Teeth rows of a tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier). Often times the teeth of a shark are the only evidence of that species’ existence in the fossil record - their cartilaginous skeletons fail to preserve with the same frequency. These teeth, however, are not bone - they’re modified placoid plates; in other words, scales. 

Teeth rows of a tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier). Often times the teeth of a shark are the only evidence of that species’ existence in the fossil record - their cartilaginous skeletons fail to preserve with the same frequency. These teeth, however, are not bone - they’re modified placoid plates; in other words, scales. 

wearemtblog:

One of the coolest hidden features on UM’s campus is the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum. The museum contains more than 24,000 specimens of vertebrates, including birds, mammals and fish. It is the largest zoological collection in Montana and one of the major zoological collections representing the Northern Rocky Mountains.

These photos feature some of the beautiful specimens in the collection, as well as former curator David Dyer and Emily Graslie before she moved her educational YouTube show “The Brain Scoop” to the renowned Field Museum in Chicago.

Photos by Todd Goodrich, originally shot for Montanan: The Magazine of The University of Montana.

Oh, I was not at all expecting to be bulldozed by nostalgia this morning.

I miss you, Montana. I’ll love that Museum till the end of my days.

So if you’re really wondering what my favorite part of working at The Field is, I’ve got to say it’s our 16” softball teams. 
We reenacted the Cretaceous Mass Extinction Event on Monday, a game 65 million years in the making, and history was forever altered when the Dinosaurs not only survived but beat the meteor that was meant to send them into extinction. At least we’ve got next season. 
For those of you unfamiliar, most softball games are played with a ball that is 12” in circumference - in Chicago we play with a ball that is 16”, and we play mostly without gloves. It’s like hitting a melon with a bat. 
the following is taken out of our Science and Education weekly email newsletter that gets sent around to Museum staff. 
SPORTS EXTRA
Dinosaur extinction averted!   In a stunning upset, the Field Museum Dinosaurs beat out the heavily favored Field Museum Meteors 5-1 in this season’s 16 inch softball tournament. The Dinos started strong, skunking the Meteors 5 runs in the first inning, but the gallant Meteors held fast. Aided by the courageous and sassy Karen Bean on home plate, the Meteors were able to prevent the Dinos from scoring any further runs. The best hit of the game was an RBI by the powerhouse Jennifer Edginton sending the Meteor’s Karen Bean home. These two goliaths have a long and bitter rivalry (eight weeks), but to quote FM volunteer Jan Lariviere who came to the game sporting a Meteors shirt, “I hope the better team wins.” Unfortunately this game proved that sometimes the better team does not win. Rumors recently surfaced of a rematch later this summer, so stay tuned.
Totally unbiased report submitted by James Holstein (Meteors Coach)
Standing Left to Right: Jim Holstein (S&E), Tim Bratley (IA), Megan Bradley (Education), Matthew Norwood (Guest Relations), Mireya Becker (Education), Chad Taylor (HR), Richard Lariviere (Pres), Kyla Cook (Education), Josh Engel (S&E), Eric Knowles (IT), Tom McNamara (BrainScoop), Roger Reichard (FP&O), Elena Garcia (Guest Relations) , Hector Gonzalez (Exhibits), Anne Marie Fayen (Education), Ryan Bruxvoort (Exhibits), Tom Skwerski (Exhibits), Greg Mercer (Exhibits), Cesar Rosales (FP&O)
Kneeling Left to Right: Carlin Geremias (IA), Kasey Mennie (S&E), Orion (dog), Lora Nickels (IA), Jackson (dog), Melissa Anderson (S&E), Emily Graslie (BrainScoop), Karen Bean (S&E), Beto Rosales (FP&O), Jan Lariviere (Volunteer)
S&E = Science and EducationIA = Institutional Advancement HR = Human ResourcesIT = Information Technology FP&O = Facilities Planning and Operations

So if you’re really wondering what my favorite part of working at The Field is, I’ve got to say it’s our 16” softball teams. 

We reenacted the Cretaceous Mass Extinction Event on Monday, a game 65 million years in the making, and history was forever altered when the Dinosaurs not only survived but beat the meteor that was meant to send them into extinction. At least we’ve got next season. 

