1. @karim.mustafa glimpses @samthecobra through a retired monarch butterfly diorama during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Invertebrate Zoology collections area. #InsideAMNH

    @karim.mustafa glimpses @samthecobra through a retired monarch butterfly diorama during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Invertebrate Zoology collections area. #InsideAMNH

  2. Ever wonder what it’s like to work in a tropical rainforest? Or what ancient DNA is? Or how scientists are using specimens collected in the late 1800s to study extinct birds?

    Then get your questions ready for #AskACurator day on Twitter! 

    Dr. Brian Smith, an assistant curator of ornithology in the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History, will be answering your queries on September 17 from 3 to 4 pm EDT. Just tweet your questions to @amnh using the hashtag #AskaCurator.

    His research focuses on the evolution of birds, and particularly on  the avian tree of life.  Just last week, his research about the speciation of birds in the Neotropics was published in the journal Nature. 

    Learn more about #AskACurator day and about Dr. Brian Smith.

  3. A shot of the architecture in the Rose Center for Earth and Space by @jnsilva #InsideAMNH

    A shot of the architecture in the Rose Center for Earth and Space by @jnsilva #InsideAMNH

  4. Every September and October, a “hole” of varying size emerges in Earth’s ozone layer over Antarctica, an effect of a buildup of ozone-depleting human-made chemicals high in the atmosphere. Now that levels of these chemicals are declining as a result of international agreements put in place decades ago, scientists predict that the annual ozone hole is poised to begin a shrinking trend.

    Learn more about this Science Bulletin.

  5. When standing in front of the Museum’s dioramas, it is easy to lose yourself in the incredible realism of the scene. Taken by @dave.krugman #InsideAMNH.

    When standing in front of the Museum’s dioramas, it is easy to lose yourself in the incredible realism of the scene. Taken by @dave.krugman #InsideAMNH.

  6. Western Black WidowLatrodectus hesperus

    Spiders of the genus Latrodectus are found worldwide, and in North America, black widows are among the few species harmful to people. Still, they’re web builders that stay in their retreats day and night. If you see one outside its web, it’s likely a male in search of a female. That trip can end badly. As their name suggests, female black widows sometimes eat males after mating.

    Check me out: If I have a red hourglass on my underside, I’m a widow spider.

    Species Range: From Canada to the warmer regions of the western U.S. and south to Mexico

    Habitat: Terrestrial; crevices, including those in and around houses

    Should you worry? Yes. I’m shy and my fangs are small, but my venom is potent. Black widow venom contains powerful chemicals called neurotoxins, including one specific to vertebrates like us. Once injected, the venom may flood nerve endings with chemical signals, causing paralysis. 

    Unlikely to Bite: Black widows are shy and tend not to bite humans unless disturbed. Most bites involve such a small amount of venom that the victim survives.

    See the Western Black Widow in Spiders Alive! open now. 

  7. As the global climate changes, wild animals are shifting where they live—even beyond the protected areas that are crucial to their survival. This visualization highlights predictions and solutions for range shifts by an iconic species of North American wilderness, the wolverine.

    More Science Bulletins

  8. @jmsuarez_ captures an empty corridor in the Mineralogy collections area. The Museum’s collections total in excess of 100,000 minerals and 3,700 gems. #InsideAMNH

    @jmsuarez_ captures an empty corridor in the Mineralogy collections area. The Museum’s collections total in excess of 100,000 minerals and 3,700 gems. #InsideAMNH

  9. Bighorn Sheep - September Morning, Alberta, Canada
Stalwart symbols of mountain wilderness, a “bachelor band” of bighorn sheep stands before Mount Athabasca in the Canadian Rockies. Male sheep older than two years leave their mothers to follow a leading ram. Horn and body size determine rank, so the leader of this band is certainly the ram on the right. 
Equally sized males may duel to secure their rank. Rivals will repeatedly face off, charge and then crash horns until one loses balance and concedes. During the mating season, when rams fight for ewes, battles are even more violent. The collisions will echo across the ravines of the Rockies, and some contenders will even be pushed off the edge.
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

    Bighorn SheepSeptember Morning, Alberta, Canada

    Stalwart symbols of mountain wilderness, a “bachelor band” of bighorn sheep stands before Mount Athabasca in the Canadian Rockies. Male sheep older than two years leave their mothers to follow a leading ram. Horn and body size determine rank, so the leader of this band is certainly the ram on the right. 

