by Hayley Pontia
If you thought there were a lot of bones on display in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, think again. Many of the 22 million objects and scientific specimens in the museum’s collection are kept in storage and used for scientific research.
Amy Henrici, Collection Manager for Vertebrate Paleontology, manages the Vertebrate Paleontology collection, which houses fossils that span through 465 million years of prehistoric history. It is the fourth largest collection in the country and includes 79,464 catalogued specimens: 80 percent are mammals, 11 percent fish, 5 percent reptiles (including 690 dinosaur fossils), 3 percent amphibians, and .5 percent birds.
Most of the dinosaur specimens are archived in the Big Bone Room and the Little Bone Room. Contrary to popular belief, the description of these rooms is in relation to the space available, not the size of the bones.
Hayley Pontia is the marketing assistant at Carnegie Museum of Natural History and a student at the University of Pittsburgh. Museum employees are encouraged to blog about their unique experiences of working at the museum.