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  • Giant Atlas Moths fluttering into the Butterfly Center soon | BEYONDbones
    and have longer antennae Each moth starts it s life as a beautiful emerald colored caterpillar The larvae feed on a wide variety of food plants and may even wander from one to another As it gets bigger it developes a more waxy light white ish green coloration It then spins a silken cocoon to protect itself and pupates inside This is different from butterflies who develop inside a chrysalis not a cocoon The adults as in other Saturniids have no mouth parts whatsoever so they cannot feed They survive off of fat reserves they build up as caterpillars Polyphemus Moth photo credit Andreanna Moths fly at night so you may see these large moths resting on trees in the Butterfly Center during the day paying no attention to the butterflies fluttering all around them I try really hard each time a moth emerges to place it in a very obvious place so people can see them Many people think they are fake because they sit so still but now you know they are not Some other moths that belong in the Saturniidae family that you can find around here include the cecropia moth Hyalophora cecropia polyphemus moth Antheraea polyphemus and the luna moth Actias luna These moths aren t as big as the atlas moth but they are big when compared to other moths and butterflies in Texas Luna Moth photo credit Aunt Owwee I hope you get a chance to stop off and see our wonderful giants and keep a look out for the native moths they are a wonder to see too 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged actias actias luna antheraea antheraea polyphemus atlas moth attacus atlas butterflies Butterfly Butterfly Center caterpillars cecropia moth chrysalis Cockrell Butterfly Center cocoons giant

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/10/come-see-the-atlas-moths/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Cigar boxes and sparkles are the way to a teachers heart! | BEYONDbones
    groans when you say ok everyone 5 more minutes and then we re going to move on you would be completely familiar with the sounds we heard from this group of teachers They were so excited to continue working on their mini altars creating tiny bouquets of flowers out of modeling clay cutting out tiny papel picado from construction paper building stairways and platforms for their tiny clay loaves of bread to perch upon these teachers were going to town After the allotted time for hands on activities had finished for the night David Temple took the group on a flashlight tour of the Hall of the Americas and the Paleontology Hall Then some teachers decided to call it a night but others asked to be able to go back and work on their altars how could we say no By about 3 am everyone had finally headed up to bed and then it seemed like only moments later I was waking everyone up for breakfast at 7 am Just imagine those teachers were up in time for school on Friday and still up at 3am on Saturday morning with plenty of energy that s absolutely incredible I hope that they took their projects back to share with their students and spread the enthusiasm for Dia de los Muertos they shared with us at the Overnight Gel food coloring found in the cake decorating section of any cooking store is used to make the really vivid colors of royal icing This was the second Educator Overnight that we ve had here at the HMNS and I think we all agree that it was both a sucess and a lot of fun We ll be hosting our next Educator Overnight Mummies Tombs and Catacombs in April and registrations are already rolling

