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Hey, we're gonna do an ask Emily video where you ask questions and I provide some answers it's fairly straightforward
Let's go
Old wolf at one wolf to love asked on Twitter
Hi, Emily will museums purchase items such as fossils or historical items from private collectors?
Or do they rely solely on?
Donated artifacts and the answer is it's a little bit of both
Various collections in the museum will accept donations if the provenance of that material is sound
Provenance is just a fancy way of saying that the item or specimen has a verifiable record and was obtained legally
Just recently Jochen and Martin from the invertebrate zoology
collection went down to Muncie, Indiana to pick up a huge shell collection of more than
18,000 seashells that were amassed by the late, dr
Byron G
torte
Who was a longtime faculty member at Ball State University and a huge fan of shells his widow Sally?
Donated the collection to the Field Museum where they will be studied and cared for in perpetuity
But sometimes we do purchase items for the collection too last year a field museum trustee went to an auction and picked up an original
Pancake camera the very style that was invented by the fields first chief
Taxidermist Carl Akeley akley obsessed with making his taxidermy mounts as lifelike as possible
Invented one of the first motion picture cameras in order to document
Animals and study their movements and forms more closely and since akley has such a history at the Field Museum
it made sense that we had one of his cameras Marcus at
Candy candy, and I don't know how to pronounce that ten
Ask got any info on Sue's new sweet that the general public doesn't know. Oh
Definitely we relocated to last year and you wouldn't believe what happened during the move
It was wild. Just kidding
Sue was carefully dismantled in the fields main hall and reassembled in their own gallery space last year
Some updates were made to the skeletons pose and we threw on Suzy Australia aka belly ribs
Because it took researchers a few years to figure out how they were supposed to fit on the body
Unless you're paying really close attention
You might just miss one of my favorite details from the new sue exhibit in the video that plays on the screens in the back
Of the exhibit sue poops
Okay, did you see it?
Do you have any idea how many meetings they must have had to discuss the details of that pooping seen many many
Anyway, yeah
Come see sue they look super good and also super scary
Erin Ambrose eonni at Erin Ambrosio knee asks
my kids six years old is wondering how the researchers figured out the age of Sue the t-rex when they died, so
scientists can figure out the age of a dinosaur and
many other
Vertebrates by carefully looking at their bones as you age and grow your body puts down new layers of bone
And these layers can be counted when you cut a cross-section of that bone just like looking at tree rings
This field of research is called
Ontogeny and it's the study of an organism's development. So it was thought that Sue was about 28 years old when they died
Juan, perez at gets some marines asks, what are the chances of an interview with? Sue the t-rex?
I'd love to see my two favorite field museum residents in the same video
We are here in the griffin dinosaur experience at the Field Museum interviewing
sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex is the largest most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found excavated outside of faith' South Dakota where my family
happens to also have a ranch with cows on it and
I'm here to interview
Sue about what it's how the hell they're feeling about being in their new posh space and their in their their humble abode
Sue, what? What do you what do you think?
That's right so you can't respond because they're incredibly dead Kevin Bakken stands
I'm sorry, Kevin zoo renegade asks, what animal would you most like to dissect on camera?
I want to know what the inside of a platypus looks like. They're so bizarre that in
1799 when George Shaw at the British Museum was writing up a description of a platypus that had been sent to Europe
He was fairly certain it was a hoax saying quote
It naturally excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means, you know
I would have really loved to have been there when Shaw was writing up the description for this thing
There was no literature to consult no images or artwork just a dude in a museum in England with this bizarre
Dried animal skin from a place he had never visited
It's like the 18th century version of looking at an image today and trying to figure out if it's photoshopped or not like the first
Time someone sent me a photo of a lobster moth caterpillar
I thought it was faked someone who works in the insect division told me for sure
It was photoshopped, but it's not
Lobster moth caterpillars are real and they're weird and they don't even look like lobsters cheyanne Schneider chase sure asks
I started prepping. I'm a university's Museum and I'm getting really frustrated
I'm constantly worried about messing up and I feel like my work will never be as good as the curators
Did you ever feel like this and how long did it take you to gain confidence in your preps?
