid.

Prehistoric and extinct animals

The collection of prehistoric and extinct animals on display, considered to be one of the largest in the northeast United Statesmarker, includes (note that some are casts and models):

Canis dirus- Dire Wolf

Smilodon

Eryops

Tiktaalik

Ophiacodon

Probelesodon

Probainognathus

Vincelestes

Gobiconodon

Australopithecus

Homo

Menoceras

Mesohippus

Teleoceras

Equus

Lestodon

Panochthus

Toxodon

Moropus

Mammut americanum- American mastodon

Coryphodon

Merycoidodontidae- Oreodonts

Stenomylus

Hypertragulus

Platygonus

Latimeria chalumnae- Coelacanth

Dinodontosaurus

Pteranodon

Exaeretodon

Massetognathus

Thrinaxodon

Belesodon(?)

Dinnebitodon

Stupendemys

Tylosaurus

Megalania

Hyperodapedon

Homeosaurus

Toxochelys

Platychelys

Eurysternum

Xiphactinus

Paleothyris

Edops

Diploceraspis

Greererpeton

Bothriolepis

Osteolepis

Eusthenopteron

Cephalaspis

Edaphosaurus

Dimetrodon

Xenacanthus

Pantylus

Tremalops

Acheloma

Seymouria

Diplocaulus

Diadectes

Deinonychus

Ceratosaurus

Stegoceras

Tenontosaurus

Protoceratops

Coelophysis

Heterodontosaurus

Corythosaurus

Triceratops

Kronosaurus

Steneosaurus

Temnodontosaurus

Plateosaurus

Gualosuchus

Chanaresuchus

Gracilisuchus

Mesorhinosaurus(?)

Aepyornis- Elephant Bird

Raphus cucullatus- Dodo

Alca impennis- Great Auk

Dinornis- Giant Moa

Monachus tropicalis- Caribbean Monk Seal

Hydrodamalis gigas- Steller's Sea Cow

Meganeura

Eryon

Menippe

Potamon

Isotelus

Mecochirus

Bumastis

Eurypterus

Paradoxides

Image gallery

File:harvard museum of natural history 1.JPGFile:Harvard museum of natural history 2.JPG

References




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