Friday, August 30, 2013

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Following breakfast at Kleifeld’s in Willoughby Ohio, our day with the boys…David II, David III and Emmett Lee…continued on to the first of 2 museums that were on the schedule.

This is Cleveland’s Museum of Natural History… I learned that Cleveland's first collection of natural history was established in the 1830s.  It was in a small, wooden building, located in Cleveland’s public square, and it was named "the Ark." The Cleveland Museum of Natural History was founded by Cyrus S. Eaton in 1920.  Its objectives were and are to perform research, educate the public and to develop collections in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, botany, geology, paleontology, wildlife biology, and zoology. 
Today, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is considered by many to be one of the finest natural history museums in North America.  The facility and staff have placed and ongoing emphasis on scientific research, conservation and education.  To learn more about Cyrus Eaton…an interesting character and multimillionaire…just go to

This is a diorama of the Australian outback… I’m sure that one of the reasons that David II likes this museum is because he loves…always has loved dioramas.  We certainly have that trait in common.

As in many natural history museums, there are lots of mounted heads and full sized animals ‘preserved’ through the art of taxidermy.  Although I realize that many people would never see what a significant number of these animals look like if they weren’t represented in a museum, I still find these presentations a little disquieting. (Bass Pro and Cabela’s presentations impact me even more than a museum does…)  

This is a Leopard…although its spots look more like what I’d expect on a Jaguar.  Leopards are much leaner than the heavier framed Jaguars…
Note: The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s collections total more than four million items and include specimens of paleontology, zoology, archeology, mineralogy, ornithology, and a variety of other scientific subjects.

Another wildlife diorama…this time it shows life on the African veldt. 

This diorama shows what the Great Plains of the United States might have looked like back in the days before we killed off almost all of the herds of Buffalo. 

The dioramas at the museum aren’t limited to depictions of wildlife.  There are a number of displays that show what life in pre-history America was like.  This one is all about Indians living in the southwestern USA.

Life wasn’t easy for those early American’s!

Many of the dioramas, that depict life in America before the white man, are juxtaposed among items from everyday life…skillfully crafted by Native Americans.  We have a few baskets and pots at home.  We really appreciated the art and skill involved in creating these items…  

These Indian artifacts are from the Northwestern United States, plus Alaska and British Columbia. 
Note: Are you more interested in the stars than in earthly pursuits?  In 2002, a new planetarium was built near the entrance to the museum.  It contains displays on the planets in the Solar System as well as historical instruments of exploration such as compasses and astrolabes.

Balto is perhaps the most famous Siberian Husky that ever lived… Balto led his team of sled dogs on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome Alaska.  Diphtheria antitoxin was transported from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nenana, Alaska, by train and then to Nome by dog sled to combat an outbreak of the disease.  The run is commemorated by the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Note: A statue of Balto can also be found in New York City’s Central Park.  For more about Balto, go to

This is a Triceratops… It has a large bony frill and three horns on its very large four-legged body and it sort of mentally suggest similarities with today’s rhinoceros, Triceratops is one of the most recognizable of all dinosaurs.  A full grown Triceratops might have weighed as much as 13 tons!

This is a Haplocanthosaurus, a ‘small’ member of the sauropod family.  This group of dinosaurs had very long necks, long tails and small heads relative to the rest of their body.  They also had thick, pillar-like legs. They are notable for the enormous sizes attained by some species. (Some weighed up to 110 tons!) This group includes the largest animals to have ever lived on land.
I’ve just touched the surface as regards the many exhibits at this museum.  There is an extensive collection of monkey, ape and 3,100 human skeletons.  One section of the museum houses an extensive mineralogy collection including a moon rock and a very impressive gem collection.  There are also multiple mastodon and mammoth specimens plus a collection of 30,000 plant fossils.  If this isn’t enough, adjoining the museum there is The Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center and Woods Garden which displays living native animals and plants. Visitors can see Bald Eagles, owls, deer, foxes, bobcats, hawks and other creatures in enclosures designed to resemble their natural habitats…all set beneath a canopy of tulip, oak, beech and maple trees.
This is the most important exhibit of all... It's 'da boys!  David II, David III and Emmett Lee... We are lucky to have them all! 

Our family really enjoyed our visit to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History!  Be sure and check it out if your travels take you to northern Ohio.  The museum is open 7 days a week.  Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for youth over 3 as well as for seniors.  The museum is located at 1 Wade Oval Drive, University Circle, Cleveland Ohio.  Phone: 216-231-4600.  Website:
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them… (Laurie played the role of photo editor for this addition to her normal copy editing)
Thanks for joining us on this educational adventure!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. Dear Dave, What a wonderful day for all. Good breakfast, wonderful museum and best of all you all went home with dear memories.
    Have good and happy Labor Day weekend to you and Laurie. Blessings, Catherine

  2. Impressive museum - I like the doarama concept.

  3. What lovely and interesting museusm only love visit museus because you know how live people times ago:))
    and the breakfast ??LOL
    I love your breakfast!