    Equally sized males may duel to secure their rank. Rivals will repeatedly face off, charge and then crash horns until one loses balance and concedes. During the mating season, when rams fight for ewes, battles are even more violent. The collisions will echo across the ravines of the Rockies, and some contenders will even be pushed off the edge.

    This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals

  10. Hey everyone, the weekend is here! Flap your wings all the way to the Museum to learn about birds, migrations, and another flying phenom: pterosaurs!
Here are some cool links from the past week: 
Fossils of new squirrel-like species support earlier origin of mammals.
New research has identified drivers of rich bird diversity in the Neotropics.
Making a last dash to the beach? Search for these shells. 
Jack Tseng on the friends and foes you find in the Gobi desert. 
This week saw the last Super Moon of 2014.
The Margaret Mead Film Festival Returns this October!
Have a great weekend! 

    Hey everyone, the weekend is here! Flap your wings all the way to the Museum to learn about birds, migrations, and another flying phenom: pterosaurs!

    Here are some cool links from the past week: 

    Have a great weekend! 

  11. @karim.mustafa got up close with an Allosaurus in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs #InsideAMNH
Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

    @karim.mustafa got up close with an Allosaurus in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs #InsideAMNH

    Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

  12. Today’s #tbt shows a picturesque view of the Museum’s 77th street entrance when the walls were covered in ivy. 
See more pictures of the Museum dating back to the 19th century, and over 7,000 archival images in our new online database Digital Special Collections.
AMNH/K12132

    Today’s #tbt shows a picturesque view of the Museum’s 77th street entrance when the walls were covered in ivy. 

    See more pictures of the Museum dating back to the 19th century, and over 7,000 archival images in our new online database Digital Special Collections.

    AMNH/K12132

  13. This October, the Margaret Mead Film Festival returns with more than 40 films! Running from October 23-26, the Museum’s internationally renowned documentary festival features films from over 50 countries, discussions with filmmakers, and special events. 

    Click here to buy tickets and passes, and to watch film trailers

  14. A tabletop view in the Ichthyology collections area. Each jar and vial is filled with fish specimens from the research collection. Snapped by @samthecobra for #InsideAMNH.
Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

    A tabletop view in the Ichthyology collections area. Each jar and vial is filled with fish specimens from the research collection. Snapped by @samthecobra for #InsideAMNH.

    Learn more about the #InsideAMNH Instagram collaboration and follow along @amnh to see much more.

  15. New Research Identifies Drivers of Rich Bird Diversity in Neotropics
An international team of researchers is challenging a commonly held view that explains how so many species of birds came to inhabit the Neotropics, an area rich in rain forest that extends from Mexico to the southernmost tip of South America. The new research, published today in the journal Nature and co-led by Brian Smith, an assistant curator in the Museum’s Division of Vertebrate Zoology, suggests that tropical bird speciation is not directly linked to geological and climate changes, as traditionally thought. Instead, it is driven by movements of birds across physical barriers such as mountains and rivers that occur long after those landscapes’ geological origins.
"The Neotropic zone has more species of birds than any other region on Earth," said Smith, who started this work as a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University. "The unanswered question has been—how did this extraordinary bird diversity originate?"
Read the full story.

    New Research Identifies Drivers of Rich Bird Diversity in Neotropics

    An international team of researchers is challenging a commonly held view that explains how so many species of birds came to inhabit the Neotropics, an area rich in rain forest that extends from Mexico to the southernmost tip of South America. The new research, published today in the journal Nature and co-led by Brian Smith, an assistant curator in the Museum’s Division of Vertebrate Zoology, suggests that tropical bird speciation is not directly linked to geological and climate changes, as traditionally thought. Instead, it is driven by movements of birds across physical barriers such as mountains and rivers that occur long after those landscapes’ geological origins.

    "The Neotropic zone has more species of birds than any other region on Earth," said Smith, who started this work as a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University. "The unanswered question has been—how did this extraordinary bird diversity originate?"

    Read the full story.