NatSCA Digital Digest – August

Welcome to the slightly late August edition of the NatSCA Digital Digest!

What Shall I Do?

Don’t forget to book your places for the Caring for Natural Science Collections workshop on the 17th October, if you haven’t already. It’s being held at the Oxford Museum of Natural History and should be lots of fun.

If you were planning on attending TetzooCon this year, time is running out: the dinner is already booked up (there is an alt-dinner, speak to Beth Windle for details) and I’m given to understand that over half the tickets have been sold already. Don’t miss out, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.

Dinosaurs in the Wild ends at the end of this month. If you haven’t been yet, do go. If I haven’t sold you on it by now, here are two glowing reviews: one from the inimitable Emma Louise Nicholls, and one from Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow (there’s hope yet).


What Shall I Read?

The plot thickens for Spinosaurus and its supposed “aquatic adaptations” proposed by Nizar Ibrahim, Paul Sereno, and colleagues. First the interpretation of finger-like snout sensitivity as a croc-style aquatic adaptation was given a pretty serious knock by the discovery of similar features in the shouts of tyrannosaurs and abelisaurs (I wrote about the latter for NatSCA here). Now an article published by Donald Henderson tested the buoyancy  of 3D models of Spinosaurus and found it was less than ideal for submerged stability. For more on this story, here is a link to the article and here is the Royal Tyrell Museum’s write-up of it.

What Shall I Visit?

I thoroughly recommend everyone visit the Natural History Museum’s new Life in the Dark exhibition at their earliest opportunity: from Kakapos making bowls in which to sit and vocalise, to blind fish living deep in caves, this exhibit’s got it all. It’s not the easiest to take a photo in but it makes up for that with lots of tactile and other sensory experiences.

The Derby Museum will be opening its Bare Bones exhibition very soon, celebrating the amazing world of animal skeletons. I hope to make it there but I’d love to hear your experiences if you do.

Don’t forget it’s almost Open House 2018. Many fine establishments will be throwing open their doors – among them is the UCL Pathology Museum. Check it out – 22nd and 23rd September.

That’s all for now, I look forward to seeing some of you at these and other events.

Written by Sam Barnett, Palaeoartist.

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