Secrets of the Crocodile Mummies

October 5, 2016

Secrets of Crocodile Mummies

DNA detective work tracing the evolutionary history of crocodiles has led to several surprising discoveries. Evon Hekkala, a professor at Fordham University and research associate in the Museum’s Department of Herpetology, discusses how tissue samples from centuries old museum specimens shed light on the mysterious origins of the Nile crocodile—and may even explain the presence of crocodiles in medieval medicine cabinets. 

This SciCafe event occurred on October 5, 2016. Hear the full program in this podcast, or watch a version here:

About the Speaker

Evon Hekkala

Evon Hekkala, Professor at Fordham University, and research associate at the American Museum of Natural History is a DNA Analyst who pursues research at the intersection of behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation policy. This work incorporates genetic data from museum specimens, historical records, and archaeological sources into models that elucidate how changes in human management of landscapes have been tracked by species.

Read More

  • Watch Evon Hekkala discuss her unusual career path, and fascinating crocodilian adventures in Madagascar. 
  • Listen to the WNYC podcast, “She Researches the World Without Leaving the Upper West Side”.
  • Read a publication on mummy DNA that resurrects a cryptic species within the Nile crocodile.
  • blog post on the extensive DNA detective work tracing the evolutionary history of the Nile crocodile by researchers at the American Museum of Natural History.
  • Take a Facebook Live tour through the Museum exhibit Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World. Originally recorded live on June 8, 2016.

Frequent Geek Cards

Get your card stamped at the information table when you attend SciCafe.

  • Three stamps—get a free drink
  • Five stamps—get a free Frequent Geek T-shirt.
  • All nine stamps— and receive get two tickets to a special exhibition of your choice.
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Bring three friends who are new to SciCafe to and become a "SciCafe Ambassador”—an honor that comes with a free drink!.

Send Us Your Playlist!

Curate a playlist based on November's SciCafe topic, “The Science of Predicting an Election,” for a chance to have it played at the event.

Step #1: Log-in to your Spotify account
Step #2: Follow amnhpublicprograms 
Step #3: Curate a 90-minute playlist based on monthly the month’s SciCafe theme
Step #4: Title your album playlist by month and your name (we want to be sure to give you a shout-out!)
Step #5: Share it with amnhpublicprograms

MicroCulture: A Social Card Game About the Human Microbiome

Get to know your fellow SciCafe geeks in this card-based social game that embodies the behavior of the human microbiome. Be a part of the largest culture of human microbes at the end of the evening to receive geeky giveaways.

The SciCafe series is proudly sponsored by Judy and Josh Weston.                                                                      

Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World was created by Peeling Productions at Clyde Peeling’s REPTILAND.

Special thanks to MicroCulture developers PETLab at Parsons and Jane Mcdonough.