Worth a Visit in Alabama: Anniston Museum of Natural History

800 Museum Dr., Anniston, Alabama This remarkable museum includes outstanding collections of mounted animal specimens from North America and Africa.

© 2009 Brittney L. McAlister-Hughes
A mounted bull elephant stands next to a baobab tree in the museum.

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.

www.annistonmuseum.org

(256) 237-6766

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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