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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Pholidocercus hassiacus | BEYONDbones
    in the Museum s collection Located near Darmstadt Germany the quarry was originally a pit mine for oil shale Abandoned when the mine no longer was profitable plans were made to convert the pit to a landfill The site was eventually saved and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of the spectacular number and preservation of the fossils found there During the Eocene the quarry was a deep lake The lake bottom an anoxic silty ooze was toxic to bottom dwelling fauna With nearly 50 million years of hindsight the inhospitable waters created an environment that guaranteed dead animals which had drifted to the lake floor were not scavenged and their remains mixed by the daily activities of bottom dwelling animals The lake accumulated the remains of algae bacteria insects spiders fishes reptiles amphibians birds and mammals potentially anything calling the lush tropical forest home A dark side to the fossil accumulation was spurred by releases of Co2 and hydrogen sulfide from the lake that poisoned and suffocated large numbers of animals living near the lake One of the most famous recent Messel fossils to come to light is Darwinius masillae or Ida an early primate This early relative of a hedge hog was covered with bristle hairs similar to modern hedge hogs but had scales on its head and tail Traces of the bristle hairs can be seen as a faint black silhouette around the fossil The stomach contents are also preserved and visible This perfect articulation of the skeleton and the tantalizingly preserved traces of soft tissue point to a quick burial absent of scavenging and bioturbation a hallmark of the unique preservation found at the Messel Pit Wander among prehistoric beasts in the Paleontology Hall a permanent exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objects-pholidocercus-hassiacus/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years 100 Objects: Morganite | BEYONDbones
    this diverse selection of behind the scenes curiosities we will post the image and description of a new object every few days This description is from Joel the Museum s President and Curator of Gems and Minerals He s chosen spectacular objects from the Museum s mineralogy collection which includes some of the most rare and fascinating mineral specimens in the world that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Beryl Variety Morganite White Queen Mine San Diego County California The White Queen mine is famous for beautiful crystals of pink beryl the gem variety morganite named after financier J P Morgan The pictured 7 9 cm crystal found in 1964 may well be the best ever found there It has good color no damage a glassy luster on the big hexagonal c face and interesting crystal form and it rests on a base of white albite crystals Peter Bancroft in his World s Finest Minerals and Crystals 1973 considers this specimen to be the world s finest example of pink beryl although fans of examples from Madagascar and Brazil might put up an argument Marvel at the world s most spectacular collection of natural mineral crystals in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals 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 2 5 0 This entry was posted in Gems Minerals and tagged 100 years 100 objects albite albite crystal beryl gems gems and minerals j p morgan minerals morganite pink beryl preserving artifacts preserving objects by Joel Bookmark the permalink About Joel Not only is Joel the President of the Museum he

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objects-morganite/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Spadefoot Toad | BEYONDbones
    fortunate to have a few fossils from the Messel Pit in the Museum s collection Located near Darmstadt Germany the quarry was originally a pit mine for oil shale Abandoned when the mine no longer was profitable plans were made to convert the pit to a landfill The site was eventually saved and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of the spectacular number and preservation of the fossils found there During the Eocene the quarry was a deep lake The lake bottom an anoxic silty ooze was toxic to bottom dwelling fauna With nearly 50 million years of hindsight the inhospitable waters created an environment that guaranteed dead animals which had drifted to the lake floor were not scavenged and their remains mixed by the daily activities of bottom dwelling animals The lake accumulated the remains of algae bacteria insects spiders fishes reptiles amphibians birds and mammals potentially anything calling the lush tropical forest home A dark side to the fossil accumulation was spurred by releases of Co2 and hydrogen sulfide from the lake that poisoned and suffocated large numbers of animals living near the lake One of the most famous recent Messel fossils to come to light is Darwinius masillae or Ida an early primate Though well preserved these fossils are extremely delicate The shale encasing the fossils has a high water content and crumbles when dried It wasn t until amateur collectors perfected the technique of embedding the fossil in resin that they could be fully appreciated This amphibian likely lived near the shore of the lake burying itself by day and emerging at night to feed and mate The stiff body posture hints at a last spasmodic leap from being poisoned by the release of toxic suffocating gasses from the lake Wander among prehistoric beasts

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objects-spadefoot-toad/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 years – 100 Objects: Spodumene | BEYONDbones
    from Joel the Museum s President and Curator of Gems and Minerals He s chosen spectacular objects from the Museum s mineralogy collection which includes some of the most rare and fascinating mineral specimens in the world that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Spodumene variety kunzite Pala Chief Mine San Diego County California When the mineral spodumene occurs in lilac colored crystals it is known as the variety kunzite after the eminent Tiffany Company mineralogist George F Kunz 1856 1932 The gorgeous 30 cm crystal shown here from the Pala Chief mine in San Diego County California is one of the finest North American kunzite crystals ever recovered and the best that has been found in California Marvel at the world s most spectacular collection of natural mineral crystals in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals 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 Gems Minerals and tagged 100 years 100 objects gems gems

