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  • Super Cool Surface Tension | BEYONDbones
    the top This skin is known as surface tension Surface tension allows the water level to get higher than the walls of the glass without spilling Let s put this to the test Materials Drinking glass 50 100 pennies Paper towels Procedure 1 Fill a glass to the top with tap water 2 Set your glass on a paper towel 3 Carefully add pennies one at a time Be sure to keep count 4 Observe the water at the top of the cup Eventually it will begin to bulge out 5 Add pennies until the water begins to drip over the edge of the glass How many pennies were you able to get into the cup 6 Now remove all of the pennies and get a new cup of tap water This time add several squirts of dishwashing liquid to the cup and try the activity again 7 Were you able to add more pennies or did it hold less What do you think is happening Research and find out 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Education and tagged cool science tricks fun experiments HMNS kid experiments kids science molecules science for kids surface tension water molecules water

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/03/super-cool-surface-tension/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Just Another Day at the Office | BEYONDbones
    no idea how much work this entailed Imagine having all of your stuff from attic to basement labeled and neatly put away with a color coded key map Truly my cold registrar s heart is warmed and I get a little misty eyed just thinking about it Anytime you get an in house phone call that begins with I hate to bother you but you know that intro is going to end with do you know where David Temple is And I do know for certain that he s been up in Seymour working on the museum s ongoing dino dig with Dr Bakker read his posts here I doubled checked with his wife Nicole When I climb upstairs to run some mail through the meter I notice it s pretty calm in the Admin offices I think they ve all finally rested up from last week s very successful fundraising gala Poking my head into Kat s office for a quick chat I found out that the education department is immersed in HMNS overnights teachers workshops and getting prepared for a full summer of a multitude of classes Don t forget to register your kids pronto those classes fill up fast Next I quickly check on lunch plans with Tammy manager of the museum s mineral and fossil shop who s busy with all sorts of new specimens and arranging them in the cases She also provided her expertise at the gala s mineral and fossil auction Passing by the museum s visitor services desk I stop briefly to see if I have any mail It s been a really busy day probably due to the start of spring break and Martha s expression says it all There are some odds and ends photographs I need to drop off to the Volunteer Office an always upbeat place They re happy to have found good homes for all the beardies but were so bereft without them they bought one at the gala He s been aptly named Ka ching Lynn tells me the volunteers are eagerly studying up on the coming exhibits of The Nature of Diamonds and Terra Cotta Warriors Guardians of China s First Emperor Karen s in the midst of interviewing Ecoteen applicants and Araceli s booking birthday parties Sybil was surrounded by volunteers so I ll catch up with her later I actually don t need anything from the exhibits guys I m just curious to see what they re working on Today they are preparing one of our exhibit halls for the upcoming Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit Mike and Glen are repairing some walls and ceiling tiles Soon they ll be full bore into construction and layout Preston and Lex pour over exhibit floor plans The last colleague I touch base with is Christine our live animal program manager She s been out to a school with our Wildlife on Wheels program sounds like the first graders were adorable Next she demonstrates the Blue footed

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/03/just-another-day-at-the-office/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Palikur Tribe Headdress | BEYONDbones
    behind the 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 on hmns org throughout the year Amazonian tribes have made some of the world s most amazing feather work ornaments This headdress belonging to the Palikur tribe is symbolic of our growing world class collection of South American rainforest cultural artifacts 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 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Anthropology and tagged amazon Amazonians Americas HMNS Native Americans Palikur Palikur tribe by Dirk Bookmark the permalink About Dirk As curator of anthropology Dirk is responsible for the museum s artifact collection and is involved in its temporary and permanent anthropology exhibits Dirk is an expert in human cultures he curates the Museum s Hall of the Americas and specializes in native American cultures like the Aztec and Maya View all

