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The Kid Should See This

Building a True-to-Life Butterfly for a Habitat Diorama

The next time that you’re in your local natural history museum, don’t just look at the large animals in the dioramas — really look for those hidden small animals, too: a brown-headed cowbird near a bison, a Botta’s pocket gopher peeking from a burrow, or a Blue Echo Butterfly on a flower. These smaller details in scenes get as much attention from museum staff as the central figures. 

Above, the American Museum of Natural History‘s Conservation Fellow Bethany Palumbo describes how she studied museum specimens of the Blue Echo to recreate it using a mix of photocopying, hand painting, and sculpting with layers of glue.

butterfly specimens
creating a butterfly
The butterfly video is one in an excellent series that New York’s AMNH made during their 2012 restoration efforts. Here’s a summary video:


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Watch these related videos next:
• Ancient Ancestors Come to Life
• How to Make a Large Crocodile Sculpture
• Anatomy of Preservation
• Paleontology 101
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