Last night, Anna Goldman and I commandeered a table at Wrigley Field during an event for our Founder’s Council. 

Long story short, I’m pretty sure it was the first time a two-faced calf skull and a 2.5 foot-long walrus baculum ever made an appearance inside of the Cub’s clubhouse. 

Photos by Karen Bean, our staff photographer who runs the Field’s amazing photo archives tumblr

subborealstudios:

Emily Graslie’s, The Brain Scoop’s “Business Soon Raccoon” limited edition prints are now available here: Etsy
Get ‘em while they’re hot!

My friend Louis from art school sent along the original to me earlier this week! Soon Raccoon has never looked better. 

subborealstudios:

Emily Graslie’s, The Brain Scoop’s “Business Soon Raccoon” limited edition prints are now available here: Etsy

Get ‘em while they’re hot!

My friend Louis from art school sent along the original to me earlier this week! Soon Raccoon has never looked better. 

The Brain Scoop:
Fossil Meteorites! 

500 million years ago a collision between two asteroids threw one of them out of its rotation in the belt between Jupiter and Mars. Within a few tens of thousands of years the fragments of that meteor fell to earth and sank to the bottom of an ancient sea in modern-day Sweden. Over millions of years the mineralization process replaced many of the original elements in the meteorite, but thanks to some key identifying chemical markers our geologists and meteoriticists were able to determine that these specimens, excavated from a limestone quarry, are fragments of that ancient asteroid collision. 

The craziest part of all of this? Those fragments are still falling on earth today - in fact, one was found here in Chicago a few years ago, and after analysis it was matched to one of the fossilized fragments from Sweden. 

Separated by unthinkable distances in space and more than 500 million years, they’re reunited together again right here at The Field Museum. Now tell me that isn’t a story of star-crossed lovers. 

BRAIN SCOOP MEET-UP! 
Come join us to celebrate the opening of a new exhibition, Into the Bat Caves of Kenya! 
WHO: The Brain Scoop and The Field Museum…WHAT: …made an exhibition together with our Media Producers and we’re sharing an exclusive look into some of the footage from our Kenya expedition! WHERE: The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore DriveWHEN: Tuesday, September 9th, 6-8pmWHY: BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME. 

Event Details:



Experience the excitement and challenges of a Field Museum research expedition—captured by the lens of a camera. Through large-scale media projections, see what happens when Museum filmmakers team up with The Brain Scoop to record bat calls and traipse through guano (bat dung!) in a cave deep within Kenya’s Mount Suswa. Watch the remarkable documentation of Field Museum researchers Bruce Patterson and Paul Webala’s bat research, and peer into the furry faces of East Africa’s astonishingly diverse bats in the new exhibition, Into the Bat Caves of Kenya.
On Tuesday, September 9th, meet these Museum filmmakers, researchers, and Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop for an exclusive evening program. Hear about the delights and challenges of documenting field work with a production crew, learn more about Bruce Patterson’s work in Kenya, and get the chance to see real bat specimens from The Field Museum’s collection up-close. Tickets include beer and wine (21+ with ID), and appetizers.
Enter through the West Door
Tickets: $23 non-members; $20 members (must present member ID card at the door)

Buy your tickets heeeerrre!

BRAIN SCOOP MEET-UP! 

Come join us to celebrate the opening of a new exhibition, Into the Bat Caves of Kenya

WHO: The Brain Scoop and The Field Museum…
WHAT: …made an exhibition together with our Media Producers and we’re sharing an exclusive look into some of the footage from our Kenya expedition! 
WHERE: The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
WHEN: Tuesday, September 9th, 6-8pm
WHY: BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME. 

Event Details:

Experience the excitement and challenges of a Field Museum research expedition—captured by the lens of a camera. Through large-scale media projections, see what happens when Museum filmmakers team up with The Brain Scoop to record bat calls and traipse through guano (bat dung!) in a cave deep within Kenya’s Mount Suswa. Watch the remarkable documentation of Field Museum researchers Bruce Patterson and Paul Webala’s bat research, and peer into the furry faces of East Africa’s astonishingly diverse bats in the new exhibition, Into the Bat Caves of Kenya.