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/03/100-years-100-objects-palikur-tribe-headdress/ (2016-02-12)
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  • On being prey.. | BEYONDbones
    off more supplies Feeling sorry for the kid we had lunch with him and left him with some food and supplies We didn t have the size ammo he needed for his shotgun but we promised to relay the message to his headquarters that he was in dire need of supplies or being relieved by someone Brown Brocket photo by D M Brooks So when we got to La Gerenza we did relay the message only to have it fall on the deaf ears of the guards frisking the truck So we asked to speak with an officer in charge but got the typical mañana runaround Well not knowing what else to do we reluctantly pulled out of La Gerenza By then it was nightfall There were many brown brocket deer on the dirt road You could pick up their eye shine as they looked up into the truck headlights then they would look away eye shine disappeared then eye shine again for a moment until the little deer vanished as it entered the dark abyss of dry forest There were several deer encounters over the course of an hour or two Then there was one who didn t look away out of the truck s headlights just kept staring straight ahead and its eyes seemed to be further apart It was hard to see details from far away due to the road dust on this hot dry night But as we got closer I could barely make out the shoulder blade haunches on the back alternating up then down up then down advancing closer with a slow and stealthy strut As Jakob sped up the animal turned and sauntered into the forest We slowed down because we figured we had lost it Just as we got 20 30 feet away from the area where we saw it the animal s front half poked out of the forest onto the road I could see it was no deer at all but a jaguar It was hard to make out the details as there was much road dust everywhere blending in with the only beam of light that of the headlights surrounded by the pitch black of the forest that engulfed the dirt road on either side As soon as we realized what it was we jumped out of the truck I could hear the jaguar walking on dry leaves in the darkened abyss of the forest perhaps 10 15 feet from where I stood at the edge of the road As Jakob s door slammed shut I heard the jaguar make a quick whoosh sound like it was crouching Then it dawned on me that large cats often crouch before attacking their prey That s when I slowly slipped back into the passenger side of the truck Something overcame my body such that I involuntarily froze absolutely motionless Even though I could not see the jaguar I could feel it watching me as I sat there in its cold gripping

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/03/on-being-prey/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Jumping spiders – cute, fuzzy, and friendly | BEYONDbones
    seem almost curious or even friendly If you move your hand towards one it usually will not run away but rather turns towards you watching you and backs up slowly or sometimes even jumps towards your hand The cats of the spider world these little fellows stealthily stalk their prey until it s within their jumping distance then pounce upon it with incredible accuracy They seldom miss But if they do they don t fall far before each leap they fasten a silken lifeline to the surface which they can crawl back up photo credit Opo Terser Unlike orb weavers which are all but blind and use touch as their main sense jumping spiders have large prominent eyes eight of them and very good eyesight To see a model of a jumping spider s eight eyes and a simulation of how they see compared to human sight visit the Entomology Hall at the Cockrell Butterfly Center You ll also find a 4 long model of a Bold Jumping Spider Phidippus audax in the spiders and other non insect arthropods section of the hall A jumping spider s excellent eyesight is not only important in finding and catching prey Many species are quite colorful and color movement and perhaps even sound apparently some males can make drumming noises are all important aspects of their courtship displays photo credit Opo Terser I kept a Bold Jumping Spider Phidippus audax as a pet several years ago and getting these new ones reminded me of how much I like these little arachnids My pet was strikingly patterned in black and white with iridescent blue green chelicerae jaw like appendages I fed him moths and flies and he got to be about of an inch long before I set him free There are several websites dedicated to jumping spiders for example http salticidae org jsotw html http www tolweb org tree group Salticidae http kozmicdreams com spiders htm or just do a Google Image search on jumping spiders photo credit Opo Terser Take a moment to check out a couple of these sites to see photographs of these endearing and interesting creatures and to learn more about them And next time you notice one stop and say hello They are quite harmless except to the insects they eat and are full of personality 6 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged Bold Jumping Spider Cockrell Butterfly Center HMNS Jumping spider orb weavers Phidippus audax Phidippus regius Regal Jumping Spider Salticidae spider vision spiders by Nancy Bookmark the permalink About Nancy Nancy is Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center and curator of entomology A plant ecologist by training she specializes in the interaction between insects especially butterflies and plants The tropics are her favorite habitat and she heads south to Central and South America whenever possible View all posts by Nancy 5 thoughts on Jumping spiders cute fuzzy and friendly sandra742 on September 9 2009 at 8 34 am said Hi I

