The rainbow scarab, (Phanaeus vindex). These dung beetles are found throughout the United States and are indicators of high-quality ecosystems because they are typically only found in those which are healthy.
All dung beetles play a significant role in their environments as natural sanitation crews; utilizing the refuse of others for subsistence not only cleans up the landscape but also reduces the number of pests and flies attracted to such. Rainbow scarabs apparently prefer swine and opossum dung heavily over that of raccoon and - yuck - horses…. but human dung is their favorite. Mmm. 
More~

The rainbow scarab, (Phanaeus vindex). These dung beetles are found throughout the United States and are indicators of high-quality ecosystems because they are typically only found in those which are healthy.

All dung beetles play a significant role in their environments as natural sanitation crews; utilizing the refuse of others for subsistence not only cleans up the landscape but also reduces the number of pests and flies attracted to such. Rainbow scarabs apparently prefer swine and opossum dung heavily over that of raccoon and - yuck - horses…. but human dung is their favorite. Mmm. 

More~

thefaceofyoutube:

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derp

Tags: nerp nerp

The Brain Scoop:
Crocodiles vs. Alligators 

The order Crocodilia belongs to an ancient group of reptiles that began evolving 83.5 million years ago. To think that such animals can exist largely unchanged for literally millions of years is fascinating and humbling; it’s remarkable to think that such lifeforms can exist within changing environments and continue to persevere. 

This episode was produced, filmed, and edited by Tom McNamara, a new addition to The Brain Scoop’s team. We’re thrilled to have him working with us! He didn’t even pay me much to say that.

Scarabaeinae - the true dung beetles. Ancient Egyptians associated these scarabs with birth and renewal. Images depict the god of the rising sun, Khepri, as a dung beetle, rolling the sun over the horizon in the morning and chasing it back to darkness every night.  (at The Field Museum)

Scarabaeinae - the true dung beetles. Ancient Egyptians associated these scarabs with birth and renewal. Images depict the god of the rising sun, Khepri, as a dung beetle, rolling the sun over the horizon in the morning and chasing it back to darkness every night. (at The Field Museum)

Giant girdled lizard (Cordylus giganteus), the sungazer, largest of the spiny lizards. This species is considered vulnerable by the IUCN, its numbers threatened by habitat loss and a high demand in the exotic pet trade. They are ovoviviparous - giving ‘live’ birth to one or two young only once every 2-3 years. They also breathe fire (citation needed).  (at The Field Museum)

Giant girdled lizard (Cordylus giganteus), the sungazer, largest of the spiny lizards. This species is considered vulnerable by the IUCN, its numbers threatened by habitat loss and a high demand in the exotic pet trade. They are ovoviviparous - giving ‘live’ birth to one or two young only once every 2-3 years. They also breathe fire (citation needed). (at The Field Museum)

weavercat asked: Hi there Emily! Um, I have a little question for you. I am a BFA working on a minor in Biology. I recently learned that my university (CSU-Pueblo) used to have a little museum in the first floor of our Bio. building. It was moved off into a 12' x 8' closest of the taxonomy room about 15 years ago when the first floor museum became classrooms. I'm working with a professor here to organize it but, it's daunting and we're in low spirits. What's the point if all our hard work if no one will see it?

This is both great, and very sad. Your question what’s the point in all our hard work if no one will see it? is the sort of sentiment that results in so many collections and archives falling into states of disrepair and neglect - but I totally understand your feelings because for a very long time I asked myself the same about the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum. When I realized I couldn’t get people on campus to care enough to stop by and see the museum, I started a blog. (spoiler alert: it was this blog)

I will say that if you dedicate your time to this place - to organizing the specimens and working towards the ultimate goal that someday they will be seen - your work will pay off. You will begin to feel a personal investment in the collection. You will stumble across an item that sparks an interest you didn’t realize you had, and in the dark of that little closet you will feel an unusual connection to this item. You will begin learning about not only the history of the specimens but also what they represent: the diversity of our natural world. You’ll go to a party and someone will ask you what you’ve been up to and you won’t be able to find the words to express that you’re invested in an ongoing relationship with dead things. You will inexplicably feel a little bit of outrage when someone flippantly remarks that you are wasting your time.

