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  • Welcome to my 350 million year old Carboniferous forest!

  • Thaaaaaat's a giant arthropod!

  • It's question time, where you ask questions

  • and I provide some answers...

  • and wave my arms around a lot.

  • Here we go!

  • Theonewiththepoof asked:

  • Trilobites!

  • And you ask, what is a trilobite?

  • A trilobite is an early arthropod!

  • What's an arthropod?

  • An arthropod-

  • is a hard bodied invertebrate like our modern day lobsters and insects.

  • Trilobites existed on the planet from about 521 to 250 million years ago,

  • and as of right now, we know of about 20,000 different species.

  • These tiny little, and sometimes really large, invertebrates

  • were roaming all over the planet and they're just so cool.

  • Maura Griffith, @maurasaurus_rex, asked:

  • I mean there are entire museum studies courses that are devoted to picking apart this very question,

  • because you have places that call themselves museums,

  • but they don't have a collection.

  • Some museums do a much better job of educating the public than others

  • and really engaging them in what is going on behind the scenes,

  • but at the same time, if we aren't taking the proper care

  • to take care of our collections, then what do we have to share?

  • So I really feel like there could be a happy balance struck between

  • taking care of the collections items and ensuring that research is still happening behind the scenes,

  • and also helping to better communicate that research to the public,

  • which is where The Brain Scoop comes in.

  • Northernredwood asked:

  • Meteorites from space!

  • But really, we've got everything from the highest peaks to the deepest oceans

  • from Madagascar to Chile, to Antarctica, and everything in between.

  • Jim Slaughter, @jimmyslaughter, asked:

  • I really had no idea.

  • Heather Hsu got in contact with Michael and me to see if we would be interested

  • in visiting Chicago to film their annual Members' Night event, so of course we agreed.

  • Once we got here, The Field Museum allowed us to film behind the scenes

  • to see what was going on with the researchers and the staff here at the museum.

  • They lured me into a conference room with the promise of cookies

  • and we were sitting there, and Bill Stanley and I were talking

  • about how cool it would be if The Field Museum could do something kinda like The Brain Scoop

  • and he said, "That'd be really cool. Why don't you do it?"

  • And I said, "What?"

  • And he said, "We want you to work here."

  • And I don't remember the rest of the conversation

  • because my brain turned to soup.

  • Bytheletterc asks:

  • The taxidermists are the sculptors!

  • Taxidermy is as much of an art form as it is a science.

  • All taxidermists have to be avid observers of nature

  • because it is their job to recreate the essence of life after death.

  • So, if you're interested in finding a career that will

  • happily marry both science and art,

  • the first obvious choice is to be a scientific illustrator,

  • the second is to probably pursue taxidermy,

  • but that doesn't mean there aren't other career options available.

  • TBSkyen, or T-B-S-K-Y-E-N-I-don't-know-how-to-pronounce-your-name, asked:

  • To get as many people as possible excited about

  • the incredible unlikelihood of our collective existence.

  • Aurusallos asked:

  • A few years ago, I had a new volunteer in the lab

  • helping me to dissect and clean the skull of a bobcat.

  • It came in with all the fur on the head and everything,

  • and she did really well during the process,

  • but I couldn't ever get her to come back again.

  • I felt really bad about it and I guess

  • it's probably because it looked a lot like a house cat,

  • but I never judge anybody if they can't "handle" what's going on in the lab

  • or if they think it's too gross, because, honestly, at the end of the day,

  • I'm just really proud of them for giving it a try.

  • Drawingforawesome askes:

  • One time I was watching a colleague dissect a beaver

  • and when it got time to opening up the stomach it just-

  • ...was a bunch of sawdust. And, I mean,

  • I know beavers eat trees, that totally makes sense,

  • But I just was not prepared for how well digested it was,

  • and it- it looked like a dust collecting bag from a table saw.

  • It was intense.

  • Katherinethegreat asks:

  • By definition, a scientist is somebody who is either studying

  • or an expert in one or more of the physical or natural sciences,

  • a science being a state of knowledge or constant pursuit of learning.

  • By definition, we are all scientists.

  • You, investing in The Brain Scoop and what museums do, are scientists.

  • You're pursuing knowledge in the field.

  • So, given those standards, I would say, yeah, I'm a scientist.

  • As are you.

  • Zeroarcana asks:

  • It's unfortunately not common knowledge that a lot of the dioramas

  • down in birds and mammals are close to 100 years old,

  • and they've been entirely sealed up to prevent any dust from settling or damaging the specimens.

  • Or, that an exhibit like Plants of the World could never be recreated today

  • because each leaf on every plant in that hall

  • was molded and sculpted and painted by hand!

  • 42Dude asked:

  • Even though everything from art works to artifacts can end up at auction,

  • literally everything from gems to paintings to fossils and minerals,

  • that doesn't mean that these things inherently have a monetary value.

  • Because how can you really put a value on an entire ecosystem

  • or an entire culture of people?

  • You can't. You won't find anybody in a museum who assigns that kind of value to our collection.

  • I would argue that everything we have here is invaluable.

  • The real question is though, is having access to this invaluable material worth the $15 admission price?

Welcome to my 350 million year old Carboniferous forest!

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エミリーに聞く #5 (Ask Emily #5)

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    Hhart Budha に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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