What a nicely composed picture
Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island giant tortoise, was unveiled at the Museum this afternoon. He will be on public view for just over 3 months, through January 4, 2015. Museum scientists worked closely with taxidermy experts to preserve Lonesome George as he appeared in life.
Saiga is a type of antelope. They are known for their huge, inflatable, and humped nose which help them to filter out airborne dust during the dry summer migrations, and filter out cold air before it reaches their lungs during winter. They are a migratory species, migrating in the summer and winter and can run up to 80 km per hour in a short time.
Local people kill saiga because of its meat and horns. Horns are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Saiga is listed as critically endangered species and were once in the millions but today only less than 50,000 left in the wild.
Publication info [London :Published for the editors by R. H. Porter],1879-1915
This is Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon. She died on September 1, 1914 in the Cincinnati Zoo. Shortly thereafter, her body was packed in ice and sent by railroad to Washington, DC, to become a part of the National Museum of Natural History’s collection as a lasting legacy of the harm that can be done to the natural world by humans. Just decades prior, the Passenger Pigeon was the most abundant bird in North America. The disappearance of the species helped ignite the modern conservation movement.
For the Centennial of her death, Martha was recently brought out for display and is currently on view in the exhibition Once There Were Billions, Vanished Birds of North America. Sponsored by the Smithsonian Libraries in partnership with the National Museum of Natural History and the Biodiversity Heritage Library, the exhibition tells the story of the last Passenger Pigeon, a member of a species that once numbered in the billions, along with the disappearance of the Great Auk, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen. These extinctions reveal the fragile connections between species and their environment.
The Smithsonian Libraries, National Museum of Natural History, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library will be hosting a Twitter Chat on September 2, 2014 from 2-3 pm Eastern Time. This is your chance to ask questions about the Passenger Pigeon, extinction, and biodiversity literature.
A fascinating and beautiful hydrozoa.
The Portuguese man-of-war is infamous for its painful sting, but one photographer finds the beauty inside this animal’s dangerous embrace.
By Jane J. Lee
Photographs & video: Aaron Ansarov
A Portrait of the Portuguese Man-of-War (National Geographic)
The maned wolf is the largest canine species in South America and closely resembles a red fox on stilts because of its long legs. It is neither a wolf, fox, coyote, or dog but rather a member of its own Chrysocyon genus, making it a truly unique animal. They possess a mane that runs from the back of the head to the shoulders which can be erected to intimidate other animals when displaying aggression or when they feel threatened.
Unlike other wolves that live in packs, maned wolves do not form or hunt in packs but prefer to live alone. Maned wolf is considered as the last surviving species of the Pleistocene Extinction, which wiped out all other large canids from the continent.
Osprey hawk navigating its prey.