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Posts Tagged "natural history"

The Artful Amoeba

My Favorite Biology Finds in London’s Natural History Museum

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  This past year, I made a pilgrimage that every natural history lover should, if possible, make. I visited the Natural History Museum in London, the house that Richard Owen built, the home of the first dinosaur bones ever discovered, the first Archaeopteryx fossil, and a first-edition copy of  “On the Origin of Species”. If [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

What Does a Marmot Sound Like?

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What happens when squirrels invade the tundra? Well, in one case, they got chubby, fluffy, flappy-tailed, and occasionally kinda cranky, sorta like a hydrophobic alpine beaver. Here in the Rockies, they’re called yellow-bellied marmots. Until recently, I’d rarely seen one and had never heard one call. They seemed to maintain a strict code of silence [...]

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Compound Eye

Insects found, and not found, at Middlefork Savanna

I hope you’ll forgive a post with no point other than to share a few photos. Yesterday I drove to Chicago in search of an ant I’d not yet photographed for an Ants of North America project. The ant is the charismatic Dolichoderus mariae, a species that isn’t actually all that rare but seems to magically elude [...]

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Culturing Science

A Museum Chapel for Microscopic Biodiversity

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Animals with backbones (vertebrates) make up only 4% of the species on our planet. Yet when you walk into a natural history museum, they’re all you see. The dinosaur skeletons stretching across a ballroom? Vertebrates. Dioramas starring posed buffalo, lions, or zebra? Vertebrates. The endless cases of delicate stuffed birds? You guessed it: vertebrates. “It’s [...]

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Culturing Science

A Hilarious Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Montana’s Natural History Museum

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The University of Montana’s natural history museum in Missoula is the “largest zoological museum in Montana and one of the major zoological collections of the Northern Rocky Mountains,” according to its website. Its collections hold 14,500 mammalian specimens, 7,000 birds, 3,200 fish, and 320 reptiles and amphibians. However, it’s different than the typical ideal of [...]

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Culturing Science

A Natural History of Mistletoe

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Mistletoe is frequently spotted hanging above lovers’ heads in terrible holiday specials–but only during one month of the year. That makes it easy to forget that more than 1,300 species hang in forests year-round, parasitizing thousands of tree species around the world. Or, rather, hemiparasitizing, which means the plant is partially self-sufficient: it has its [...]

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Symbiartic

Reconstructing an Ancient Fin and Watching it Paddle to Fame

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Friends and colleagues who know that I illustrated Neil Shubin’s first book, Your Inner Fish, have been asking if I was involved in the three-part PBS series hosted by Shubin that will air next week on April 9th. The short answer is no. But I’m proud to say that I made this very model of [...]

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Symbiartic

ScienceArt on View in March/April 2014

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A fresh batch of exhibits combining science and art are going up around the country, plus, there’s still time to catch some of the longer running exhibits that go through the middle of 2014. From John J. Audubon to dark matter to hybrid bodies created with modern transplant technology, there’s something in here for everyone. [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt on the Scene in Nov/Dec. 2013

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Ahhh, fall. Time to look for more indoor activities. And aren’t you lucky? Here’s a list of sciart exhibits that will warm your heart while you warm your toes. EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION CLIMATE CHANGE IN OUR WORLD: Photographs by Gary Braasch October 16, 2013 – July 6, 2014 Museum of Science 1 Science Park Boston, [...]

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Symbiartic

A Mosaic of September SciArt Glory

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How many times do you have to do something before it is considered tradition? Last year, Glendon had the excellent idea to post a different #sciart image each day in the month of September. This year, we did it again and called it a blitz. In case you missed anything, here is a handy recap. [...]

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Symbiartic

Putting the Illustrations Before the Text

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We’re wrapping up the daily sciart posts today. We hope you’ve enjoyed them! Stay tuned tomorrow for a round-up of the month’s artists and images. Typically, illustrators are called in towards the end of a project. The text is largely written, and the author and/or art director have developed a clear idea of the illustration/s [...]

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Symbiartic

Are You A Mammal? Standardized Test

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Hannah Bonner is an illustrator who is creating an empire of informative, entertaining kids’ books about paleontology. They remind me of The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole: real science conveyed with a wacky sense of humor. Take, for example, Bonner’s “Are You A Mammal?” standardized test. It opens with the following instructions: Instructions: [...]

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Symbiartic

Unfeathered for All the World to See

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One of the most astonishing illustrated books to come out this year is the work of Katrina van Grouw, an ornithologist and fine artist who counts taxidermy among her eclectic skills. The book, titled The Unfeathered Bird, is described as no less than her lifetime’s ambition and leafing through its pages, it’s easy to see [...]

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Symbiartic

The Drawings Behind Charles R. Knight’s Famous Paintings

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If you’ve ever visited the great animal halls of New York’s American Museum of Natural History or Chicago’s Field Museum, you have seen the paintings of Charles R. Knight. Despite being legally blind (due to a childhood injury), his depictions of animals in their natural environments were unrivaled at the time. To this day, they [...]

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Symbiartic

The SciArt Buzz: ScienceArt on Exhibit in Sept/Oct 2013

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Summer may be coming to a close, but there are buckets of good science art exhibitions opening at venues near YOU! EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION SENSING CHANGE July 1, 2013 – May 2, 2014 Chemical Heritage Foundation Gallery 315 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA Sensing Change, an initiative of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, invites us to explore [...]

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Symbiartic

Fish, Fungus and Flea Beetles

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The Southern Ontario Nature & Science Illustrators’ (SONSI) exhibit is on right now in Toronto. I used to be webmaster-blogger for this amazing group – and I would be hard-pressed to find a more professional, fun, and above all talented group of illustrators anywhere. These are the people you want illustrating your ebooks on biodiversity [...]

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