This tumblr's for all the great men and women of science for whom we owe our current understanding of the natural world; their achievements, their failures, and even their quirks, we celebrate them all.
For Science. For Inquiry. For Humanity.
Today I visited the Beaty Museum of Biodiversity at the University of British Columbia, primarily to see their articulated Blue Whale. As it turns out the rest of the museum is spectacular as well, but it’s going to take a few posts just to convey the sheer size of this majestic beast. This is a must see if you’re ever in Vancouver BC, nothing can prepare you for seeing a creature this large.
These are some photos from my friend Milo — I’m so horrendously jealous that he got to visit this magnificent creature today! Did you know that the heart of a blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is roughly the size of a small compact car, and only beats around once a minute? Its arteries are so large that a small person can crawl through them. They are the largest creatures to have ever existed in the history of our planet.
It’s no lie that I love blue whales.
A rare, near-complete mammoth skeleton has been unearthed near Paris
“You know what’s rare? Woolly mammoth skeletons. You know what’s even rarer? Beautifully preserved, near-complete, French woolly mammoth skeletons. Archaeologists just dug up the latter.
Dubbed “Helmut” by the archaeologists who discovered it, the specimen was encountered accidentally during an unrelated excavation at the Changis-sur-Marne riverbank, about 30 miles northeast of Paris. According to the Associated Press, it’s only the third mammoth to be discovered in France in the last 150 years.”
Polydactyly is the anatomical abnormality of having more than the usual number of digits on the hands orfeet. It is a congenital abnormality, usually geneticallyinherited as an autosomal dominant trait. There are several varieties of polydactyly; this X-ray photographshows a left hand with middle ray duplication. In Western societies, the additional digits are usuallysurgically removed during early life.
A scan of ‘Triceratops at full gallop’ sketch from Robert T. Bakker’s “The Dinosaur Heresies”.
Hand mit Ringen
Hand with Rings
Print of Wilhelm Röntgen’s first “medical” X-ray, of his wife’s hand, taken on 22 December 1895 and presented to Ludwig Zehnder of the Physik Institut, University of Freiburg, on 1 January 1896.
When his wife, Anna Bertha, saw her skeleton she exclaimed “I have seen my death!”
About the book:
Unprecedented in its approach, the number and diversity of the species presented, and the quality of the photographs, Evolution is the book on how we came to be what we are. Spectacular, mysterious, elegant, or grotesque, the skeletons of the vertebrates that inhabit the earth today carry within them the imprint of an evolutionary process that has lasted several billion years. This book is the result of a dual approach, scientific as well as aesthetic, rigorous yet accessible. Each chapter is made up of a short text that illuminates one theme of the evolutionary process—repetition, adaptation, polymorphism, sexual selection, and more—and a series of exquisitely composed photographs of skeletons against a black background. Approximately three hundred photographs of whole skeletons or their details have been made possible by the French National Museum of Natural History. The reader learns, by experiencing each text and photograph together, how the structure of every creature has been shaped by its environmental and genetic inheritance.
Skeleton of a patient who suffered from fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a condition in which muscle and connective tissue turns to bone (Mütter Museum, College of Physicians of Philadelphia)
1. an organism in its early stages of development, especially before it has reached a distinctively recognizable form.
2. an organism at any time before full development, birth, or hatching.
3. the fertilized egg of a vertebrate animal following cleavage.
4. in humans, the prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development.