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  • Sharks are our friends! | BEYONDbones
    their boots with Basking shark skin to help with traction on slippery wet surfaces Megalodon Jaw photo credit Ryan Somma The extinct Megalodon was the largest shark to ever exist It had teeth the size of a human hand As a sidebar here I was out at a conference touting the wonders of the Museum and showing off some impressive fossils one of which being a shark s tooth not a megalodon but still impressive I was holding it for a teacher to see its serrated edge and it actually cut open my finger Who else can say they were bitten by a million s of years old shark Great white sharks live about 25 years They do not start reproducing until they are around 20 and only have around 2 litters of 6 7 pups in their lifetime Some scientists believe there are only around 10 000 in the world As an apex predator they are at the tops of the food chain and are needed to maintain balance in their respective ecosystems Some sharks only grow to be 8 inches long photo credit Drew And Merissa The largest shark today is the Whale Shark which can grow up to 50 or 60 feet long Don t worry though they re filter feeders that eat plankton More than 375 species of shark have been discovered so far less than a dozen of these are dangerous to humans Also 90 of all shark attacks of which there are around 100 per year end in the victim s survival This is because humans are not sharks intended prey They take a taste the sharks equivalent of sampling the menu and spit out what turned out not to be a fish or a seal As you can see sharks are not the

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/09/sharks-are-our-friends/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Morpho cypris | BEYONDbones
    description of a new object every few days This description is from Nancy the museum s director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center and curator of entomology She s chosen a selection of objects that represent the rarest and most interesting insects in the Museum s collections that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Although not considered endangered this Morpho species is relatively rare in collections As it flies along river beds in its native rainforest habitat and sunlight hits its wings the ethereal iridescent blue of the male blazes like a flashing mirror The females much less commonly seen occur in two color forms one reflective blue the other muted yellow tan and brown The caterpillars are covered with yellow and red hairs and eat the leaves of trees in the legume family Morpho cypris is found from Nicaragua to Ecuador Learn more about butterflies and their relatives in a visit to the new Brown Hall of Entomology a part of the Cockrell Butterfly Center a living walk through rainforest at the Houston Museum of Natural Science You can see more images of this fascinating artifact as well as the others we ve

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/09/100-years-100-objects-morpho-cypris/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Hello! And who are you? | BEYONDbones
    modern there was dense human settlement on the Island of Manhattan Verrazano himself acknowledges this as he describes people as dressed in birds feathers of various color a gentle reminder to us of what was lost over the centuries since the European arrival Even though the custom of feather work making survived in North and South America feather work dating back 500 years or even more can only be found in parts of South America Oral tradition written down about one and a half century later describes the encounter from the Indian point of view A few days after the initial encounter between the Europeans and the original inhabitants of the Island the former proposed to stay with them asking them only for so much land as the hide of a bullock would cover or encompass which hide was brought forward and spread on the ground before them That they readily granted this request whereupon the whites took a knife and beginning at one place on this hide cut it up into a rope not thicker than the finger of a little child so that by the time this hide was cut up there was a great heap T his rope was drawn out to a great distance and then brought round again so that both ends might meet That they carefully avoided its breaking and that upon the whole it encompassed a large piece of ground That they the Indians were surprised at the superior wit of the whites but did not wish to contend with them about a little land as they had enough Dutch presence and settlement both on Manhattan Island and in other parts of New York state steadily grew over the next half century We benefit from decades of archaeological research in North Central and

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/09/hello-and-who-are-you/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Quirky Museum History: Planetarium Jewelry | BEYONDbones
    confoundment Oh yeah that cleared it right up With no further elucidation forthcoming from Laurel I gave in and asked what the heck these things were Tiles she announced satisfied with having stumped me Extra tiles from the original exterior dome of the planetarium No kidding Boy this is a new one on me We ve got newspaper clippings correspondence photos blueprints plaques you name it in the museum s historical archives Jewelry fashioned from original building materials Nope this is a first Laurel and Katrina don t have a lot of background on the jewelry but they shared what they knew Apparently after the planetarium was finished in 1964 there were a number of small square tiles meant for the dome s exterior left over Laurel s grandfather Katrina s father Wallace C Thompson a HMNS Board member at that time had been instrumental in establishing the planetarium and her grandmother Eloise Reid Thompson decided to commemorate the opening of the planetarium by making jewelry out of the unused dome tiles You might remember an earlier post about Mrs Thompson who was a wild flower artist Many of her paintings are in the HMNS collection The tiles became earrings bracelets and cuff links No one seems to know if Mrs Thompson was the only one who did this or if there were others Perhaps it was some sort of HMNS Guild project The tiles appear to be authentic there are still plenty of us who remember when the planetarium dome had a coppery sheen to it The old fashioned screw ear clips fit that era and the glue has yellowed enough to be forty five years old It d be great to have these funky little artifacts validated so if you can add any information or better yet have

