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Museum Astrophysicist Receives Award

News posts

Museum astrophysicist Jacqueline Faherty, who recently completed her doctorate under the supervision of Curator Michael Shara, was one of five students at Stony Brook University who received the 2011 President’s Award for Distinguished Doctoral Students.

Faherty’s dissertation looked at the kinematics of brown dwarfs—objects intermediate between planets and stars because they aren’t massive enough for nuclear fusion. The award citation is:

“For creating the largest extant catalog of uniform astrometric data on brown dwarfs, and for making significant contributions to our understanding of the nature and physics of brown dwarfs based upon this astrometric data.”

Tags: Our Research, Rose Center for Earth and Space

dino-naming

Name the Mamenchisaurus Contest

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She’s new in town and she needs a name! Meet Mamenchisaurus, an 18-year-old vegetarian known for her 30-foot-long neck and for being one of the world’s largest dinosaurs. She recently arrived at the American Museum of Natural History, and thousands of people have come to see her so far. Like a lot of 18-year-olds, she also happens to love tweeting. But her full name, Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis, is too long to tweet. So let’s give her a nickname!

Tags: Dinosaurs

woodpecker

Sightings and Specimens: Campephilus principalis

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Six years ago this spring, an announcement sent waves of excitement among birders and wildlife enthusiasts: an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus principalis, generally thought to be extinct, had been sighted in an Arkansas swamp by a team of investigators. A blurry video of the large bird in flight seemed to provide supporting evidence.

Still, proof of the bird’s existence was not airtight. Subsequent visits, as well as audio and video recordings in the area, yielded no definitive results. The video showed an image that might have been that of a similar species, the Pileated Woodpecker. Both species have black and white wings, but with different patterns that are visible when the wings are extended in flight. While researchers fanned out to look for evidence in Arkansas, at the Museum, ornithologists turned to the collections to examine the wings.

Tags: Birds

Last Chance: Butterfly Conservatory Closes May 30

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Catch The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter, a live-animal exhibition where visitors can mingle with up to 500 butterflies among tropical flowers and vegetation, before it closes on Monday, May 30.

Watch as Hazel Davies, manager of Living Exhibits at the Museum, and Whitney Doreen Ortiz walk through the vivarium and interact with butterflies from around the world, including blue morphos, striking scarlet swallowtails, and large owl butterflies.

Tags: Butterflies

jarodmiller

Sundays Under the Whale: Jarod Miller

News posts

On Sunday, May 15, zoologist and TV host Jarod Miller will bring a menagerie of extra-large animals to the Museum for the Milstein Science Series’ Sundays Under the Whale: Living Large program. Below, Miller answers a few questions about what it takes to live large.

You’re bringing several animals—a reticulated python, a mandrill, a jaguar, and an Eagle Owl. What are some of the factors that allowed these animals to become so large?

There are many factors that allow animals to grow large. Space, resources, available prey, and environmental conditions all contribute to an animal’s need and ability to grow big, compete, and evolve in a specific habitat. In the case of reptiles, climate plays a very important role because they are exothermic, or cold-blooded. Crocodiles,pythons, and Komodo dragons all live in regions with hot climates, which provide the ideal environment for growth.

Tags: Children's Programs

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