The natural history museum 'habitat diorama,' in which preserved specimens are displayed in lifelike natural settings, are due in large part to the work of Carl Akeley, a pioneering taxidermist active in the early 1900s. Akeley rose to prominence when he was called upon to stuff P.T. Barnum's elephant 'Jumbo.' He later went on to collect and mount animals for institutions such as Chicago's Field Museum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, developing new techniques for preserving the appearance of the animals as he did so.
We'll talk with Jay Kirk, author of the book "Kingdom Under Glass," which profiles the life of Carl Akeley. We'll also get a peek into a modern taxidermist's workshop.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer