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Go behind the scenes of a world-class natural history museum before it opens

We got an exclusive look at the Steinhardt Museum's collections as organizers prepare a grand opening.


June 6, 2017 | Latest Photo Prev Next
 A lemur et al are part of the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History collection. A lemur et al are part of the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History collection.Photo: Zach Pontz
June 6, 2017 | Latest Photo

When the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History opens later this year on the campus of Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel, it will be the first and only center for natural history research and outreach in the country and the surrounding area.

The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History building.The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History will open later this year on the Tel Aviv University campus in Israel. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

The museum building, designed by the architectural firm Kimmel-Eshkolot, is meant to resemble a treasure chest. It has already become an architectural icon in global design circles and, once finished, will house four units at the university: the Zoological Museum, the Biological Anthropology Museum, the National Herbarium and the public education program.

For now, however, the collections to be displayed at the museum are in transit, held in facilities just next door to the current construction site. We recently got an exclusive preview of the displays before they're exhibited to the public. Take a look.

A few of the animals in the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History collection.These little critters will go on display once the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History opens later this year. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

A cheetah at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.A cheetah bares its teeth but can't hurt a soul. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.Coral and other aquatic organisms are held in a separate facility from those that live on land. (Photo: Oz Ritner)

A gull part of the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History collection.This stuffed gull greets you at the entrance to the facility where the land animals are held. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

A carrier pigeon.Carrier pigeons were once numerous but are now extinct. The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History will display this little guy as a reminder of their former glory. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

Stuffed birds stored in the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History collection.Birds, bears and even a baby elephant are part of the collection that will be on display at the museum once it opens. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

Amos Belmaker.Amos Belmaker, here posing with a gazelle, recently returned from earning a doctorate at Cornell University. He is now the Steinhardt Museum's bird collection manager and gave us a tour of the facility where the land animals are held. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

Lizards to be displayed at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.These little lizards will be just three of some 5 million specimens to be on display at the museum when it opens. (Photo: Oz Ritner)

Cats and a monkey to be displayed at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.The storage facilities are packed with all sorts of stuffed animals. The collection is so extensive some won't even make it to the exhibition floor. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

A bird's wing at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.A bird's wing sits on a table, awaiting it's short journey to the halls of the museum where as many as 150,000 visitors are expected to visit annually. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

A goat and packaged heads.The collection is vast and has been collected over decades. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

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Related Topics: Animals, Environment