SciCafe: Seeing Inside Bats
October 7, 2015
Join Curator Nancy Simmons and postdoctoral fellow Abigail Curtis, from the Museum’s Department of Mammalogy, for an exciting journey inside the world (and bodies!) of bats. Often small in size and difficult to study, these amazing mammals are known for many remarkable qualities including powered flight, echolocation, and diverse feeding strategies. Using CT-scanning technology, Simmons and Curtis are taking a new look at bat skeletons from their wrists to their sinuses.
This SciCafe event occurred on October 7, 2015. Hear the full program in this podcast, or watch a version here:
- Learn more about CT scanning and other advanced imaging techniques used at the American Museum of Natural History.
- The Digital Morphology library (DigiMorph) gives a glimpse of the diversity of organisms that researchers can study using CT scans.
- A research paper using microCT scans to examine evolutionary patterns in bat inner ears, which function in the sense of balance, as well as perception of echolocation calls.
- Check out Dr. Nancy Simmons’ video profile where she talks about the major questions in bat biology and how she came to study bats.
About the Speakers:
Dr. Nancy Simmons is the Curator-in-charge of the Department of Mammalogy and Professor in the Richard Guilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History. Her research focuses on the evolution of bats — the only flying mammals — and includes everything from fieldwork with living bats to studies of 52 million year old fossil bats (the oldest known). She was also part of the team that helped to build the Tree of Life for Mammals.
Dr. Abigail Curtis is a Gerstner Scholar Postdocotral Research Fellow working with Dr. Nancy Simmons in the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. She is interested in understanding patterns in the evolution of mammal skulls. Her research focuses specifically on the complex and poorly understood internal anatomy of mammal skulls. Curtis has worked on taxa including the carnivores (bears, wolves, lions, and kin) and, most recently, bats in order to understand more about how diversity in skull morphology evolves, and how it relates to diet, ecology, and behavior.
Get your card stamped at the information table when you attend SciCafe.
- Get three stamps, receive a free drink.
- Get five stamps, receive a free Frequent Geek T-shirt.
- Get all nine stamps, and receive two tickets to a special exhibition of your choice.
The SciCafe series is proudly sponsored by Judy and Josh Weston.
More in this Series:
December 7, 2016
Barnard College professor and astronomer Janna Levin shares her scientific research on the first recordings of a gravitational wave from the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago.
January 4, 2017
CRISPR gene editing is widely used by biologists as the DNA programming tool of choice to alter the genome of organisms and even populations. Join Rockefeller University professor Leslie Vosshall as she demonstrates what is—and what will be—possible.
February 1, 2017
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, behavioral ecologist Marlene Zuk examines the bedroom lives of bugs, showing how six-legged sex lives can be just as interesting as our own.