On Tuesday, September 9th, meet these Museum filmmakers, researchers, and Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop for an exclusive evening program. Hear about the delights and challenges of documenting field work with a production crew, learn more about Bruce Patterson’s work in Kenya, and get the chance to see real bat specimens from The Field Museum’s collection up-close. Tickets include beer and wine (21+ with ID), and appetizers.

Enter through the West Door

Tickets: $23 non-members; $20 members (must present member ID card at the door)

Buy your tickets heeeerrre!

Here’s your semiannual reminder to keep an eye out for dead or injured migrating birds! 
The above photo is a representation of as many as 2,000 individuals from 70+ species a year that die when colliding with downtown Chicago buildings during Spring and Fall migration.  
If you’re in Chicago, what should you do if you find a dead bird? Write a note with information on where the bird was found, the date it was found and put it in a ziploc bag with the bird, then contact the Field’s Bird division to schedule a time to drop it off. If you can’t bring it in the same day, toss it into a freezer. If you find an injured bird, check out this page and call the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors at (773) 988-1867.
If you don’t live in Chicago, look up a local natural history museum or nature center near you and ask if they will take in a bird - but remember, it is illegal for private citizens to possess most native birds, either in whole or in part (including skulls, bones, and even feathers), except under terms of special permits or by exemptions under hunting laws and licenses. 
Why do we do this? Our ornithologists have been collecting window-killed birds for decades: by doing so, and recording the time/place of their collection, we are gaining new insights on the migratory patterns and populations of these species and are able to track changes over time. 
What can we do to prevent more birds from flying into windows? 

 Birds will try to fly through transparent glass that they cannot detect. Birds will fly towards reflective glass that mirrors sky, plants or their own reflection!


Reduce a bird’s view through transparent glass to attractive areas of light, safety or greenery inside your house by drawing drapes or shades.

Move attractive indoor plants away from being directly next to windows or block a bird’s ability to see indoor plants.
Use external screens, window films, temporary paint or soap, decals, banners, streamers or windsocks on the outside surface of windows to block transparent or reflective glass.
Use etched/fritted/frosted glass (or window films that replicated a frosted glass effect) to reduce transparency and reflectivity of window surfaces.
Install bird safe glass that has ultra-violet patterns that make windows more visible (and avoidable) for birds.
Read more at the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors website.

Here’s your semiannual reminder to keep an eye out for dead or injured migrating birds! 

The above photo is a representation of as many as 2,000 individuals from 70+ species a year that die when colliding with downtown Chicago buildings during Spring and Fall migration.  

If you’re in Chicago, what should you do if you find a dead bird? Write a note with information on where the bird was found, the date it was found and put it in a ziploc bag with the bird, then contact the Field’s Bird division to schedule a time to drop it off. If you can’t bring it in the same day, toss it into a freezer. If you find an injured bird, check out this page and call the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors at (773) 988-1867.

If you don’t live in Chicago, look up a local natural history museum or nature center near you and ask if they will take in a bird - but remember, it is illegal for private citizens to possess most native birds, either in whole or in part (including skulls, bones, and even feathers), except under terms of special permits or by exemptions under hunting laws and licenses. 

Why do we do this? Our ornithologists have been collecting window-killed birds for decades: by doing so, and recording the time/place of their collection, we are gaining new insights on the migratory patterns and populations of these species and are able to track changes over time. 

What can we do to prevent more birds from flying into windows? 

  •  Birds will try to fly through transparent glass that they cannot detect. Birds will fly towards reflective glass that mirrors sky, plants or their own reflection!

  • Reduce a bird’s view through transparent glass to attractive areas of light, safety or greenery inside your house by drawing drapes or shades.

  • Move attractive indoor plants away from being directly next to windows or block a bird’s ability to see indoor plants.
  • Use external screens, window films, temporary paint or soap, decals, banners, streamers or windsocks on the outside surface of windows to block transparent or reflective glass.
  • Use etched/fritted/frosted glass (or window films that replicated a frosted glass effect) to reduce transparency and reflectivity of window surfaces.
  • Install bird safe glass that has ultra-violet patterns that make windows more visible (and avoidable) for birds.

Read more at the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors website.

