This weather calls for a rainy #tbt! “Hauling canoe in rain, The Everglades, Florida" was was taken by Julian A. Dimock in 1910. 
Dimock, who donated over 3,400 photographic negatives to the Museum in 1920, traveled the Southern states over many years during Museum funded trips. Carrying heavy and cumbersome photographic equipment over challenging terrain, Dimock trained his lens on the people and landscape of the South. 
See more of the beautiful Julian Dimock Collection in our Digital Special Collections. 
AMNH/48131

This weather calls for a rainy #tbt! “Hauling canoe in rain, The Everglades, Florida" was was taken by Julian A. Dimock in 1910. 

Dimock, who donated over 3,400 photographic negatives to the Museum in 1920, traveled the Southern states over many years during Museum funded trips. Carrying heavy and cumbersome photographic equipment over challenging terrain, Dimock trained his lens on the people and landscape of the South. 

See more of the beautiful Julian Dimock Collection in our Digital Special Collections

AMNH/48131

Papua New Guinea flyover.
ZoomInfo
Brett Benz, curatorial associate, Ornithology; Chris Raxworthy, curator of Herpetology; Paul Sweet, collections manager, Ornithology, Neil Duncan, collections manager, Mammalogy.
© AMNH/D. Finnin
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This week, a team of vertebrate specialists from the Museum—Brett Benz, Chris RaxworthyPaul Sweet, and Neil Duncan—are heading out to one of the most remote areas in the world in search of new species and specimens on the Explore21 Papua New Guinea expedition.

They are following in the footsteps of biologist Ernst Mayr, who made the first trip to New Guinea on behalf of the Museum in 1927. The Pacific island, which today consists of Indonesian provinces in the west and the country of Papua New Guinea in the east, has a disproportionately rich flora and fauna: about 7 percent of the world’s species live in an area that is only approximately 0.5 percent of the Earth’s land mass.

Assuming his laptop survives the rain and humidity, team member Paul Sweet will be blogging intrepidly from the field—and finding his way from underneath dense canopy cover to send back posts over a satellite phone. Sweet answered a few questions on the eve of the team’s departure. 

Why Papua New Guinea? What do you hope to find?

We’re undertaking intensive biodiversity surveys in one of the most remote and least studied regions of the globe: the Strickland-Lagaip Divide in Papua New Guinea. We will be collecting birds, mammals, herps [reptiles and amphibians], as well as their parasites and viruses. We’re anticipating discovering new species of reptiles and amphibians, parasites, and viruses. Current estimates are that less than half of the amphibian species in Papua New Guinea have been discovered.

What are some of the more unusual animals you expect to see on this trip?

Perhaps the strangest mammal we may encounter is the long-beaked echidna, a spiny monotreme— a mammal that lays eggs. We may also see some of the many diverse marsupials such as tree kangaroos, bandicoots, quolls, and dunnarts. The fruit bats known as flying foxes that occur in New Guinea are some of the world’s largest.

Read the complete interview on the Museum blog

This week, the New York Times profiled the work of Museum Ornithologist Robert Rockwell. Monitoring the rapidly rising geese population on the west shore of Hudson Bay has been Dr. Rockwell’s job since 1969, but in recent years polar bears have become a factor. 
A warming planet means less ice coverage of the Arctic Sea, leaving polar bears with less time and less ice for hunting seals. They depend on seals for their survival. But the polar bears here have discovered a new menu option. They eat snow geese.
Watch the video and learn more about this fascinating research. 

This week, the New York Times profiled the work of Museum Ornithologist Robert Rockwell. Monitoring the rapidly rising geese population on the west shore of Hudson Bay has been Dr. Rockwell’s job since 1969, but in recent years polar bears have become a factor. 

A warming planet means less ice coverage of the Arctic Sea, leaving polar bears with less time and less ice for hunting seals. They depend on seals for their survival. But the polar bears here have discovered a new menu option. They eat snow geese.

Watch the video and learn more about this fascinating research

ZoomInfo
ZoomInfo

Tupandactylus imperator

Fast Facts

When: It lived around 115 million years ago

Where: Near a freshwater lake in what is now Brazil

Wingspan: About 10 feet (3 m) 

Food: Fish

No other pterosaur had a bigger crest in relation to its body size than Tupandactylus imperator. Its spectacular crest swept from a bone on the front of its snout all the way over its head, and attached to a long rod jutting out from the back of its skull, like a sail. The extremely rare fossil specimen shows signs of the soft tissue between the bones of the crest—probably a substance similar to bird beaks.

See Tupandactylus and much more in Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs

New Research: Hints of Gravitational Waves in the Stars
Scientists have shown how gravitational waves—invisible ripples in the fabric of space and time that propagate through the universe—might be “seen” by looking at the stars. The new model, developed in part by researchers at the Museum, proposes that a star that oscillates at the same frequency as a gravitational wave will absorb energy from that wave and brighten, an overlooked prediction of Einstein’s 1916 theory of general relativity. The study, which was published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, contradicts previous assumptions about the behavior of gravitational waves.
Read the full story. 
Image by NASA.

New Research: Hints of Gravitational Waves in the Stars

Scientists have shown how gravitational waves—invisible ripples in the fabric of space and time that propagate through the universe—might be “seen” by looking at the stars. The new model, developed in part by researchers at the Museum, proposes that a star that oscillates at the same frequency as a gravitational wave will absorb energy from that wave and brighten, an overlooked prediction of Einstein’s 1916 theory of general relativity. The study, which was published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, contradicts previous assumptions about the behavior of gravitational waves.

Read the full story

Image by NASA.

This year, autumn arrives in the northern hemisphere at 10:29 pm ET the evening of Monday, September 22. 
With summer’s official conclusion in the northern hemisphere, cooler temperatures and less hazy skies gradually will allow clearer nighttime sky watching. Although solar system objects such as the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter are easily seen even from Manhattan, fainter planets and stars are certainly best viewed from darker sites.
Check out information for finding these darker locales. 

This year, autumn arrives in the northern hemisphere at 10:29 pm ET the evening of Monday, September 22. 

With summer’s official conclusion in the northern hemisphere, cooler temperatures and less hazy skies gradually will allow clearer nighttime sky watching. Although solar system objects such as the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter are easily seen even from Manhattan, fainter planets and stars are certainly best viewed from darker sites.

Check out information for finding these darker locales

Madagascar’s rainy season is relentless. Unpaved roads turn to mud. Rivers flood. Feet start to blister from constant dampness. Humidity permeates everything, soaking maps, seeping into GPS units, attacking cameras and other electronic equipment. So why did herpetologists Christopher Raxworthyand Sara Ruane schedule their latest expedition to the island for January and February, at the height of the wet season? 

“When I first came to Madagascar in 1985, there was very little practical knowledge about reptiles and amphibians anywhere, and most people were coming out in October or September,” says Raxworthy, who is associate curator in the Division of Vertebrate Zoology. “I remember talking to one of the really good local guides, and I asked him—when do you think is the best time to come out and look for chameleons, frogs, and snakes? He said, the middle of the rainy season. Since then, I’ve gone to Madagascar during the peak rainy season, and that’s made all the difference.” 

Read more on the Museum blog and listen to a conversation with Chris Raxworthy

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