Of course, I felt like this it's normal to struggle in the beginning
You're learning a new thing that requires a really unusual set of skills
Plus there are sometimes weird smells and the squishy insides of an animal can be kind of gross at first
There's a lot going on but it does get easier over time with practice
When I was in art school
I remember complaining to my friend Lewis that I was unhappy with my paintings and couldn't wait to get better and he asked me
how many paintings have you done in your lifetime and I realized it was probably less than 100 and honestly probably less than 50 at
that point feeling secure in something takes time and
Repetition, but it might help for you to document your progress
So you could keep a journal and write down one new thing
You've learned that day and in a few months, you'll be amazed by all of these little incremental victories
I believe in you Kevin gets a twofer in this episode Kevin at Zoo renegade asks there have been a lot of alarming messages about
worrisome decline in insect populations
what can museums do to help combat this crisis in the last few years there have been a number of not just
Alarming but hyper alarming reports and studies that indicate insect populations have plummeted in the last 40 years
Sometimes by as much as 60 or 75 percent of overall
biomass a recent report from the journal Biological
Conservation estimates that 40% of all insect species are threatened with extinction over the next few decades
Museums and their collections offer a baseline for historic distributions of many animal groups including insects
So entomologist and ecologist consult these collections to verify where certain species have been collected in the past
To see if those distribution ranges are changing in other words
If the insect in question can still be found in a region where they were collected five or ten or 50 years ago
But it's really up to policy makers to help enact some major change here
Many of these population declines are thought to be caused by an overuse of pesticides and unsustainable agricultural practices and environmental pollution
So you as a voter and a citizen can and should hold your elected officials accountable
And vote to elect those representatives that care about environmental policy in the mean time
You can help by creating habitats that are friendly to insects like planting native gardens
You can support nature centers in your community and help educate your friends and family on why insects are not only super cool animals
But of vital importance to any habitat, they're the foundation on which biodiversity thrives
We need insects Persie at John Percy asks
What are the best ways to support your local and national museums if you can you should visit them?
Participate in their programs and go to their events many museums make budget
Projections for the coming year based on the attendance and revenue gained from the previous year
So if a museum gets extra foot traffic one year, they might expect the same traffic the next year
But if there are fewer visitors, then programs departments and people can get cut if you can't visit a museum
You can also support their work by following and interacting with them on social media or visiting their website
Because digital traffic like foot traffic is often measured year after year as well
So not only can you feel good about filling your social media feeds with fun facts neat stories and mind-blowing specimens
But you're helping to support the museum - or if you can just give us money
techno plasm aka Lucy McMillan asks
Do you ever find it hard to stay positive about nature in natural history when we are witnessing habitat degradation
And animal extinctions at the hands of humans. Yes, of course, I struggle
Some days are really hard and on those days
I stay home and watch the birds that come to buy bird feeders all day every single day of my life
I learned something new and fascinating that makes me legitimately fall in love with earth all over again
Whether it's researching lobster moth caterpillars or how platypuses secrete milk right out of their skin or how scientists figure out how to age
Dinosaurs and all of this information brings me joy
but it also sometimes brings me sadness to know that there are people who do not appreciate this information or find joy in learning about
platypus lactation
But what makes me really happy is to share this wonder and I hope that it helps others who didn't know they cared about this
Stuff to care too because learning about something is the first step in caring for that thing
So when you watch our videos or share cool facts with me on Twitter or leave a comment about something that you learned that brings
Me hope and keeps me positive. Thanks to everybody who sent in questions
Sorry if I didn't get to yours
But feel free to leave one in the comments below and I will try to get to your questions
The next couple of weeks. We have some pretty exciting videos that are coming out and then we are going to revisit a
Place very close to my heart pretty soon. And that's all I'm gonna say about it. But also Michael around it might be involved
Oh gee brain, scoop fans are gonna be super jazzed. That's what I'm saying. Okay. Anyway, I've said too much. Thanks for watching. Bye
So has brains on it