I’ve spent the last few weeks writing a script I’ve been dreading for years. 
The story of the Passenger Pigeon is a terrifying omen, a nightmarish slow-motion car accident unraveling in front of our eyes. Hindsight is so clear with this issue that it seems nauseatingly preventable - I say this from my position a hundred years in the future. But the reality of this story is that because of human impact, interference, over-hunting and trapshooting, within the span of 4 decades the population of these birds diminished from a booming 3.7 billion individuals to near extinction. They were shot, netted, poisoned, smoked out, burned up, prodded, intoxicated, left to starve, and otherwise eradicated in every sense of the word. It’s a tough reality to face. 
We’ll be uploading this video in a few weeks, but I wanted to give you all a heads up to check out this book by Joel Greenberg; A Feathered River Across the Sky was my primary source of information for our upcoming episode. The amount of care and attention to detail Greenberg gave in writing this work is tangible; I had to set it down on more than one occasion to catch my breath and clear my head. The toughest part of reading the book is realizing we are still doing this today, but our excess is no longer isolated to one charismatic species.
It’s time we wake up. 

I’ve spent the last few weeks writing a script I’ve been dreading for years. 

The story of the Passenger Pigeon is a terrifying omen, a nightmarish slow-motion car accident unraveling in front of our eyes. Hindsight is so clear with this issue that it seems nauseatingly preventable - I say this from my position a hundred years in the future. But the reality of this story is that because of human impact, interference, over-hunting and trapshooting, within the span of 4 decades the population of these birds diminished from a booming 3.7 billion individuals to near extinction. They were shot, netted, poisoned, smoked out, burned up, prodded, intoxicated, left to starve, and otherwise eradicated in every sense of the word. It’s a tough reality to face. 

We’ll be uploading this video in a few weeks, but I wanted to give you all a heads up to check out this book by Joel Greenberg; A Feathered River Across the Sky was my primary source of information for our upcoming episode. The amount of care and attention to detail Greenberg gave in writing this work is tangible; I had to set it down on more than one occasion to catch my breath and clear my head. The toughest part of reading the book is realizing we are still doing this today, but our excess is no longer isolated to one charismatic species.

It’s time we wake up. 

The Sri Lankan spurfowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata) is aptly named. The metatarsal spurs here are rather dramatic, although many birds have them and use them in defense against agitators.

The Sri Lankan spurfowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata) is aptly named. The metatarsal spurs here are rather dramatic, although many birds have them and use them in defense against agitators.

Only good things can come of this. 

"Would you care for a date?"
"You mean…. another data point?"
"No, I… was thinking about dinner."
—-
"Joan, will you….
"Yes?"
"…be my co-author?" 
"Oh, Meredith! Et al!" 

endangereduglythings:

Well, after getting reblogged by thebrainscoop, my follower numbers have nearly doubled, and I have no idea what to do with that.

Hi new people!

Well, after seeing #stand with unionid bivalves, I knew what I had to write about next.

Unionid Mussels are a family of mussels that frequent the rivers of the Midwest. Due to what we’re doing to those rivers, many of the Unionids are becoming endangered.

image

This fellow happens to be a Wartyback Mussel, who I think has a cool name, and a look to match. There are other cool names in the group, such as:

  • Elephant-ear
  • Long Solid
  • Purple Catspaw
  • Pink Mucket
  • Sheepnose
  • Pyramid Pigtoe
  • Rabbitsfoot
  • Monkeyface

By the way, all of these are endangered in Ohio.

Aside from wonderful names, Unionids have some pretty cool reproductive strategies. Because mussels aren’t exactly fast swimmers, they have to figure out how to spread their young without them all getting swept downstream.

image

You see that fish in the middle of the picture? That’s not a fish. That’s an egg case full of tiny mussel babies. When a large fish like a bass decides to have a snack, BOOM! They get a face full of baby mussels, properly called Glochidia. This is what they look like:

image

Those tiny fangs are used to clamp onto the fish’s gills, where they hitch a ride back upstream. There the glochidia fall off and burrow into the sand. Eventually they find their way into the family business, filtering tiny organic particles from the water.

That filter-feeding lifestyle is why so many Unionids are endangered. All the silt and toxins we dump into the water get drunk up by these guys, killing them. 

Many aquatic ecologists are doing everything they can to save this group. The Ohio State University even has a breeding facility. There, they capture fish and infest them with glochidia. That has to be most confusing event in that fish’s life.

So proud. Bivalves are amazing. Spread the love. 