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/03/see-my-email-for-title/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Did you know? | BEYONDbones
    slightly larger This is due to the hormone testosterone Starting in the 1920s pink was generally associated with males because its base was red a firm and masculine color Blue was associated with girls because of its feminine and dainty qualities This all changed in the 1940s when societal norms dictated they switch So men be proud Wear pink The following equation will be helpful for anyone familiar with the game Flour Tower Flour Sweat Dough down your back Regular old shaving cream can strip dye from your hair Phone numbers are 7 digits long because that is about the number of things you can hold in your short term memory all at once Genghis Khan s battle strategies are still taught at West Point today And finally Polydactyly or extra digits is a dominant trait in cats If these few tidbits haven t quite sated your thirst for knowledge come down to the Museum today and drink your fill of fun facts 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged babies electrons flour tower fun facts Genghis Khan HMNS masculine color phone numbers pink polydactyl random facts testosterone westpoint by Erin C Bookmark the permalink About

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/03/did-you-know/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Understanding Human Evolution: Fongoli Chimpanzees | BEYONDbones
    with tiny patches of forest making up the rest photo credit Julien Harneis Other attempts at habituating savanna chimpanzees to the presence of human observers have not succeeded I believe that I was successful at Fongoli in part because chimpanzees don t view most humans as predators Although they avoid humans to this day except for us they do not react to them as if they are predators People in Senegal do not eat chimpanzees as they do in many countries of Africa but consider them to be close relatives They include chimpanzees in their folktales and myths Even so it took us four times longer four years to habituate the Fongoli chimpanzees as researchers studying chimpanzees in more forested areas photo credit doug88888 The extreme environment at Fongoli is the reason I chose to work here This environment is similar in many ways to the mosaic of habitats that we associate with the earliest members of our own lineage the bipedal apes that lived over 5 million years ago Hunting with tools using caves living with fire soaking in water pools and living in a more cohesive community are all behaviors that are fairly unique to the Fongoli chimpanzee community when compared to studies of this species elsewhere Each of these behaviors can be tied into the savanna environment in which they live Understanding the behavior of our closest living relatives in this type of environment can help provide insight into how apes respond to the pressures associated with a mosaic habitat something we knew little about until our study of the Fongoli chimpanzees For more information on Jill Pruetz and her work with chimpanzees check out her blog at http www savannachimp blogspot com and http www savannachimp com For more information on her lecture here on Tuesday

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/03/fongoli-chimpanzees/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Manatee Ribs | BEYONDbones
    collection represent the fourth specimen record of Manatee Trichechus manatus for the state Texas They were collected prior to 1929 at San Jose Island Aransas County For years they were passed over as part of a vat of dolphin Tursiops truncatus bones which Attwater probably collected on the beach at San Jose Island concordant with collection of disarticulated dolphin skeletons This finding was important enough for HMNS staff to publish 2001 Tx J Sci 53 292 294 You can see larger and more detailed images of this rare specimen as well as the others we ve posted so far this year in the photo gallery on hmns org 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Zoology and tagged 100 objects HMNS manatee manatus photo photo gallery preserving objects raccoon rare objects Science vertebrate zoology Zoology by Dan Bookmark the permalink About Dan As curator of vertebrate zoology Dr Brooks has more backbone s than anyone at the Museum He is recognized internationally as the authority on Cracids the most threatened family of birds in the Americas With an active research program studying birds and mammals of Texas and the tropics Brooks advises several grad students internationally At HMNS Brooks served as project manager of the world renowned Frensley Graham Hall of African Wildlife overseeing building by an incredibly diverse array of talent by some 50 individuals He has also created and or served as curator for various traveling exhibits including Cracids on Wings of Peril View all posts by Dan 2 thoughts on 100 Years 100 Objects Manatee Ribs CARL PEGEL on March 24 2011 at 7 59 pm said I HAVE HAD FOR 30 YEARS A VOMITING SPATULA FROM THE TAINO INDIANS THIS IS I BELEIVE MADE FROM A MANATEE RIB IT IS VERY ORNATE IF YOU HAVE

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/03/100-years-100-objects-manatee-ribs/ (2016-02-12)
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