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/10/cigar-boxes-and-sparkles-are-the-way-to-a-teachers-heart/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Oct. Flickr Photo of the Month: Dino Shadows | BEYONDbones
    check out her Flickr photostream and her fabulous photoblog Photine This photo was taken in our new exhibition Dinosaur Mummy CSI Cretaceous Science Investigation and the dinosaur laanba is referring to is Leonardo one of the best preserved dinosaurs ever discovered The shadow is cast by a replica of what Leonardo would have looked like walking past you 77 million years ago it s a model based heavily on the fossil which has fossilized skin and preserved internal organs You can see both the fossil and the very sneaky replica laanba has captured so vibrantly through Jan 11 2009 So what s this Photo of the Month feature all about Our science museum is lucky enough to have talented and enthusiastic people who visit us every day wandering our halls grounds and satellite facilities capturing images of the wonders on display here that rival the beauty of the subjects themselves Thankfully many share their photos with us and everyone else in our HMNS Flickr group and we re posting our favorites here on the Museum s blog once a month You can check out all our previous picks here or here Many thanks to laanba for allowing us to share her beautiful photograph We hope this and all the other amazing photography in our group on Flickr will inspire you to bring a camera along next time you re here and show us what you see 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged cretaceous age dino dinosaurs flikr fossils HMNS internal organs leonardo mummified dinosaur mummy photo of the month photography photosteam Science 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/10/oct-flickr-photo-of-the-month-dino-shadows/ (2016-02-12)
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  • pIRANHA pH pUZZLE | BEYONDbones
    that will stimulate a fast feeding response I have witnessed this feeding frenzy just a handful of times in the years of daily feedings no pun intended It has happened each time only when I introduced a new food type After that they appear bored and once the tank leader starts feeding they leisurely swim into the slowly sinking food and choose a morsel before leaving the area It all seems surreal and calm considering the ideas many people have come to associate with a piranha feeding It can also be frustrating if you are trying to make sure they are getting the amount of food they need and not letting it sink to the bottom and go to waste What I envisioned happening during Ike So after a few days of them just nibbling at their food and us coming back to scoop out the leftovers we began testing the water Oddly enough our ammonia and nitrite levels were still negligible but we did a partial water change in case there was food hidden somewhere After waiting a day to allow the tank to settle a second round of testing included the pH which the test kit indicated a pH level of 6 0 Our RO reverse osmosis water tested at 7 0 so we did another water change of only 30 since rapid changes in pH are never good and piranha are very sensitive to quick adjustments more so than our other fish with an under gravel filter installed No immediate response from the fish and the next day when we tested the water the pH was still 6 0 or lower This continued through another water change and round of testing Math is not my favorite subject but you d think that if you had removed 1 5 times the volume of water in the tank by the time all of the water changes had been done the pH would have gone up at very least a little But still no change hence the puzzle part Here is the partial water change where we saw no net effect on the pH Puzzling Eventually we realized that the gravel could act as a sink for the hydrogen ions from the breakdown of ammonia into nitrite And since our water changes did not disturb the bottom the cause of our pH problem might be lurking in 3 inches of gravel Here is where diffusion smacked me in the face In our next water change we siphoned a small portion of the gravel as the water was removed instead of just removing the water and added our treated water back in The water was crystal clear and the filter running for about 25 minutes when I got a call saying my fish were gasping not dead just in deep trouble Panic set in and we raced to test the water the pH had spiked to 6 6 Did I mention piranha were sensitive to rapid change The fish were huddled

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/10/piranha-ph-puzzle/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Your Dino Mummy Questions, Answered | BEYONDbones
    woodlands today Dinosaurs had bird style eyes so camouflage had to match habitat colors Dull browns and greys were not good enough to fool an eagle eyed gorgosaur Early Judithian environs had wet forests with big conifer trees and in the rainy season thick underbrush Dry season would bring browns rust colors So Mike Berglund a dinosaur illustrator has made a testable theory with his partially banded Brachy Breaking the profile by having the tail a different color would help flummox predators who would have a more difficult time seeing the whole body and tail shape The thick verticals would help the beast blend in among the tree trunks How can we test color ideas More paleo environmental research More thinking about fossil pollen turtles crocodiles salamanders all witnesses to rainfall groundwater and floral geometry What animals alive today would be most like Leonardo photo credit The Anti ZIM The Antelope Family most diverse family of medium large planteaters on land today The Antelope Family includes cows and buffalo gazelles and oryx funny faced hartebeest and gnu cute duikers and stately eland Muskoxen and sheep and goats Antelope supply most of the prey for lions leopards cheetah and hyenas The Duckbill Family is the most diverse big ish plant eaters in the last part of the dinosaurian age the Late Cretaceous The Duckbill Family includes our HMNS Edmontosaurus and the Trombone Dinosaur Parasaurolophus kids favorite And the Good Mother Maiasaura who left us fossil eggs and nests Leo s species Brachylophosaurus is a duckbill too Duckbills supplied most of the prey for all the tyrannosaur meateaters such as Gorgosaurus Daspletosaurus and the famous Tyrannosaurus rex The technical name for the Antelope Family is Family Bovidae or bovids for short The technical name for the Duck Bill Family is Family Hadrosauridae

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/10/your-dino-mummy-questions-answered/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Sharky-Locks and the Three Gummi Bears | BEYONDbones
    opaque white gummi on the bottom If you want to know how much your gummi critters grow you might want to trace around them or measure them or just set some of your gummy snacks aside for comparison later I had an electronic balance handy so I used it but that s definitely not necessary The growing You need a container that can hold your gummi animals with a little room for expansion and enough water to keep them covered And now we wait You may notice some expansion an hour after you begin but your animals will look significantly bigger after 12 24 hours in water A few things to note If you plan to eat your critters once they expand please refrigerate them during the soaking process this may slow their expansion somewhat but you will also slow the growth of not so delicious bacteria Whether you are refrigerating or not set your critters somewhere and leave them alone as much as possible if they jostle around too much they may just dissolve and leave you with an unimpressive pool of colored sugar water After a 20 hour soak one of the bears intimidates his dry brother The after measurements This bear grew about three times as large as it was originally and the shark about twice as large it might have expanded further if given more time but it fell apart after being handled Here s a brief explanation of growing gummi snacks Extensions to try Soak your critters in distilled water salt water soda or juice or try soaking an expanded critter in salt water Do some brands of bears hold up better or expand more In case you were curious Yes you can spell it either way gummi or gummy 0 0 0 This entry

