A new exhibit opening later this week at the American Museum of Natural History in New York details the images being captured and used today to accompany scientific research.
Cave paintings created 30,000 to 40,000 years ago by anonymous prehistoric artists could be considered the beginnings of illustrating ideas with images. Starting in the 14th century, scientific figures and illustrations were being done by skilled artisans. Sometimes, as in the case of Leonardo DaVinci, the scientist and illustrator were one and the same. Beginning in the 1700s detailed hand-drawn depictions of zoological and botanical specimens, and other natural phenomena were painstakingly reproduced for scientific publications using expensive process such as woodcuts, steel engraving, and lithography. By the late 19th century, photography was becoming the dominant medium.
Both techniques continue to be used today but new advances in computer-aided imaging such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and CT scanning are becoming popular for just about every scientific discipline.
More than a hundred years ago, paleontologist Barnum Brown discovered and named the world's most iconic dinosaur - Tyrannosaurus rex. But that discovery was just one of many accomplishments by the man who's been called "the world's greatest dinosaur hunter". Recently, two paleontologists at American Museum of Natural History wrote an excellent biography about their famous predecessor. Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex by Lowell Dingus and Mark Norell of the museum's vertebrate paleontology department details Brown's remarkable life including his discovery of you-know-what. Just something to consider for your summer reading list.
Courtesy Public domain via WikipediaWith this being Lincoln's, Darwin's, and even my grandfather George Hanzalik's birthday, the last thing we need is notice of yet another notable so and so born on this date. But Barnum Brown deserves some special attention. Named after the great circus huckster P. T. Barnum, Brown was born this day in Carbondale, Kansas in 1873, and grew up to be what some have called the "last of the great dinosaur hunters". Brown began his work as a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in 1897 under the tutelage of Henry Fairfield Osborn . Barnum Brown traveled the U.S. collecting and buying up fossils for the museum. He was known for using dynamite to coax fossils out of the rocks, and for being impeccably dressed while on digs (see photo).
Courtesy Public domainHis most famous discovery came out of the Hell Creek formation in Montana in 1902 when he found the first recorded remains of Tyrannosaurus rex.
Courtesy Mark RyanThe first app from the American Museum of Natural History is all about the institute's fabulous collection of dinosaurs. The app begins with an image of the Tyrannosaurus rex made up of a mozaic of 800 individual photographs that users can zoom into, flip over, and learn more about the museum's dinosaurs and the scientists involved with their discoveries. Sounds like a must-have app for dinosaur lovers of all ages.
Now I just have to get an iPhone.
This comes from the American Museum of Natural History.