For those of you unfamiliar, most softball games are played with a ball that is 12” in circumference - in Chicago we play with a ball that is 16”, and we play mostly without gloves. It’s like hitting a melon with a bat. 

the following is taken out of our Science and Education weekly email newsletter that gets sent around to Museum staff. 

SPORTS EXTRA

Dinosaur extinction averted!   In a stunning upset, the Field Museum Dinosaurs beat out the heavily favored Field Museum Meteors 5-1 in this season’s 16 inch softball tournament. The Dinos started strong, skunking the Meteors 5 runs in the first inning, but the gallant Meteors held fast. Aided by the courageous and sassy Karen Bean on home plate, the Meteors were able to prevent the Dinos from scoring any further runs. The best hit of the game was an RBI by the powerhouse Jennifer Edginton sending the Meteor’s Karen Bean home. These two goliaths have a long and bitter rivalry (eight weeks), but to quote FM volunteer Jan Lariviere who came to the game sporting a Meteors shirt, “I hope the better team wins.” Unfortunately this game proved that sometimes the better team does not win. Rumors recently surfaced of a rematch later this summer, so stay tuned.

Totally unbiased report submitted by James Holstein (Meteors Coach)

Standing Left to Right: Jim Holstein (S&E), Tim Bratley (IA), Megan Bradley (Education), Matthew Norwood (Guest Relations), Mireya Becker (Education), Chad Taylor (HR), Richard Lariviere (Pres), Kyla Cook (Education), Josh Engel (S&E), Eric Knowles (IT), Tom McNamara (BrainScoop), Roger Reichard (FP&O), Elena Garcia (Guest Relations) , Hector Gonzalez (Exhibits), Anne Marie Fayen (Education), Ryan Bruxvoort (Exhibits), Tom Skwerski (Exhibits), Greg Mercer (Exhibits), Cesar Rosales (FP&O)

Kneeling Left to Right: Carlin Geremias (IA), Kasey Mennie (S&E), Orion (dog), Lora Nickels (IA), Jackson (dog), Melissa Anderson (S&E), Emily Graslie (BrainScoop), Karen Bean (S&E), Beto Rosales (FP&O), Jan Lariviere (Volunteer)

S&E = Science and Education
IA = Institutional Advancement 
HR = Human Resources
IT = Information Technology 
FP&O = Facilities Planning and Operations

Handheld weapons from the Gilbert Islands, studded with a variety of shark teeth.

DON’T MESS. 

Handheld weapons from the Gilbert Islands, studded with a variety of shark teeth.

DON’T MESS. 

Scooperwoman!

creativeindecision:

I saw this post from the Brainscoop, and thought the picture looked so.. cartoon-ey (is that a word?). Wanted to make her into a superhero, so here she is:

image

I wasn’t completely happy with the likeness, and I’m not great at this style, so I overcompensated by making the hair super shiny…

If anyone would like make their own version, I would love that, so here is the line-art.

(and here’s a larger version)

SCOOPER WOMAN 

fueled by passion 

motivated by the desire to decrease worldsuck 

fighting crimes against the natural world by helping people feel responsible for their world impact

battling the evils of apathy with the incredible powers of Knowledge and Empowerment 

together

we can 

CHANGE THE WORLD 

whoooooosh

elprofealexaral:

Estaba viendo este video y de pronto empezaron a hablar de porno panda y casi me muero de risa (estaba cenando y me andaba ahogando).

Confesión: estoy desarrollando una infatuación masiva con Emily Graslie

Q&A from this year’s VidCon! 

Make sure to stay tuned towards the end for my graphic retelling of the Malm Whale story

(Source: youtube.com)

Someone broke Lucy’s hand. Awaiting repair in the Replication Shop. 

Someone broke Lucy’s hand. Awaiting repair in the Replication Shop. 

