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Chinchilla

New Ancient Rodents Offer Evidence For Andes’ Later Rise

Research posts

Researchers have described two new ancient species of South American rodents, including the oldest known chinchilla, in a study published last week in American Museum Novitates, a peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Museum. The research, which was led by Ornella Bertrand, a recipient of the Museum’s Annette Kade Graduate Student Fellowship, substantiates what might be the earliest grasslands in the world.

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BlackHole_250

New Research On Intermediate Black Holes

Research posts

A new model shows how an elusive type of black hole can form in the gas surrounding its supermassive counterparts.

In research published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, scientists from the American Museum of Natural History, the City University of New York (CUNY), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics propose that intermediate-mass black holes—light-swallowing celestial objects with masses ranging from hundreds to many thousands of times the mass of the Sun—can grow in the gas disks around supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. The physical mechanism parallels the model astrophysicists use to describe the growth of giant planets in the gas disks surrounding stars.

Tags: Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Project 1640

Research posts

An advanced telescope imaging system that started taking data last month is the first of its kind capable of spotting planets orbiting suns outside of our solar system. The collaborative set of high-tech instrumentation and software, called Project 1640, is now operating on the Hale telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California, where it uses a new starlight-suppressing technique to see dim planets and other celestial objects in the star’s neighborhood. A large portion of the imaging system was developed and tested in the Museum’s optics laboratory by Rebecca Oppenheimer, an associate curator in the Department of Astrophysics and principal investigator for the project.

Tags: Exoplanets, Rose Center for Earth and Space

Visiting the Museum's Great Gull Island

Research posts

On the eastern edge of Long Island Sound, a small, rocky piece of land known as Great Gull Island houses the crumbling battlements of a U.S. Army fort and some 11,000 nesting pairs of Common and Roseate Terns. The Museum purchased the island in 1949 to preserve a breeding habitat for terns displaced by increasing development on Long Island’s beaches. The acquisition has proven to be a success, as the remaining Army structures are a nesting tern’s delight.

Tags: Members

Dino-Bird Transition

Developmental Timing Offers Another Window Into Dinosaur-Bird Transition

Research posts

A new study has used skull anatomy to show that the evolution of birds from dinosaurs may have resulted from a drastic change in dinosaur development.

In a study published this week in the journal Nature, researchers from Harvard University, the Museum, the New York Institute of Technology, The University of Texas at Austin, and the Autonomous University of Madrid report evidence that while many dinosaurs took years to reach sexual maturity, birds sped up the developmental clock, which led them to retain the physical characteristics of baby dinosaurs.

Tags: Dinosaurs

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