Natural history is concerned with study and research of organisms as they move in their environment; the method of study used is more observational rather than experimental. Scientific research is involved, results of which are often covered in magazines. Natural history is broad, covering ancient Greco-Roman era, Arabic world, up to the European Renaissance. Persons involved in these studies are known as naturalists or specifically, natural historians. Naturalists observe living organisms directly and a study of fossils is often necessary.
Originally, natural history covered humanities and studies of nature. In recent years, it mostly revolves around geological and biological sciences, while natural philosophy is around chemistry and physics.
From a modern viewpoint, natural history would be confined to the study of life and how each organism relates to each other and to the environment. The origin, evolution, behavior, and relationship to other species are the focus. Natural history museums are put up all over the world, and they deal with the study of Paleontology, Geology, Astronomy, Botany, as well as Zoology.
In recent news, one historic Wells Fargo stagecoach took residence at Utah’s Natural History Museum last June 17, 2014, in time for a special exhibit which will run from July 21 until Jan 4, 2015. The role of horses in Utah will be highlighted during the exhibit as well as hand-painted dioramas of the evolution of horses. Various breeds of horses will be introduced. Other exhibit items would be cultural objects worldwide.
In other news, the American Museum of Natural History, located in Paris, received the first-ever ‘trans-Atlantic scent message on June 18. This event is connected with iPhone’s launching of a ‘scent-messaging’ app call OSnap. The app enables users to tag photos with more than 300 thousand scents, transmittable via hotspots, thru Facebook and Twitter. David Edwards and Rachel Field co-invented the messaging platform (onotes.com). Edwards is the founder and administrator of Le Laboratoire, Paris, a science and design center.
In more news, The Natural History Museum of London is in need of PR help. The museum accommodates over 5 million visits yearly. It has launched a program on profile raising and strategy. Joe Baker, head of external affairs stated that there is a need to be more relevant and accessible to society in general; this will allow fundraising needs to be met. The Natural History Museum Development Trust deals with all fundraising efforts; it was organized 2 years ago. The Museum strives to remain relevant by contributing to awareness on climate change and disease control, as well as the problem of a growing population. The Museum is also focused on efforts in improving visitor interaction and experience, as well as improvement and development of its galleries.
In related news, an exhibition featuring coral reefs is scheduled for Spring 2015 at the Museum.
Panoramic views of reefs and over 200 specimens via HD 180-degree screens will welcome visitors on their visit. Specimen collections by Darwin between 1831-1836 will be included, Turbinaria Coral (a giant one), blue-ringed octopuses, and small sponge crabs.
The Coral reefs house living species of our seas, which millions of people depend on. People benefit on it for fishing, tourism, storm protection, and many other aspects. Reefs appear rock-like but are in fact, colonies of tiny animals with limestone skeletons; such are related to jellyfish. Growth is very slow, about 1-2 mm yearly. They are highly sensitive to ocean changes like temperature, acidity, pollution, and others. It is estimated that a quarter has already been damaged beyond repair.
Meanwhile, a Dino Jaws exhibit is on in Leeds this summer. It’s been the first time again in 3 years that this popular exhibit has returned to the UK. The exhibit features a giant T-Rex, about three-quarter life sized. 10 animatronic dinos are also featured.
In another museum, difference among races is discussed. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History located at Pittsburgh holds an exhibit that focuses on how race is defined and the impact it has on people. According Cecil Shellman, a communications specialist for the Museum, the goal of the exhibit is to raise awareness on diversity and to eliminate racism. The exhibit fosters openness and appreciation for differing races. Part of the exhibit will be some artifacts and photos that aid in the examination of various races and the issue of racism in the US. The exhibit is held on weekends between 12-2 P.M. Visit the Museum at Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Parking is spacious, a six-level parking facility can park vehicles.
The American Museum of National History will open a ‘Spiders Alive!” exhibit on July 4, 2014. A comprehensive look into the fascinating world of arachnids will be granted opportunity. Over 20 species of live arachnids will be present for the exhibit. Anatomy, behavior, and other unique features will be discussed. Life-sized models of spiders will be seen during the exhibit and visitors will be granted a chance to behold live arachnids up close. Myths will be debunked. The museum actually holds the largest spider collection worldwide. It has lead in the study of spiders for over 75 years. It’s estimated that more than 45,000 spider species have been discovered to date, and many more remain to be documented. Norman Platnick curates the exhibition. Catch the exhibit along Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.
At Albuquerque, fossils discovered in New Mexico were put on display at the Museum of Natural History last June 17. The exhibit also featured a footprint reported to be 280 million years old. Also, a 2 million year old mastodon tooth was shown. Paleontologist Spencer Lucas thinks that Mexico is rich in fossils, with a whole lot still to be discovered.
In relation to fossils in Mexico, about 275 square miles is declared as the largest gypsum dune field worldwide; this is found in Tularosa Basin, New Mexico south central. It’s reported to be over 8,000 years old as a result of water evaporation from large lake surfaces, causing gypsum to crystalize. The field is actually located within the protected area of White Sands National Monument (Otero Country).