So we’re digging in this rock quarry in Wyoming - the ambient air temperature is in the mid-80’s (~29 c), but surrounded by high walls of white reflective rock make it feel as though you’re working in a kiln. It’s incredibly dry and on a daily basis somebody gets a spontaneous nosebleed. Tom and I both had issues with the heat, constant sun exposure and the quick altitude change - Chicago is at 675 feet, our dig site was between 7,500-8,000. The dig came at the end of 6 intense week of travel and events for me. I was pretty worn down by the time we started filming, to say the least. 
And I actually took some time to consider putting on a light sweater when I realized I’d be leaning over our rock slab and facing the camera. I had to ask Tom to let me know if he thought the potential down-the-shirt shots were going to be a distraction. Do you know how ridiculous that is? 

So we’re digging in this rock quarry in Wyoming - the ambient air temperature is in the mid-80’s (~29 c), but surrounded by high walls of white reflective rock make it feel as though you’re working in a kiln. It’s incredibly dry and on a daily basis somebody gets a spontaneous nosebleed. Tom and I both had issues with the heat, constant sun exposure and the quick altitude change - Chicago is at 675 feet, our dig site was between 7,500-8,000. The dig came at the end of 6 intense week of travel and events for me. I was pretty worn down by the time we started filming, to say the least. 

And I actually took some time to consider putting on a light sweater when I realized I’d be leaning over our rock slab and facing the camera. I had to ask Tom to let me know if he thought the potential down-the-shirt shots were going to be a distraction. Do you know how ridiculous that is? 

Tags: sexism

The Brain Scoop’s FIELD TRIP!
In Search of Fossil Fish

A few weeks ago, Tom and I got the chance to accompany a group of Field Museum staff, volunteers, and students on a geological dig near Kemmerer, Wyoming - which is, oddly enough, the location of the birthplace and mother store [not a store that sells mothers {disappointment}] of the JC Penney chain.

The area we went to is called Fossil Lake, and beneath the surface it contains the largest and most diverse representation of early Eocene life ever discovered, giving us a picture of what was swimming, flying, and eventually falling into this lake 52-50 million years ago.

Lance Grande - who you’d remember from our episode The Gem Room - has been excavating fish, turtles, birds, insects, and arthropods of every size and shape from this location since the 1970’s, continuing a legacy of research that has been going on in the area for more than 150 years.  

Stay tuned for the upcoming episodes where we’ll explain the ideal conspiring conditions necessary for perfect fossilization, and what happens once we’ve got the fish out of the ground! 

thingsondesk:

What is there to say about Anna Goldman that hasn’t already been said… I feel as though every time I see her, she’s just as curious about what I’m up to, as I am about her work down in the deepest depths of the museum!  So when talking to her about her favorite object in the museum, her lesson about the dolphin skull and it’s origins slowly turned into a conversation about how we both started in the museum.  And we discovered we had a common origin in the museum that was oddly fitting given the object she brought in.  Both of us started in insects and branched out to find our niches in completely different parts of the museum.  But while she’s surrounded by mammals at the museum, you wouldn’t believe how excited she got when I showed her pictures of my insect pets… or maybe you would believe it.  Anna is a very curious museum person.

1.  What is your name? Anna Goldman

2. What is the formal title of your position in the museum? Assistant Collections Manager/ Mammals Preparator
3. Based on your day-to-day activities, what do you feel should be your job title? Chief Mammals Preparator and Preparation Lab Manager ( Also known as Resident Mammal Bad-ass)

4. How long have you been in the museum? 9 years 
5. What is your favorite object(s)? and Why? My favorite object is the skull from a dolphin. To me, dolphins are the coolest mammal. They share a common ancestor with humans. That ancestor evolved lungs to breath air on land. The split happened when the ancestor more closely related to dolphins, went back into the water. As time passes, they evolve into marine mammals taking on fins, tough skin, fat for insulation, etc. But they never lost their lungs. They didn’t evolve gills or some other way to breath in water, they kept their lungs and their bone structure changed. They have two nasal passages just like we do, with the same bones between the nose and teeth but their’s is further up, closer to where their forehead may be. On top of that, they have one nasal passage that is smaller than the other. Mammals have bilateral symmetry but when it comes to nasal passages, marine mammals don’t! The theory is, that it helps with gas exchange under high pressure. Every time I talk about it my heart races and I get so excited. it’s a great example of change over time. Granted, we can’t just throw our kids into the ocean and expect to watch them adapt. There were, I am sure, many failed attempts at adapting in water from land. But here is a success story!!