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objects-spodumene/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Brachiopod | BEYONDbones
    the museum s curator of paleontology He s chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating fossils in the Museum s collections that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Brachiopod Grandaurispina kingorum Permian Willis Ranch Member World Formation Brewster County Texas The Glass Mountains are famous for silicified fossils of Permian age such as this Brachiopod Unique build ups of fossil shells both wave generated accumulations of dead shells and massive brachiopod dominated reefs produced by the complex interactive growth of millions of marine invertebrates that occur in the Glass Mountains Fossils from the Glass Mountains are of special interest because of their level of detail Blocks of limestone from the Glass Mountains can be treated with weak acids to dissolve the limestone from the acid resistant silicified fossils This process often leaves unharmed the delicate spines and ornamentation found on some brachiopods and bivalves 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objects-brachiopod/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 years – 100 Objects: Child Sandal | BEYONDbones
    scenes curiosities we will post the image and description of a new object every few days This description is from Dirk the museum s curator of anthropology He s chosen a selection of objects that represent human cultures throughout time and around the world that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Child sandal Basketmaker culture SW US This child s sandal represents daily life an aspect that tends to get short shrift in archaeological exhibits where the life of the rich and famous tended to dominate This simple fragile everyday object however brings home that people living in what is now the Southwest US had recognizable possessions like this prehistoric flip flop A child once wore it and lost it Undoubtedly this must have provoked the anger of his or her parents Nothing much has changed in that regard over the last 1000 years Explore thousands of years of Native American history in the John P McGovern Hall of the Americas 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objects-child-sandal/ (2016-02-12)
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  • HMNS: Here’s to 101! [12 Days of HMNS] | BEYONDbones
    videos on 12days hmns org we won t tell 2009 was the Museum s centennial our 100th year of science education in Houston We re very proud of our history and excited about the amazing changes that are coming to the Museum as we expand our facility over the next few years Throughout the year we produced a video series of interviews with our staff who have been here the longest the record is 39 years This video is a collection of our favorite moments with them as well as their ideas for where the Museum is headed for our next century of science Enjoy Need to catch up The First Day of HMNS Explore Snow Science The Second Day of HMNS Preview The Chronicles of Narnia Exhibition The Third Day of HMNS Preview Disney s A Christmas Carol The Fourth Day of HMNS Investigate The Star of Bethlehem The Fifth Day of HMNS Shop The Perfect Gift The Sixth Day of HMNS Marvel Faberge The Seventh Day of HMNS Glimpse Spirits Headhunters The Eighth Day of HMNS Behind the Scenes HMNS Greenhouses The Ninth Day of HMNS Revealed Gem Vault The Tenth Day of HMNS Discover HMNS at Sugar Land The Eleventh Day of HMNS Magic The Science of Wonder Get into the holiday spirit Visit our 12 Days of HMNS web site to see the videos and get more information about each event exhibit and film 12days hmns org Today is our last day of videos and we hope you ve enjoyed the series It s also Christmas day and if you re looking for something to do we ve got you covered Both HMNS and HMNS at Sugar Land are open today we hope to see you Happy Holidays 0 0 0 This entry was posted in

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/hmns-heres-to-101-12-days-of-hmns/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Life Through Time Mural | BEYONDbones
    selection of objects that represent the most fascinating fossils in the Museum s collections that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Timelines are an important element to telling a story through exhibits At the Houston Museum of Natural Science early life on Earth is recreated in a linear timeline with the fossils themselves as the stops The time represented is collectively grouped as the Paleozoic period and accounts for around 300 million years of the history of life The fossils displayed on the wall form the stops on the time line grouped by famous localities that historically defined the sub eras Pre Cambrian Cambrian Ordovician Silurian Devonian Carboniferous and Permian This is appropriate as prior the development of technology that allows paleontologists to compute absolute dates the divisions between the geologic periods were defined by the fossils present in geologic layers At first glance the fossils in the case may appear similar but they are very different and come from many of the type localities that created the boundaries To bring this timeline to life a vibrant visual motif was created Mounted behind the fossils is a brightly lit graphic that unfreezes the animals from their rock prisons and remembers them as best we can alive and in their natural environments This motif came from an original oil painting commissioned by the Houston Museum of Natural Science The Paleozoic diptych painted by acclaimed paleontology artist William Stout is titled Life Before the Dinosaurs The original oils have never been exhibited publicly but grace the walls of a conference room 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objects-life-through-time-mural/ (2016-02-12)
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