Shot an episode about fossilized meteorites today; rare specimens excavated from a quarry in Sweden, embedded in the limestone floor of a 500 million year old ocean. In all of human history 50 thousand meteorites have been discovered on the surface of our planet and only 101 are fossilized in this way. Dr. Philipp Heck gave us matching hats afterwards. Felt like I earned this one. 

Shot an episode about fossilized meteorites today; rare specimens excavated from a quarry in Sweden, embedded in the limestone floor of a 500 million year old ocean. In all of human history 50 thousand meteorites have been discovered on the surface of our planet and only 101 are fossilized in this way. Dr. Philipp Heck gave us matching hats afterwards. Felt like I earned this one. 

endangereduglythings:

biomorphosis:

Saiga is a type of antelope. They are known for their huge, inflatable, and humped nose which help them to filter out airborne dust during the dry summer migrations, and filter out cold air before it reaches their lungs during winter. They are a migratory species, migrating in the summer and winter and can run up to 80 miles per hour in a short time.

Local people kill saiga because of its meat and horns. Horns are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Saiga is listed as critically endangered species and were once in the millions but today only less than 50,000 left in the wild.

I always thought these guys looked like that informant from Star Wars.

It’s over, everybody. I’ve found the best blog on tumblr. 

I Stand With Unionid Bivalves.

murmurousocean:

Check out the article about this: Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding options for sharks

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X13000055

I’ve got a video on this. 

(Source: underthevastblueseas, via quantumaniac)

The Brain Scoop:
Sharks Sharks Sharks & More Sharks

I think it’s safe to say most people conjure up a picture of the great white when they think of sharks as a whole, which is a total shame since there are more than 440 known and described species of sharks and the diversity of those is impressive to say the least. 

There are 12 living Orders of sharks, cartilaginous fish that fall into the subclass Elasmobranchii. Some sharks have beards. Some sharks are electric. Some have poisonous skin. And they are all 100% awesome. 

Check out our last video from five consecutive calendar days dedicated to cartilaginous fishes - we hope you enjoyed the inundation of videos last week, and that our 19 minutes of programming proved to be a good alternative to sensationalism and mistruths. 

diabolikdiabolik:

Emily Graslie, the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago. Probably my favorite Chief Curiosity Correspondent of any museum.
Check out her YouTube channel, The Brain Scoop, devoted to exploring all aspects relating to the curious world of taxidermy, zoology, natural history museums, and the culture of animal preservation.

Someday I won’t be the only Chief Curiosity Correspondent. 
Can’t you imagine going to an annual “Conference of the Chief Curiosity Correspondents”?! We’d have it in a different Museum or collection every year and talk about discoveries and adventures 
maybe we could have themed uniforms with matching hats and vests 
and our own handshake or symbolic greeting
c’mon world, let’s get on this

diabolikdiabolik:

Emily Graslie, the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago. Probably my favorite Chief Curiosity Correspondent of any museum.

Check out her YouTube channel, The Brain Scoop, devoted to exploring all aspects relating to the curious world of taxidermy, zoology, natural history museums, and the culture of animal preservation.

Someday I won’t be the only Chief Curiosity Correspondent. 

Can’t you imagine going to an annual “Conference of the Chief Curiosity Correspondents”?! We’d have it in a different Museum or collection every year and talk about discoveries and adventures 

maybe we could have themed uniforms with matching hats and vests 

and our own handshake or symbolic greeting

c’mon world, let’s get on this

Science Needs Women: 
For Women in Science; the L’Oreal Foundation 

I’m sharing this video on any platform I can because when I first found it last week it had something like 1,400 views, but it’s the most beautifully produced and succinctly narrated video addressing some of the most complicated issues facing women in STE(A)M fields I’ve found yet. 

I’m sharing this for every time I’m called a “feminazi.”

…for every time I’m told that my concerns aren’t valid, our that our issues are imagined.

…for every time I hear “women just don’t like science,” or worse - “women just aren’t good at science.”

…for every time we’re told that we can have a family or a career, but not both - and for every time we feel like we have to decide between the two.

…for every time a study comes out saying as many as 64% of women endure sexual harassment during field work

…for the fact that women earn 41% of PhD’s in STEM fields, but make up only 28% of tenure-track faculty in those fields.

…and because we need more women mentors in these fields to stand up for issues that are not “women’s issues” - these are people issues that affect our collective society as a whole.

The women in this video are my heroes and they should be your heroes, too.