I look back on the 23 years I lived before knowing Anna Goldman and they are empty in a pretty significant way. 

The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) has the longest fangs of any pit viper, those large holes the gateway for venom delivery. Like most venomous snakes the rattlers get an undeservedly bad rap from humans, but we owe a lot to them for keeping rodent and pest populations in check. 

The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) has the longest fangs of any pit viper, those large holes the gateway for venom delivery. Like most venomous snakes the rattlers get an undeservedly bad rap from humans, but we owe a lot to them for keeping rodent and pest populations in check. 

American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) - skeleton from Ward’s natural sciences, New York. These common amphibians will lay between 4,000-8,000 eggs at a time in a spiral that, when stretched out, can reach between 6-20 meters (20-66 ft). I wonder who decided that stretching out toad egg spirals was a good idea.

American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) - skeleton from Ward’s natural sciences, New York. These common amphibians will lay between 4,000-8,000 eggs at a time in a spiral that, when stretched out, can reach between 6-20 meters (20-66 ft). I wonder who decided that stretching out toad egg spirals was a good idea.

theraggedycritic said: So it seems like you've been getting a lot of press recently. How are you handling the attention? (Both wanted and unwanted)

I recently celebrated my 1-year anniversary in Chicago and at The Field Museum. In that time I’ve accomplished a lot in the media on topics ranging from women in STE(A)M fields to the interdisciplinary potential of studying the natural sciences. I’ve participated in a number of collaborative videos, joined in podcasts, spun stories, made public appearances, and granted many interviews. I’ve won awards, gained accolades, and accepted humbling praise. In a word, it has been unreal. 

To be completely honest, I feel as though it must be coming to an end. I am driven to think the novelty will soon wear off for the media where I am concerned. I’d hope not, especially in the sense that I don’t think we’ve accomplished everything as necessary in promoting more science role-models in the public eye, and improving the lack of diversity we see representing these fields.

But it’s difficult for me to conceive that the same outlets will keep talking about my work with the earnest they have in the last year. That’s not to say my work is going to begin lacking - on the contrary, we’re pushing harder than ever to fulfill a mission of covering every conceivable topic possible at the Museum, and use this wonderfully devoted audience to increase public awareness of our work. But I do think in the hazy future I’ll fall more into a role of consistency and less of newness and novelty, which wouldn’t be at all a bad thing. 

It used to be that I’d get recognized once a week or so at the Museum, then a few times a week. Then it was a few times a week in public. Now, it’s every single day. I can’t go to the grocery store without someone knowing who I am. And that, for the most part, is wonderful. I love nothing more than to share this joy with enthusiastic folks who appreciate my work - there is no better feeling.

But with all of that you do occasionally gain the attention of someone who feels entitled to your life and activities, who will shrug and say You Signed Up For This, as if that’s an excuse for privacy invasion, and that’s something I can’t get used to. Thankfully, those people are few and far between, and I’m surrounded by far more people who are respectful and supportive. That vast majority of new volunteers, interns, biologists and naturalists and engineers completely encourage me to keep going with this in all earnest, regardless of how much new and novel coverage we receive - and that solid commitment towards positive change is invaluable. 

I’ve been named Chicago’s Best Celebrity Nerd by Chicago Magazine!
 I’m not entirely sure who the competition was, but I’ll take it. 
Read more!

I’ve been named Chicago’s Best Celebrity Nerd by Chicago Magazine!

 I’m not entirely sure who the competition was, but I’ll take it. 

Read more!

Totally neglected to post these photos from our trip to Kenya back in January (whoops). 

Good news: we are opening a temporary exhibition from that expedition in late August, and will be (hopefully! fingers crossed!) hosting a meetup and discussion to talk about our experience sometime in early September! More deets to come. There will be lots of bats. 

Photos from Nairobi National Park: 

  •  Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus
  •  Impala, matching up (Aepyceros melampus), interrupted by a nosy warthog (Phacochoerus africanus). 
  • African sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) photobombing the lesser flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor)
  • Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) - an unusual group of four, breathtaking.
  • Impala (Aepyceros melampus
  • Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), past and present
  • White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum)