comparative zoology

blackjackgabbiani  asked:

Being a flying bird, you must have hollow bones. But you live at the bottom of the ocean, where the pressure is massive. How do your bones not break?

Contrary to what you might think, his bones are actually NOT hollow, but he has many things that assist him with both flight and the extreme depths at which he can descend. One of the main things that helps out are his psychic abilities. He can create a barrier around himself that aids him in flight as well as helping to relieve the enormous pressure changes that occur when he dives.

In addition, his lungs are HUGE–They provide a great amount of air and support to move and flap those wings, lifting him off the ground or propelling him through the water. He has air-sacs where he can store excess oxygen because, just like whales, his lungs are collapsible to prevent THE BENDS.

The massive keel (the bone where bird’s wing muscles attach) gives him the power to lift his body off the ground regardless of hollow bones or not. However, the spines on his tail, back, and eyes are cartilage, allowing him to flick them up and down at will, giving him a more stream-line shape or more aerodynamic ability.

Additional fun fact, every finger has individual bones and muscles, allowing him to manipulate them how he wishes and utilize them just like fingers OR like wings. He also has a “blast organ” where chemical reactions occur that make his Aeroblast move possible without destroying his esophagus :P

Hopefully this answers your question without getting… too long winded.

biology squads at my uni

(according to me)

anthropology: the cool ones; biggest swag of all scientists, high self-esteem, inappropriate jokes, messiest labs ever, always cheerful, late to everything, love undergrads, nice lab coats

genetics: the nerdiest nerds; lots of colored pens and pretty posters, know a ton of fun facts, strong sense of community, good at old-school lab techniques, meme lords, labs always have fruit flies flying around

evolution-zoology-comparative anatomy: the hippies; weirdest lectures and classes, unusual working hours, constantly talk like they’re stoned, most original research, good with animals, always smell faintly of formaldehyde, either the best teachers you’ve ever met or absolute messes

molecular/cell biology: the motorbike gang; perpetually tired, highest coffee consumption, get to work with the most advanced equipment, always on their phones, complicated lectures and classes, amazing at drawing stuff, very hard-working

neurobiology: the badasses; wild west of science, never quite sure what exactly they’re doing or researching, lots of huge illustrated textbooks, sci-fi labs, mind blowing lectures, regular philosophical discussions, great dress sense

ecology: the chill ones; really good at math and physics, bitter about climate change, lots of trips and field work, love to talk about their research, best lecture presentations, hang out in the library a lot, dirty lab coats, low-key scared of undergrads, pretty much live on campus

geology: the cryptids; nobody is really sure they exist, idk they probably do, but I’ve never seen one

youtube

The Brain Scoop: 
Fisher Dissection - Harvard Adventures, Part 2

The Grossometer returns for this video as we work with Dr. Katrina Jones, a paleontologist at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, to dissect the muscles from a fisher (Martes pennanti) in order to examine its spine. Field Museum curator Dr. Ken Angielczyk is working with collaborators at Harvard to discover more information about the evolution of mammal movement – and part of that research involves looking at relatives of animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. 

What’s exciting to me about this work is that it’s multifaceted, incorporating fossil evidence as well as extant (modern) animals, biomechanical movements requiring dissections, and understanding certain genetic expressions. The next step involves active experiments, photography and digital elements, CT-scanning technology, and virtual tests using gaming software. It shows that science is creative, hands-on, and fueled by the curious passion of really dynamic and quite brilliant people. I hope you love this video series, too! 

Watch the Part 1 here!

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Description of new reptiles, or imperfectly known to the collection of the Natural History Museum and remarks on the classification and characteristics of reptiles; By Duméril, Henri Auguste André, 1812-1870 National Museum of Natural History (France)
Via Flickr:
Publication info Paris: Museum of Natural History, 1852-1856 

BHL Collections: Smithsonian Libraries

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Tortoises, terrapins, and turtles : drawn from life / by James de Carle Sowerby and Edward Lear. by glenn
Via Flickr:
By: Sowerby, James de Carle, - Gray, John Edward, - Lear, Edward,

 Publication info: London, Paris, and Frankfort :H. Sotheran, J. Baer & co.,1872. Series: Museum of Comparative Zoology–Biodiversity Heritage Library digitization project.

 Contributed by: Harvard University, MCZ, Ernst Mayr Library BHL Collections: Ernst Mayr Library of the MCZ, Harvard University

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Tortoises, terrapins, and turtles : drawn from life / by James de Carle Sowerby and Edward Lear. on Flickr.

By: Sowerby, James de Carle, - Gray, John Edward, - Lear, Edward,
Publication info: London, Paris, and Frankfort :H. Sotheran, J. Baer & co.,1872.
Series: Museum of Comparative Zoology–Biodiversity Heritage Library digitization project.
Contributed by: Harvard University, MCZ, Ernst Mayr Library
BHL Collections: Ernst Mayr Library of the MCZ, Harvard University

Made with Flickr
youtube

The Brain Scoop:
Bending Fossils: Experiment in Paleontology (Harvard Adventures, Part 3)

To conclude our Harvard Adventures mini-series, Dr. Stephanie Pierce shows us the experimentation part of their research, and how she and her collaborators are able to apply those same techniques to fossil animals through the use of 3D modeling software. It is wild! 

As Stephanie says in the end of the video, right now is one of the most exciting times to be a paleontologist. Never before has technology been so adaptable to bend (pun) to the creative whims of researchers. How neat is that? Neat. 

Catch up on the series by watching the first two videos here!

kelsiq  asked:

Hey there! Sorry if this has been answered, but I HAVE to know. Is it pronounced GROSS-oh-meeter or gross-AH-mitter? -Kelsi

I’ve always pronounced grossometer as gross-AH-meter, like… barometer. But gross-O-meter had sort of a fun, campy game show feel, so I’m cool with either.

The wheel in question is most certainly making a reappearance when we visit Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology in November to dissect some critters - maybe cats, perhaps a varanid lizard, and an echidna or two if their permits come through in time…

It’s all part of a National Science Foundation funded grant for research that will be looking into spinal evolution between basal synapsids, like Dimetrodon, and the earliest ‘true’ mammals, the cynodonts.

Dimetrodon had a long, largely uniform spine with rib-like processes all the way down its back. All living mammals today have highly regionalized spinal columns- district areas between the chest and thoracic ribs, and the lower lumbar vertebrae. But, paleontologists still aren’t entirely sure when that distinct separation evolved for mammals. And lucky for us, answering that question involves some pretty stellar dissections.

YEAH