The Hall of North American Mammals is one of the American Museum of Natural History's most iconic exhibits, thanks to its stunningly presented animal models. In this brief but informative video, senior museum artist Stephen C. Quinn describes some of the lesser-known methods that taxidermists use in preparing these specimens for display.

For instance: stuffing a dead animal? Not really a thing. When it comes to faithful reproductions of creatures in the wild, the real secret lies in a surprisingly light framework (articulated skeletons and sculpted musculature, informed by detailed field notes) and a carefully preserved hide.

[Via AMNH]