800 Museum Dr., Anniston, Alabama
This remarkable museum includes outstanding collections of mounted animal specimens from North America and Africa. A bird collection was prepared by the 19th-century ornithologist William Werner, who was a pioneer in the cyclorama style of presentation. The 400-specimen collection, which was assembled between 1865 and 1910, offers a rare opportunity to see now-extinct species, such as the heath hen and the passenger pigeon.
The even more striking African collection is the gift of a local resident who spent years collecting in Africa. Some exhibits concentrate on aspects of animal behavior. Others are panoramic re-creations of the continent’s natural environments, such as a Sahara desert landscape complete with oryx, Barbary sheep, and desert snails, and a marshland scene with hippos and egrets. The most outstanding display is a diorama of a grassland showing a giant baobab tree towering over an elephant, a rhino, a giraffe, and many smaller mammals and birds.
The Ancient Egypt exhibit hall features 2,300-year-old Egyptian mummies and mounted specimens of animals representing deities.
–Open daily June – Aug. Closed major holidays and Mon. rest of year. Admission charged.