NatSCA Digital Digest – June

Compiled by Sam Barnett, NatSCA Volunteer and PubSci Committee Member.

Welcome one and all to the June 2019 edition of the Digest.

What should I read?

New experiments in flight design don’t crop up every day – which is why the discovery of Yi qi, the creature that looked like a bird had tried to imitate a bat and an aye-aye at the same time, was so surprising. The problem was that the remains were so scrappy it left a lot of interpretation as to how that membrane of skin fit around its wing (see image from the paper for a couple of proposals). Thankfully that picture is getting clearer due to the discovery of a second member of the family: named Ambopteryx, this little beauty helps fill the gaps in our understanding. You can read more about Ambopteryx in the Nature paper or over at The Atlantic for the lowdown by Ed Yong.

Ginger mice might not seem like the most groundbreaking discovery but sometimes it’s really satisfying to have our assumptions about prehistoric life independently verified. Researchers have found traces of red pigment in a 3 million-year-old mammal named Apodemus atavus, which you can read more about at Nature Communications (OA) or Smithsonian Magazine covers it here.

Where should I go?

The Grant Museum are having a hands-on Explore Zoology day on the 6th July: stick it in your calendars and come along, there’s no better way to familiarise yourself with anatomy than by first-hand experience.

Where should I work?

The Horniman Museum are looking for two Aquarists. You can find full details and how to apply here. The deadline is 21st June so get your applications in quick. Be sure to keep an eye on our jobs page for all the latest offers.

Before You Go…

If you have visited an exhibition/museum, have something to say about a current topic, or perhaps you want to tell us what you’ve been working on, please drop Jen an email at Thanks!

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