American Museum of Natural History

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American Museum of N - Don’t let their body shape fool you: sea | Sea pigs, also called scotoplanes, are a | What happens when bear habitats overlap..

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American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-10-07 16:16

Don’t let their body shape fool you: sea lampreys aren’t eels, they’re jawless cartilaginous fishes with a suction-cup mouth ringed with sharp teeth. Some of the 40 species are parasitic, biting down on fish and marine mammals to suck out blood or bodily fluids through a wound. In the Great La...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-10-05 16:50

Sea pigs, also called scotoplanes, are a peculiar type of deep-sea sea cucumber with legged locomotion. Its tube-like appendages operate like a hydraulic system: cavities within the skin inflate and deflate to move the “walking legs.” Often found in large groups of several hundred individuals,...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-10-04 12:50

What happens when bear habitats overlap with our own? We’re kicking off a new season of SciCafe tonight with “Humans and Conflicts and Bears: Oh My!” Dr. Rae Wynn Grant will share her research on black bear behavior and ecology as well as tips about what humans can do to be good neighbors. Fin...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-10-04 00:15

The sawfish’s formidable snout, called a rostrum, is an amazing sensory organ. With thousands of tiny pores, the rostrum can detect electrical fields emitted by other organisms, allowing this ray to monitor its watery environment. The fish also use it to root out sand-dwelling prey like crus...

American Museum of Natural History Video 2017-10-03 20:07

Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves more than a century ago, but it took until 2016 for astronomers to detect them. Today, the scientists behind the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), which made the discovery possible, were awarded the ...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-10-03 14:37

It’s time for Trilobite Tuesday! The genus Selenopeltis has been found in Ordovician outcrops in England, Portugal, Morocco and the Czech Republic. Some, especially those with a particularly vivid imagination, have speculated that this trill-type may have served as the inspiration for “fac...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-10-01 19:27

The Museum’s front doors open onto an ancient battle between predator and prey: a hypothetical scene of an 80-foot-long Barosaurus rearing up to protect its young from an attacking Allosaurus. Originally displayed on a single platform, the two combatants were split by an 8-foot pathway in 2010,...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-10-01 01:01

The tiny antelope dik-dik is named for the sound of its alarm call, which is a toy-trumpet-like “zik-zik” noise. There are actually four dik-dik species, and all are diminutive, ranging from 12 to 16 inches at the shoulder and weighing in at just 7 to 16 pounds. Dik-diks pair up as monogamous ...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-09-30 19:45

The blue sea slug, or the blue glaucus, is full of surprises. It floats upside down, and its brilliant blue coloring is reserved for its underside, to confuse flying predators from above. It’s also a fierce predator in its own right: it preys on the highly poisonous Portuguese Man-O’-War h...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-09-30 15:35

Fierce fangs aren’t just for carnivores: male tufted deer, native to Myanmar and China, are famous for their long protruding canines, which they brandish when defending their territory (their antlers, meanwhile, are small and mostly hidden by the distinctive dark tuft on their forehead...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-09-30 00:50

Unlike other marine mammals, the otter (Enhydra lutris) doesn’t have blubber. Instead, it stays warm in the water thanks to the world’s densest fur--an astounding 100,000 hairs per square centimeter--which creates a cozy, insulating coat. It’s so effective, in fact, that sea otters s...

American Museum of Natural History Photo 2017-09-29 00:15

One of Australia’s largest bats, the grey-headed flying fox has a 3-foot wingspan and doesn’t echolocate, instead relying on sight and smell to navigate and forage for food. These social animals form large colonies, or seasonal “camps,” with hundreds or even thousands of other individuals,...
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American Museum of Natural History Photo 2018-02-18 01:14

The shocking pink dragon millipede (Desmoxytes purpurosea) was discovered in the 2000s, in a limestone cavern in Thailand. Its bright colors are intriguing and eye-catching, but they signal “do not eat” to potential predators. This spiny critter is highly toxic, producing hydrogen cyanide in its defensive glands. Another fun fact about these arthropods: they smell like almonds, a scent often associated with cyanide production. Photo: Chulabush Khatancharoen

National Gallery of Art Photo 2018-02-17 16:55

The densely layered image of "Slum Gardens No. 3" signals claustrophobia. A large tree with a thick, spiked vine winding its way up the trunk defines the right side of the work. Weeds and flowers blanket the bottom half of the image, almost obscuring the wooden shack (left) and the staircase. Plants invade a picket fence and piece of railing in the lower foreground. We sense that the vegetation will soon overtake the entire area, turning the "garden" into a neighborhood menace. "Slum Gardens No. 3" is not a view of a specific place; rather, it visualizes the concept of "slums" from regions around the world. The overgrowing landscape serves as a metaphor for the lack of attention paid to impoverished neighborhoods. Not only are the physical environments of such areas neglected, but, as Norman's drawing suggests, its social and economic problems are ignored as well. #BlackHistoryMonth Joseph Norman, "Slum Gardens No. 3," 1990, charcoal on wove paper, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Sandra and Charles Gilman, Jr. Foundation in memory of Dorothea L. Leonhardt