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/10/sharky-locks-and-the-three-gummi-bears/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Adopt A Butterfly – this Saturday | BEYONDbones
    aimlessly fly around you and it hits you like a ton of bricks that now is the time to relax and take life at a slower pace After 10 minutes of pure relaxation you finally start poking around the place and finding the most curious things butterfly host plants holding cocoons and caterpillars creeping vines crawling up two floors of glass walls to soak up the light and the splash of the waterfall which causes tiny droplets of water to spray upwards while the butterflies dance on them All of these things make up the rhythm of life within the Cockrell Butterfly Center Now it s your chance to participate in that rhythm For a contribution of 15 you can release a butterfly into the Center and become a butterfly parent Your contribution helps to pay for butterfly and insect food for weeds to be cut back for new plants and insect species to be introduced and for the upkeep of our greenhouse a safe haven for butterflies and plants until they are mature enough to reach the Center You are also contributing to HMNS ability to provide you and all of our visitors with the latest information and research about these incredible creatures photo credit Lida Rose Adopt A Butterfly Join us this Saturday October 11 2008 from 9 am until 2 pm in the Cockrell Butterfly Center for your chance to release a young butterfly into its new home Adopt A Butterfly tickets can be purchased online or at the door for 15 Receive your butterfly to be released in the Center your adoption certificate your name on our web site as a Butterfly Parent and a small commemorative gift for your donation While you re here participate in our crafts and activities Houston Holocaust Museum is spreading

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/10/adopt-a-butterfly-2/ (2016-02-12)
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  • LEGO: The building blocks of science | BEYONDbones
    a horse but Dr Bakker assured me that he has actually dug up horse bones before and therefore the model was accurate After selecting the cowboy hat for his figure to wear there was a fedora available as well I got a very nice photo of Dr Bakker holding up his Lego effigy for the contest Because only one entry was allowed per category I had to submit Dr Bakker under Real Scientists and the Curies as Good Scientists After that I had to wait until the end of September to find out the contest results Finally the contest winners were announced last Tuesday I was a bit disappointed that my Dr Bakker vignette did not win until I saw the very amusing depiction of Theoretical Physicist Moog creating fire in the laboratory To see it click here and scroll down to Class Four It s a good thing I took the black light photos of the Curies as they seemed to appeal to the judges Curies in the Lab won first place for Good Scientists garnering me a Lego kit featuring Lego Alligators All in all it was a very fun contest I would have been happy not winning a thing it s fun to build Lego scientists especially when I can get the real scientist in on the game Special thanks to Dr Bakker for being a good sport and participating in the contest with me 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged brick science building with LEGO Curies da vinci dr bakker dr bob bakker dr robert bakker evil scientists fans of LEGO fossils good scientists HMNS LEGO lego bricks lego contest LEGO fans LEGO sculpture legos Leonardo da Vinci mad scientist Madam Curie metropolis natural science museum Paleontology Pierre Curie real scientists reasonably clever robert bakker Rotwand scientists skeletons Thomas Edison by Steven Bookmark the permalink About Steven Steven never dreamed his first job out of college would be in public relations and on top of that working for one of the top museums in the country After all he majored in History at Vassar College Within three months of graduation he landed a spot in the PR department and has not looked back since He is fast becoming a communications fanatic spending a tremendous amount of his time promoting the museum and all it has to offer View all posts by Steven 5 thoughts on LEGO The building blocks of science Claire on October 8 2008 at 9 50 pm said What fun Ian We needed another Bakker around Cant Say My Naame on October 10 2008 at 5 49 pm said I like your lego models By the way have you heard of ROBLOX Its a free online building game Its like lego but your building is unlimited you can desighn other ppl hats clothes etc Also you can make commands This game is very nice i think you will really like it Go to http www ROBLOX com My

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/10/lego-the-building-blocks-of-science/ (2016-02-12)
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