1. In the Scales of the Universe walkway in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, the Hayden Sphere serves as a scale of reference for exploring the relative sizes of objects and our place in space. For example, if the Hayden sphere - 26.5 meters (87 feet) in diameter - were the size of the Sun, then Jupiter would be 2.7 meters (9 feet) across, while earth would would be a mere 24 centimeters (9.5 inches) in diameter! 
Learn more about the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

    In the Scales of the Universe walkway in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, the Hayden Sphere serves as a scale of reference for exploring the relative sizes of objects and our place in space. For example, if the Hayden sphere - 26.5 meters (87 feet) in diameter - were the size of the Sun, then Jupiter would be 2.7 meters (9 feet) across, while earth would would be a mere 24 centimeters (9.5 inches) in diameter! 

    Learn more about the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

  2. An exceptionally well-preserved skull of a newly discovered 325-million-year-old shark-like species suggests that early cartilaginous and bony fishes have more to tell us about the early evolution of jawed vertebrates—including humans—than do modern sharks, as was previously thought.

The new study is based on shark fossil collected in Arkansas, where an ocean basin once was home to a diverse marine ecosystem. The fossilized skull of the new species Ozarcus mapesae was imaged with high-resolution x-rays at the European Synchrotron, letting the scientists “digitally dissect out the cartilage skeleton.”

Learn more about this new study.

    An exceptionally well-preserved skull of a newly discovered 325-million-year-old shark-like species suggests that early cartilaginous and bony fishes have more to tell us about the early evolution of jawed vertebrates—including humans—than do modern sharks, as was previously thought.

    The new study is based on shark fossil collected in Arkansas, where an ocean basin once was home to a diverse marine ecosystem. The fossilized skull of the new species Ozarcus mapesae was imaged with high-resolution x-rays at the European Synchrotron, letting the scientists “digitally dissect out the cartilage skeleton.”

    Learn more about this new study.

  3. As Slate pointed out, the internet loves crappytaxidermy. While we may not have much to contribute to that illustrious canon, we do know taxidermy. Our video "Modeling Animals in Habitat Dioramas" about how artists create the animal sculptures for the Museum’s famous habitat dioramas, shows what it takes to create a meticulously accurate specimen. 
Watch the video.

    As Slate pointed out, the internet loves crappytaxidermy. While we may not have much to contribute to that illustrious canon, we do know taxidermy. Our video "Modeling Animals in Habitat Dioramas" about how artists create the animal sculptures for the Museum’s famous habitat dioramas, shows what it takes to create a meticulously accurate specimen. 

    Watch the video.

  4. Museum researcher Mary Blair is blogging from Vietnam, where she’s surveying for endangered primates called slow lorises—at night. 
Read her latest post to find out what she takes into the field—and how she’s training others to spot a loris in the dark.

    Museum researcher Mary Blair is blogging from Vietnam, where she’s surveying for endangered primates called slow lorises—at night. 

    Read her latest post to find out what she takes into the field—and how she’s training others to spot a loris in the dark.

  5. If the sky is clear during early morning hours of Tuesday April 15, viewers in the Eastern time zone will see a full lunar eclipse beginning at 3:07 am and ending at 4:25 am. By coincidence, that night, Mars will be the brightest it’s been since 2007 and won’t be again until 2016.
Learn more from the SKY REPORTER.

    If the sky is clear during early morning hours of Tuesday April 15, viewers in the Eastern time zone will see a full lunar eclipse beginning at 3:07 am and ending at 4:25 am. By coincidence, that night, Mars will be the brightest it’s been since 2007 and won’t be again until 2016.

    Learn more from the SKY REPORTER.

  6. Frontiers Lecture: Unraveling the Mystery of Continental Crust Formation →

    For years, Oliver Jagoutz, assistant professor of geology at MIT, and Max Schmidt, professor of geology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, have searched the Himalayan Mountains for clues about the formation of the Earth’s continental crust. Their work has led to discoveries that put the material of the Earth’s molten mantle on par with that of meteorites. In this podcast, Jagoutz and Schmidt discuss the implications of this discovery, and other aspects of the Earth’s formation, for understanding our planet’s evolution.

    Listen to the full lecture.

  7. Living harvestmen—a group of arachnids more commonly known as daddy longlegs—have a single pair of eyes that help them navigate habitats in every continent except Antarctica. But a newly described 305-million-year-old fossil found in eastern France shows that wasn’t always the case. New research published today indicates that primitive harvestmen had two pairs of eyes.

Learn more about this discovery.

    Living harvestmen—a group of arachnids more commonly known as daddy longlegs—have a single pair of eyes that help them navigate habitats in every continent except Antarctica. But a newly described 305-million-year-old fossil found in eastern France shows that wasn’t always the case. New research published today indicates that primitive harvestmen had two pairs of eyes.

    Learn more about this discovery.

  8. How Do Bamboo-eating Red and Giant Pandas Coexist?

    Using high-resolution imaging, scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and the University of Málaga in Spain found that the skulls of the two panda species have structural differences related to the way the animals chew. These substantial differences reflect distinct bamboo-feeding preferences, with red pandas foraging on softer parts of the plant and giant pandas seeking out the tougher stems, allowing the two species to share the same habitat. 

    Learn more about these findings. 

  9. Ancient Flying Reptiles Offer Glimpse at Evolutionary Past →

    The Takeaway visited our new exhibition, Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs, with the curators, paleontologists Mark Norell and Alex Kellner. Listen as they discuss pterosaur discoveries, debate whether the animals had fur or feathers, and try out the pterosaur flight simulator.

  10. Recognize the Gila monster? The dramatic pink, orange, black, and yellow markings on this lizard’s skin may serve as a warning to predators to stay away or risk a painful bite. But the powerful venom of the Gila monster, which is featured as one of the live species in The Power of Poison, has medicinal capabilities as well: one of its components has been used to develop a diabetes drug.Learn more about the Gila monster.

    Recognize the Gila monster? 
    The dramatic pink, orange, black, and yellow markings on this lizard’s skin may serve as a warning to predators to stay away or risk a painful bite. But the powerful venom of the Gila monster, which is featured as one of the live species in The Power of Poison, has medicinal capabilities as well: one of its components has been used to develop a diabetes drug.
    Learn more about the Gila monster.