Sunday, December 16, 2012

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Hall of Human Origins

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is a world class museum sitting on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  It opened at it's current location on March 17, 1910, and displays discoveries and exhibitions celebrating the natural world.  I took these pictures (above and below) on a stark  and cols December evening.

After a 15 million dollar donation by David H. Koch, the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins opened on the 100th Anniversary of the museum on March 17, 2012, and has become a very popular exhibit for visitors from around the world.  I have been to the exhibit several times and learn something new each time.   The exhibit explores millions of years of human evolution based on archaeological evidence, fossils and displays lifelike models of our earliest human ancestors.  The above picture show early homo species as they looked and displayed at the height each stood when they were alive.  Kids love this part of the exhibit. 

The Neanderthals (above ) appeared in Europe between 600.000 - 350.000 years ago and died out around 30.000 years ago.  

Homo floresiensis (below) remains were discovered in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Partial skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete cranium.  This is the homo species which has become known as the Hobbit, or Flo, because they only stood around 3 feet tall when fully grown.  It is believed they died out as recently as 13.000 years ago. 

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