Akeley, Carl Ethan

Akeley, Carl Ethan

(āk`lē), 1864–1926, American naturalist, animal sculptor, and author, b. Orleans co., N.Y. He served (1887–95) at the Museum of Milwaukee; from 1895 to 1909 he was at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and from 1909 he was affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. His principal contribution was in the field of taxidermytaxidermy
, process of skinning, preserving, and mounting vertebrate animals so that they still appear lifelike. The fur or feathers are cleaned, and the skin, treated with a cleansing and preserving preparation, is mounted on an artificial skeleton.
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; his system of mounting specimens by applying the skin to a finely contoured model is still used by museums. His animal sculptures and paintings may be seen in Akeley Hall in the Museum of Natural History and in the Field Museum of Natural History. He invented the cement gun for use in his own work, and the Akeley camera is widely used by naturalists. His influence led to the establishment in 1926 of the Albert (now Virunga) National Park, an animal sanctuary in Congo (Kinshasa). He wrote In Brightest Africa (1923).
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