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Whale dolphin

1.5 Million Watch Whales and Dolphins Play

News posts

In early January, the Museum posted a Science Bulletin showing humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins apparently at play in the wild. Off the coast of Hawaii, whales repeatedly lifted dolphins from the ocean and let them slide down their heads back into the water. If you haven’t already, watch the viral video below, which recently reached 1.5 million views on YouTube.

 

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the Museum. Click here to learn more.

Tags: Science Bulletins

Curious Collections: Identifying a Rare Bird

Curious Collections: Identifying a Rare Bird

From the Collections posts

Ornithologists generally discover new species by collecting them in the wild. But early in the 20th century, Museum ornithologist James P. Chapin found one on a hat.

In 1913, Chapin, while serving as an assistant to German taxidermist and photographer Herbert Lang on what would become known as the Lang-Chapin Expedition to the Belgian Congo, came upon a native of the Ituri forest wearing a headdress with a distinctive feather. To the young naturalist, it suggested a pheasant or peacock, a strange possibility since these birds were native to Asia. Curious, he took it.

Tags: Birds

Sparks-Gruber

Photographing a Coral Wall’s Inhabitants

From the Field posts

Curator John Sparks is blogging weekly about the upcoming exhibition, Creatures of Light, which opens on Saturday, March 31.

One of the amazing things about working on an exhibition is having the chance to incorporate our own research—sometimes, very recent research.

Within the past year, including just last December, my colleague, Museum Research Associate David Gruber (CUNY), and I have gone on multiple expeditions to the Cayman Islands and the Exumas, Bahamas, to photograph a coral wall and its inhabitants at night using special lights and filters to capture biofluorescence.

The phenomenon of biofluorescence results from the absorption of electromagnetic radiation at one wavelength by an organism, followed immediately by its re-emission at a longer, lower-energy wavelength. With special cameras, we captured brilliant red, green, and orange fluorescing corals, anemones, mollusks, marine worms, and a myriad of fishes, including sharks and rays.

Tags: Bioluminescence

Global Weekends: The African-American Musical

Education posts

Gospel, jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, soul music, and hip-hop are the result of an ever-evolving African-American musical journey that has produced unique musical forms and traditions. The Museum will celebrate this legacy on Saturday, February 18, with the Global Weekends program The African-American Musical Mosaic, which will include performances by the Harlem Quartet, First Corinthian Baptist Church Choir, Charles Mack, Sandra Reaves-Phillips, and a special collaboration between Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of the hip-hop group Run-DMC and the IMPACT Repertory Theatre choir. In this video, DMC shares what performing at the Museum’s event means to him.


For more information about the program, click here.

Tags: Global Weekends

DNA Barcoding Proves Sardines Kosher

DNA Barcoding Proves Sardines Kosher

Research posts

Scientists at the Museum recently helped a group of rabbis answer a culturally significant dietary question: can canned fish products containing parasitic worms still be considered kosher?

The study began last spring, when rabbinical experts from the Orthodox Union, the largest organization that certifies food products for the Jewish community, brought a variety of kosher-certified sardines and capelin eggs to the Museum. The presence of worms could have been a sign that, during the preparation of the canned food, muscle from the fish had been improperly handled and allowed to mix with intestinal contents, potentially violating Jewish dietary laws.

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