You’ll realize that maybe, if you want to share this with others, maybe it’s on your shoulders. Maybe you don’t want to shoulder that responsibility and I certainly wouldn’t blame you - but maybe you’ll help inspire a feeling of ownership in another person near you. Maybe your hard work will eventually pay off and some day in the future that collection can meet its full research potential when we as a society can agree that museums are worth having in dedicated spaces with the resources they require to spread that feeling of ownership to more than just you and me. And maybe we can look back on all of this in a few decades and laugh at how hard we had to work together in order to make it all happen. 

imaginationshow:

David;1. Check out the Brain Scoop. 2. Go drink tea with Emily.3. Make a video of it together with her.4. Recieve my unmeasurable gratitude and all the fan art you’ll ever need.
/Henning

Kudos to Henning for kickstarting the initiative to make my ultimate dream come true. 

imaginationshow:

David;
1. Check out the Brain Scoop.
2. Go drink tea with Emily.3. Make a video of it together with her.
4. Recieve my unmeasurable gratitude and all the fan art you’ll ever need.

/Henning

Kudos to Henning for kickstarting the initiative to make my ultimate dream come true. 

dustyarchivekittendeaths:

libralthinking:

thebrainscoop:

monkeycooties:

guardian:

The top 30 young people in digital media: Nos 30-11

The Guardian’s 10 trainee digital journalists invited Alex Hern and Matt Andrews from the Guardian, and BuzzFeed’s editorial director Jack Shepherd to help choose the most exciting people under 30 in digital media. Here are their choices for Nos 30-11

PJ Liguori (30), Rachel Rosenfelt (25), Laurie Penny (22), Caroline O’Donovan (20), Jack Harries (19), Dylan Sprouse (18), Tanya Burr (17), King Bach (16), Emily Graslie (15), Lewis Hancox (13). 

Click photos for credits and captions. 

Um, shout out to thebrainscoop's lovely Emily Graslie !  Great list of fantastic individuals showing us how digital media can really, really, really, rock our world.  :o)

YEAH WHOOOOO 

WHY does every collection have to be described as DUSTY?!? Congratulations and well deserved to Emily Graslie aside from that infuriating word.  Dusty museums, dusty collections = irrelevant collections.  BOO.  Emily Graslie’s work reflects how vibrant museum collections are - not because they were dusty without her, but because our stereotypes are. So grateful for her work and the work of all others getting the vibrant non-dustiness of our collections into the public eye- especially the preparation, care and preservation, research, services, people, and community that surround the stuff - whether or not it may need occasional dusting.

/dusty

Every time you refer to a collection or library as “dusty”, a kitten dies 

The Brain Scoop:
The Replicator

If I hadn’t ended up Corresponding Curiosities, I sure hope I would have been able to use my background in studio art to have a job like Max’s. Not only does he need to have a significant understanding of science, but also education, aesthetics, and an extensive knowledge of durable materials. As a result he spends his days making baby turtles, sculpting flying snakes, carving gigantic termite mounds, and building giant blue worms. 

You can come visit Max’s work onsite now in our latest exhibitions, The Machine Inside: Biomechanicsand check out last week’s episode with Bob in The Interactives Shop for more information about The Field Museum’s dynamic exhibitions department! 

Gorgonopsid: 265 - 252 mya. These were saber-toothed carnivores that existed about 7 million years after Dimetrodon, and were some of the largest predators to dominate the Late Permian. They also had saber teeth before Smilodon made them fashionable - preceding those cool cats by a smooth 250 million years. (at The Field Museum)

Gorgonopsid: 265 - 252 mya. These were saber-toothed carnivores that existed about 7 million years after Dimetrodon, and were some of the largest predators to dominate the Late Permian. They also had saber teeth before Smilodon made them fashionable - preceding those cool cats by a smooth 250 million years. (at The Field Museum)

We filmed “Dimetrodon is Not a Dinosaur” today and had THE BEST TIME EVER
Major thanks to Ken Angielczyk, Associate Curator of Paleomammalogy, for all of his help with this upcoming episode. I never knew I cared so much about early non-mammalian synapsid evolution. You can read his enlightening paper by the same name here. Photo is by Tom McNamara.
I’m going to be a big fan of Dimetrodon for life. 
that was a pun

We filmed “Dimetrodon is Not a Dinosaur” today and had THE BEST TIME EVER

Major thanks to Ken Angielczyk, Associate Curator of Paleomammalogy, for all of his help with this upcoming episode. I never knew I cared so much about early non-mammalian synapsid evolution. You can read his enlightening paper by the same name here. Photo is by Tom McNamara.

