The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world's preeminent scientific and cultural institutions.
Happy #MemorabiliaMonday ! Here’s one of the treasures in the Museum's Memorabilia Collection: a bronze astrolabe, crafted in Persia during the 18th century. Astrolabes were used for surveying, telling time, & charting the movement of stars & planets. (1/2)
Say “hi” to Wilson’s bird-of-paradise! Males are known for their colorful plumage & spiraling tail feathers. To attract a mate, males engage in a complex courtship display that involves song, dance, and showing off their vibrant breast shield. [📸: Serhanoksay, CC-BY-SA-3.0]
Compared to other colors found in nature, true blues are pretty rare—but the indigo milk cap has just that! Its color comes from a pigment within. You'd think that its blueness is a marker for toxicity, but it's edible & turns gray when cooked. [📸:A.Rockefeller, CC-BY-SA-3.0]
Did you know the plumed basilisk can “walk on water?” By creating small air pockets with its rear toes & moving at a quick pace, it can run across water without sinking! If it does sink, no fret—it’s a good swimmer & can stay underwater for ~30 min.[📸:H.Hillewaert, CC-BY-SA-4.0]
Join us on Sunday, February 23, for a family-friendly festival that celebrates all things polar bears! Learn about the animal's behavior, diet, territory, & how climate change has made it a vulnerable species. Event details:
You might be familiar with the Greater Roadrunner's need for speed, but did you know that it also feeds on venomous prey? Pairs have been observed teaming up on a rattlesnake—while one distracts, the other slams the snake's head on the floor! [📸: Dominic Sherony]
Put your hands up for the spotted handfish! The fish’s name nods to the hand-like fins it uses to “crawl” across the seafloor. What’s more, the spotted pattern is unique to each individual. [📸: CSIRO, CC BY 3.0]
You’ve heard of the aardvark, but did you know there’s an aardwolf? It's in the same family as the hyena, but unlike its carnivorous relative, the aardwolf is insectivorous. It’s one of 18 mammal species that feed exclusively on termites. [📸: Derek Keats]
Meet the flower hat jellyfish. Unlike other jellyfish that drift in the open ocean, this one's semi-benthic & spends its time near the sea floor. The tentacles around its bell allow it to catch fish from many directions—& the fluorescent tips may help lure in prey.[📸:mark6mauno]
The external, private event at which the current President of Brazil is to be honored was booked at the Museum before the honoree was secured. We are deeply concerned, and we are exploring our options.
Next time you eat guacamole, thank a giant ground sloth: the Lestodon! These 15-ft animals ate avocado whole, traveled, and then pooped, depositing the pits in new places. Most mammals couldn't handle large seeds, so it was up to megafauna to disperse (and fertilize!) avocados.
Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere & the first day of winter! What causes our planet’s shift in seasons? Its tilt. Today, Earth’s Northern Hemisphere is at its most-tilted away from the Sun. [?: Jon Bunting]
A wombat’s main defense is a tough backside: its rump is mostly cartilage, resistant to bites. A group of #wombats is called a wisdom.
It's #ManateeAppreciationDay ! Did you know manatees are natural lawn mowers that help maintain healthy marine ecosystems by keeping aquatic vegetation in check? Sometimes referred to as “sea cows,” they are actually more closely related to elephants. #Respect the manatee!
Human activity is warming our planet. Today, young people & adults around the world are marching to bring focus to the vital issue of climate change. We support the students and all New Yorkers who are marching today for a better tomorrow. #ClimateStrike ?
A Suriname toad mother carries her young embedded in the skin of her back. After mating, the eggs sink gradually into the female's back, & a skin pad forms over the eggs. The froglets emerge over a period of days, thrusting their head & forelegs out first, then struggling free.
Behold the rainbow eucalyptus! What gives it such a spectrum of color? Bark starts out in shades of green, but changes to a range of purple, red, & orange as it peels and ages. Variety of color may help the tree absorb a wider range of light to aid in photosynthesis.
Discovered in 2012 on Madagascar, Brookesia micra is one of the smallest reptiles in the world! An adult grows to be just over 1 in (2.5 cm) long, and a juvenile can fit on the head of a match (as pictured). [?: Frank Glaw, Jörn Köhler, Ted M. Townsend, Miguel Vences | PLoS ONE]