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Behind the Scenes: Keeping It Current

On Exhibit posts

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

One of the most exciting, yet challenging, things about this exhibition is that we have been able to incorporate so much current research. Many of the images and results visitors will see are the subject of ongoing research projects by me and a number of collaborators.

Tags: Bioluminescence

Central Park Bird Walks Begin in April

Education posts

Central Park hosts great birds in every season, but springtime offers the most dazzling avian sights and sounds as migrants from the tropics return to their breeding grounds in the north. The Museum’s series of morning and lunchtime bird walks, each led by an expert, begin in early April and are scheduled to coincide with this migration, as warblers, vireos, tanagers, flycatchers, grosbeaks, thrushes, and others make their way to their summer homes.

Tags: Birds

The Parent-Child Bond: Q&A with Guest Lecturer

Q&As

The effects of a parent’s bond with a child have been a popular topic in the news. But what does the science say? The Museum’s upcoming four-week course The Parent-Child Bond: Behind the Science of Attachment, which begins on April 17, will explore the latest psychology and neuroscience on attachment through expert guest speakers, online resources, documentary footage, and in-class projects. Howard Steele, a professor of psychology at The New School and founder of the journal Attachment & Human Development, will be a guest lecturer for the course and also appears in the Museum’s attachment-themed Science Bulletin, part of the Museum’s innovative exhibition and online media program. Below, Steele answers a few questions about the psychological effects of parent-child relationships.

Tags: Brain, Q&A, Science Bulletins

Decades of Discovery on St. Catherines Island

Research posts

David Hurst Thomas is the curator of North American Archaeology in the Museum’s Division of Anthropology and has spent his career studying the human history of St. Catherines Island. Below, he explains how archaeological finds are proving history books wrong.

For nearly four decades, it’s been my privilege to work as an archaeologist on St. Catherines—a Manhattan-sized island 10 miles off the Georgia coastline. One of the storied Golden Isles, St. Catherines is privately owned; only two people live there. Forty years ago, the Edward John Noble Foundation established a long-term relationship with the American Museum of Natural History to pursue scientific research, conservation, and education on the island.

Tags: Anthropology

creatures

Zach Baldwin on How Ponyfishes and Flashlight Fishes Shine

On Exhibit posts

Curator John Sparks is blogging weekly about the upcoming exhibition, Creatures of Light, which opens on Saturday, March 31. This week, he invited Zach Baldwin, a Ph.D. student at the Museum’s Richard Gilder Graduate School who works in the Department of Ichthyology and who consulted on the exhibition, to contribute the guest post below.

A common misconception about bioluminescent fishes is that they all live in the perpetual darkness of the deep sea. In truth, one of the most fascinating aspects of bioluminescence is the diversity of organisms and environments in which the phenomenon is known to occur. There are bioluminescent fishes occurring on coral reefs, in estuaries, and even in the rocky intertidal zone along coastlines. Approximately 100 species in nine families of fishes that live in shallow marine waters are known to luminesce.

Tags: Bioluminescence

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