I’m going to be a big fan of Dimetrodon for life. 

that was a pun

Hey! 

I did an interview with MTV Act! YEAH WHOO 

Filming “Dimetrodon is #notadinosaur” today in the vertebrate paleontology collections. Celebrating with this painting by Charles R. Knight, hanging in the synapsid hall in Evolving Planet.  (at The Field Museum)

Filming “Dimetrodon is #notadinosaur” today in the vertebrate paleontology collections. Celebrating with this painting by Charles R. Knight, hanging in the synapsid hall in Evolving Planet. (at The Field Museum)

okrooart:

I feel bad for not updating regularly these days, so I’ve decided to show what I’ve been working on all this time. As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been hired to draw illustrations for a children’s alphabet book focusing on unusual looking animals. Here is the current state of the illustration for letter “A” (I hesitate to use the word “final draft” because I may decide to fiddle around with colors and edit details later on, buuut this is more or less finished.) I’m currently working on the letter “K”, but for now I think this is a good sample showing where I am! I’m also going to try to upload other art more frequently, so stay tuned.

I met Hilary last week when she came to one of my presentations at The Field Museum. She mentioned to me me that she was working on illustrating a children’s book about animals but she totally undersold herself; this book aims to highlight some less popular but still critically significant animals across their kingdom.
It’s easy for us to say something is ugly, or creepy, if we don’t have a strong understanding or relation to that animal, but our interpretations of what is aesthetically pleasing shouldn’t influence the inclination to support the conservation of many of these species. I’m all for pandas and tigers, but sometimes we need new interpretations in our efforts to raise awareness about conservation for some of the less photogenic lifeforms that are in desperate need of support. That’s why I believe so much in education and encouragement from a young age: we’ve got an entirely new generation that’s going to grow up to appreciate naked mole rats because they’ve been shown to us in a way that is charming, rather than eww check out this gross naked rat, which unfortunately is all too popular. 
Kudos, Hilary! #weevillove

okrooart:

I feel bad for not updating regularly these days, so I’ve decided to show what I’ve been working on all this time. As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been hired to draw illustrations for a children’s alphabet book focusing on unusual looking animals. Here is the current state of the illustration for letter “A” (I hesitate to use the word “final draft” because I may decide to fiddle around with colors and edit details later on, buuut this is more or less finished.) I’m currently working on the letter “K”, but for now I think this is a good sample showing where I am! I’m also going to try to upload other art more frequently, so stay tuned.

I met Hilary last week when she came to one of my presentations at The Field Museum. She mentioned to me me that she was working on illustrating a children’s book about animals but she totally undersold herself; this book aims to highlight some less popular but still critically significant animals across their kingdom.

It’s easy for us to say something is ugly, or creepy, if we don’t have a strong understanding or relation to that animal, but our interpretations of what is aesthetically pleasing shouldn’t influence the inclination to support the conservation of many of these species. I’m all for pandas and tigers, but sometimes we need new interpretations in our efforts to raise awareness about conservation for some of the less photogenic lifeforms that are in desperate need of support. That’s why I believe so much in education and encouragement from a young age: we’ve got an entirely new generation that’s going to grow up to appreciate naked mole rats because they’ve been shown to us in a way that is charming, rather than eww check out this gross naked rat, which unfortunately is all too popular. 

Kudos, Hilary! #weevillove

Found this in Anna’s lab - it’s one of the mice that fell into a pitfall trap during our “Insect Adventures” with Jim Louderman last summer. I was surprised and delighted to see that he included me on the label. :)  (at The Field Museum)

Found this in Anna’s lab - it’s one of the mice that fell into a pitfall trap during our “Insect Adventures” with Jim Louderman last summer. I was surprised and delighted to see that he included me on the label. :) (at The Field Museum)