Latest Posts

Hey Moth, That's a Great Rack on Your Head

Browsing through moths in the Q?rius Collections at the National Museum of Natural History during National Moth Week,  I discovered some impressive antennae. The wide, sturdy projections from many of the moth's heads looked like the blades of a helicopter....Read more
Tags: moth
Male fox moth (Macrothylacia rubi) with a magnificent set of antennae. Photo by Biopix, via EOL, CC-BY-NC

Origami Bird Project: Help Fold a Commemorative Flock of Passenger Pigeons

We’ve got a fun, educational project for kids of all ages here in Q?rius: Folding origami Passenger Pigeons to help remember this extinct bird. People thought it would never happen, but 100 years ago the Passenger Pigeon, once the most common bird in America, went extinct. Now you can commemorate this famous fowl by folding an origami pattern and displaying it in your home or office....Read more
Tags: pigeon
Origami passenger pigeons flock together in Q?rius. Photo by Smithsonian Institution.

Tarantula: Friend or Foe?

How can you tell whether to trust a tarantula or not? Most tarantula defenses, such as trying to look big, hissing, or running away, are harmless to humans. It’s the rare but harmful defense -- the bite -- that we tend to focus on....Read more
Tags: spider
The massive Goliath birdeater tarantula (Theraphosa blondi). Smithsonian photo by Rosa Pineda

My Journey to Becoming a Paleontologist

Many students in high school apply to the YES! program, but only a few are given the opportunity to enter. When I first heard of the YES! program, I was told that it was being held in a Smithsonian museum and it revolved around science. The word science is what caught my attention....Read more
Tags: teens
YES! interns Aldair (left) and Maria take the fossil cart through the museum. Photo by Smithsonian Institution.

Catch the Pollination Bug

People all over the U.S. were celebrating National Pollination Week last month. What’s to celebrate about pollination? I asked around the Smithsonian and found that there are as many reasons to celebrate pollination as there are types of bugs....Read more
Tags: pollinator
Orange “nectar guides” act like runway lights to attract pollinators into the center of a Miltoniopsis orchid. Smithsonian photo by Devin Reese

A Whale of a 3D Print

Want to see the largest 3D digital print of a fossil ever made? It’s a 20 x 8 foot print of a whale skeleton hanging in Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History. Smithsonian paleontologist Dr....Read more
Tags: fossil, whale
Members of the 3D fossil whale team. Smithsonian photo NHB2014-00826 by James DiLoreto