Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Life is like a jar of beetles.

Oh wait, I think that saying is totally wrong, anyhow below is said jar of beetles. This post contains an teensy bit of a science lesson.  As many of you know I love science so today's adventures were right up my alley!

Today consisted of a visit to the Grant Museum of Zoology or as I like to call it, the great collection of dead stuff.  It was a nicely presented collection of specimens, both extinct and extant, but the lighting was amazingly poor. Although I will mention that the curators were actually working on that very problem as I was perusing the goods. The pictures aren't very good due to the fact that most things were behind glass or too dark to photograph well. Below is a Japanese spider crab which is the largest extant, known, arthropod reaching up to 3.8 meters in width. I would lose it if I ever encountered one of these in the water but have no fear as you won't be running into these puppies while snorkeling as they live at depths between 160 - 2000 feet. 

The next is a Galapagos tortoise shell.  This thing was massive!  The case it's contained in was taller than my waist.  According to the museum the biggest danger to the survival of this giant tortoise, which can live up to 100 years, is the domesticated cat; it eats the young while they are small. 

The last picture from this museum is a picture of a kiwi skeleton.  These birds never evolved flight because they had no natural predators.  Now they are endangered due to invasive species predation.  Isn't globalization amazing?

The next stop on the museum tour was one I stumbled upon while I blindly searched for the zoology museum.  I briefly looked at the Wellcome Trust's, Medicine Now exhibit.  There were interesting installations regarding current problems like obesity and mental health issues.  There was also a lot of interesting information malaria.  Below is a map of the world made out of mosquitoes glued to a paper board.  Even after reading the exhibit information I didn't really understand why the artist chose to make a map with the bugs but I still thought it was worthy of a look.

I will be returning to the Wellcome Trust exhibitions when I don't have a date to meet Bryan for coffee. I will leave with a picture of the beloved Ms. Bob.  She is exhausted after a day of eating and laying around the apartment.  Sometimes it is too hard to hold up that big, adorable head!

1 comment:

  1. Ewwww! Very interesting, but the beetles gross me out. I think we will have to put this on our agenda in April and take you with us.