What is it? In January 2013, with the help of Hank Green and Michael Aranda, I began hosting an educational YouTube channel called The Brain Scoop.  We discuss everything about the curious and fascinating world of taxidermy, natural history, and animal preservation including its role in society, its place in museums throughout history and in contemporary times, and the practices and procedures of specimen preparation.  We also address queries, questions, curiosities, and pretty much anything else involved with this subject. 

In July 2013, we relocated to the The Field Museum in Chicago to showcase their world-renowned collection! 


Let’s talk about your favorite animal.  

Episode 1: The Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum — A tour.

Episode 2: Ask Emily #1 — Q&A.

Episode 3: The Spirit Collection — Where I show you the oft forgotten wet collection.

Episode 4: A Bear Skull — Short initial summary of a recently procured black bear skull. 

Episode 5: Getting the Wolf — Where we collect a wolf that had been hit by a car. 

Episode 6: Recommended Readings — Where I tell you how you can gain superpowers. 

Episode 7: Skinning the Wolf — Wherein we remove the skin of the wolf from episode 5.  THIS EPISODE HAS BEEN AGE RESTRICTED.  To watch it anyway, view it here

Episode 8: Discussing the Wolf — Wherein we answer questions about Tuesday’s episode. 

Episode 9: Gutting the Wolf — In which we take the wolf’s insides and move them outside. 

Episode 10: Emily Gets a Valentine — From me to you.

Episode 11:  Hungry like the Wolf — Wherein we search for buried treasures.

Episode 12:  Ask Emily #2 — Wherein I address popular queries about things and stuff, again. 

Episode 13: Tetrapodal Locomotion — Wherein we discuss what moves us - literally.

Episode 14: Wolf Head CSI Fun Time — In which things are not always as they seem, and brains get scooped. Watch this video without the age restriction here

Episode 15: Domestication — Wherein we discover what is living in Paris Hilton’s purse.

Episode 16: Horns vs. Antlers — Wherein we explain the similarities and differences of horns and antlers. 

Episode 17: Pangolins - Wherein we discuss walking artichokes. 

Episode 18: Ask Emily #3 - I think you have an idea where this is going.

Episode 19: Outtakes, Volume 2 - Jokes. 

Episode 20: Owls - It’s a HOOT!

Episode 21: Most of a Bear - We took a hike, found a bear skeleton!

Episode 22: Kids’ Q&A - Some questions from our younger audience.

Episode 23: De-Extinction, Part One: How it works, kinda - Wherein we talk about what it means to ‘de-extinct’ - pet dinosaurs? Probably not.

Episode 24: De-Extinction, Part Two: Yes, no, maybe so? - Discussion about the moral and ethical implications of bringing back extinct species. Is it a good idea? Let me know what you think!

Episode 25: Chicago Adventure, Part I: Beetles ‘n Bats - Wherein Emily sees things she had only ever read about in books. The first in a series!

Episode 26: Chicago Adventure, Part II: Catalogue Dialogue - Wherein Emily very nearly cries at least seven times. 

Episode 27: Mammalian Diversification - Wherein we attempt to figure out our origins. 

Episode 28: Emily Vlogs: On Dissection - Wherein Emily dispenses advice on tackling your first dissection. 

Episode 29: Chicago Adventure, Part III: Little Skeletons - Wherein we explore tiny skeletons and adaptive evolution. 

Episode 30: Chicago Adventure, Part IV: Rodents of Unusual Size - Wherein we explore the biggest things ever. 

Episode 31: Chicago Adventure, Part V: The Platypus, the Skin, and the Cold - Wherein *BRAIN ASPLODE*

Episode 32: Chicago Adventure, Part VI: The Spice of Life - Wherein we discuss the underrated smell of dead chipmunks.

Episode 33: Chicago Adventure, Part VII: Octopus Sex - Wherein Dr. Janet Voight settles the eternal debate about the plural form of “octopus,” and becomes my new favorite person.

Episode 34: Chicago Adventure, Part VIII: How to be an Insect - Wherein Jim Boone shows off his insects. Some of these might actually be plants. I’m still not convinced otherwise.

Episode 35: A note from Emily - Wherein I very informally upload a thank you from my hotel room.

Episode 36: Ask Emily #4 - QUESTION TIIIME WITH EMILY!

Episode 37: Farewell, Montana I say goodbye to my first love. 

Episode 38: Welcome to The Field Museum - The possibilities are endless! We’re going to film ALL OF THE THINGS!

Episode 39: Olinguito - Wherein we talk to Bill Stanley about Kris Helgen’s Olinguito!

Episode 40: What is a Museum? - Wherein we ask researchers, curators, scientists, docents, and visitors alike how they would define a museum.

Episode 41: Ask Emily #5 - Wherein questions are answered and arms are waved.

Episode 42: Hosenose, Part One - Emily is back at it again with Anna Goldman, mammal preparation lab manager, and special guest Hosenose.

Episode 43: Hosenose, Part Two - Wherein Emily and Anna explore Hosenose from the inside out.

Episode 44: The Hero Shrew - Bill Stanley tells us all about the weird and wonderful Hero Shrew, and reveals his latest discovery!

Episode 45: Moths vs Butterflies - Wherein we explore the order Lepidoptera!

Episode 46: Ask Emily #6 - Questions and answers and more questions and more answers!

Episode 47: Zebra Bits - What’s black and white and red all over? A zebra on The Brain Scoop!

Episode 48: Insect Adventure, Part One - Nothing says collection expedition like rotten chicken liver!

Episode 49: Insect Adventure, Part Two - Wherein we continue our expedition and find beetles, poop-shaped caterpillars, and schoolchildren.

Episode 50: The Gem Room - Wherein we open the vaults and unveil some of the shinier secrets from the Museum’s geology collection!

Episode 51: Insect Adventure, Part Three - Check out what is living in the Hanover, IL prairie, PLUS Jim Louderman shows us how to prepare insects for the collection. WIN-WIN.

Episode 52: Where My Ladies At? - How do we get more women involved in creating educational STEM content on YouTube?

Episode 53: Carl Akeley’s Four Seasons - Wherein we explore one of Carl Akeley’s most significant dioramas. Also he killed a leopard with his bare hands. WITH HIS BARE HANDS.

Episode 54
Carl Akeley’s Fighting African Elephants - ELEFINT. Or, how do you taxidermy an elephant?

Episode 55Squirrel McNastyface - Wherein we head back to Anna’s lab to dissect a squirrel with a ginormous abscess.

Episode 56The Nondenominational Holiday Botanical Celebration - Happy Holidays from The Brain Scoop Team!


  • Written, Produced, and Hosted by: Emily Graslie
  • Executive Producer: Hank Green
  • Directed, Edited, Produced by: Tom McNamara (March 2014 - present)
  • Directed, Edited, Animated, and Scored by: Michael Aranda (January 14th, 2013 - March 2014)
  • and the The Field Museum in Chicago, IL!