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/09/quirky-museum-history-planetarium-jewelry/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Go Stargazing! September Edition | BEYONDbones
    moons themselves Europa s shadow appears at 11 56 pm and Ganymede s at 1 46 am At 1 32 am on Thursday morning September 3 Io emerges from Jupiter s shadow and is again visible By 1 50 Europa has crossed to the other side of Jupiter s disk its transit is over Ganymede finishes its transit at 3 24 Callisto comes out of Jupiter shadow at 3 44 Observe Jupiter in your telescope at dawn on the 3rd and you ll see all four Galilean moons again photo credit shish0r Venus is a dazzling morning star this month Look east right as day begins to break for the brightest thing unless the Moon is nearby Venus remains the morning star for the rest of 2009 Mars is a little higher in the east at dawn than it has been Still it remains fairly dim Look for Mars above Venus in the east Saturn is now behind the Sun from our perspective and thus invisible On September 4 the Earth is exactly in Saturn s ring plane and the rings actually vanish from view The Big Dipper is lower in the northwest than earlier in the summer you may need a clear northwest horizon to see it especially later in the month From the Big Dipper s handle you can arc to Arcturus Arcturus in the west at dusk is the fourth brightest star we ever see at night and will be the brightest star in our evening skies during all of September In the southwest as night falls is Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion This is a red supergiant star about 700 times as wide across as our Sun To the Scorpion s left look for eight stars in the shape of a teapot These stars are the

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/09/go-stargazing-september-edition-2/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Diplodocus | BEYONDbones
    sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Diplodocus Jurassic Period 140 million years old She s not the weightiest herbivore in her Jurassic world Her close kin Apatosaurus would be twice as heavy Her neighbor Brachiosaurus would be four times her bulk But no other dinosaur can exceed our Diplodocus in the combination of length and delicacy of architecture The animal is labeled a she from an old tradition but in fact we don t know the gender yet Diplodocus is one of a trio of long necked giants who together make up 90 or more of the large dinosaurs in the American West during the final stages of the Period Usually Camarasaurus is commonest Its thin neck of moderate length boxy head and long front legs contrast with the attenuated neck pointed muzzle and short forelimbs of Diplodocus and the Apatosaurs Apatosaurus itself matches the Diplodocus proportions closely except that every bone is greater in girth The trio was unearthed in the two decades of the Great Jurassic Gold Rush when eastern museums revealed the riches of the Jurassic fauna in Wyoming and Colorado The first good Camarasaur skeleton was dug in 1877 the first good Apatosaur in 1879 the first good Diplodocus in 1896 The HMNS Diplodocus was 78 feet long 12 feet high at the hips and probably weighed 10 15 tons Wander among prehistoric beasts in the Paleontology Hall a permanent exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science You can see more images of this fascinating artifact as well as the others we ve posted so far this year in the 100 Objects section at 100 hmns org 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Paleontology and tagged 100 years 100 objects apatosaur Brachiosaurus dino dinosaurs Diplodocus fossils HMNS Jurassic jurassic

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/09/100-years-100-objects-diplodocus/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Book List: Water, from snowflakes to African ponds | BEYONDbones
    photograph snowflakes However a year later he found a way to make it possible for everyone to see the great beauty in a tiny crystal Winters passed some winters he could take only a few pictures and some winters he was able to take hundreds Bentley gave speeches about snow and published pictures in magazines However he never became rich because he spent his money on his pictures Ironically after a long walk to photograph snowflakes Snowflake Bentley died of pneumonia The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children Snowflake Bentley won the Caldecott Medal in 1999 I met author Jane Kurtz when the Museum opened the exhibit Lucy s Legacy The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia Jane the daughter of a missionary grew up in Ethiopia and many of her books provide insight into that country Jane and her brother Christopher wrote Water Hole Waiting the simple story of life on the African savanna and the importance of water to life photo credit doug88888 When morning arrives the monkeys are ready to eat and drink However mother monkey grabs her child s paw to keep him away from hippo s yawning jaws as the hippos drink and swim in the water hole When the hippos leave the monkey tries again to visit the water hole but are held back because the grazers including zebras are running down the path But the zebras have to be careful too crocodiles are waiting for their breakfast Again mother monkey holds her child back And so the day at the water hole progresses from early morning until evening when the monkeys finally get to drink The Authors Note provides additional insight into life at a watering hole It appears that animals take turns with different species drinking at different times however during the dry time different species may drink together Children will understand when the Kurtzes explain whether you re a thirsty monkey hanging back while a lion drinks or a person hiding near a water hole hoping to spot a parade of animals waiting is never easy The large colorful illustrations almost give an insight into the animals personalities look at their eyes and expressions I am not sure I could last all day watching the water hole but if the animals resemble the illustrations I would certainly try Because I like the simplicity of the Kurtzes book I also chose another on the same topic The Water Hole by Graeme Base Base is an Australian author whose alliteration filled alphabet book Animalia and picture book mystery The Eleventh Hour are favorites with teachers children and parents The pages of all three books feature amazing borders to complement the incredible illustrations The Water Hole is a counting book that takes you around the world looking at animals and birds in their native habitats all drinking at water holes One hippo is the first to drink at the shrinking

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/09/book-list-water-from-snowflakes-to-african-ponds/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Terra Cotta Warrior Escapes! | BEYONDbones
    cotta warrior tourist by Erin B Bookmark the permalink About Erin B Erin is the Director of Business Development at HMNS In a past life she was a public relations and online marketing dynamo at HMNS View all posts by Erin B 3 thoughts on Terra Cotta Warrior Escapes Sharon on September 1 2009 at 7 09 pm said I loved this so cute Erin F on September 2 2009

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/09/terra-cotta-warrior-escapes/ (2016-02-12)
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