Mark Norell, who is chair of the Museum's Division of Paleontology, works on numerous areas of specimen-based and theoretical research. Learn about Dr. Norell's dinosaur research and fieldwork by watching the video below.
The Museum is home to the largest collection of spiders in the world, one that is still growing through the fieldwork of scientists such as Norman Platnick, Curator Emeritus in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology. Platnick, who has discovered and described more than 1,600 new spider species, says there are many more to find.
“Collections are the only way we can document the plants and animals with which we share this planet,” says Platnick. “For groups that are as poorly known as spiders, there are many areas in the world where they have not been collected at all.”
One of his recent collecting efforts, in late 2010, took Platnick and his team on a month-long expedition into the cloud forests of northeastern Ecuador. Science Bulletins, the Museum’s multimedia program that covers current science, followed the researchers as they worked day and night seeking out spiders from the forest floor to the high canopy.
Analysis of Earth's geologic record can reveal how the climate has changed over time. As profiled in the Science Bulletin below, scientists in New Zealand are examining samples from the rocky landscape once dominated by glaciers and employing a new technique called surface exposure dating, which uses chemical analysis to determine how long minerals within rocks have been exposed to the air since the glaciers around them melted. Comparisons of this data with other climate records have revealed a link between glacial retreat and rising levels of carbon dioxide in the air, findings that are informing scientists' understanding of global climate change today.
Ever since the first dinosaur fossil was identified almost 200 years ago, people have wondered how these fascinating animals lived, moved, and behaved. In the video series "Dinosaurs Explained" on AMNH.tv, Museum paleontologists Mark Norell, Michael Novacek, and Lowell Dingus answer the most frequently asked questions about dinosaurs.
Visit AMNH.tv to watch the other videos in the series.