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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Washington DC
We inspire curiosity, discovery, and learning about nature and culture through outstanding research, collections, exhibitions, and education. Comment policy: http://www.si.edu/Termsofuse
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2018. -Adapted from Pensoft Publishers Originally collected 28 years ago in Ecuador, new species Poa laegaardiana has been just described, only to find out its prospects for surviving in its type location seem bleak nowadays. The study was published in the open... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Plant Press
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Powerful Hurricane Irma altered the marine fauna of Ten Thousand Islands, Florida as it blew through on Sept. 10, 2017. One of the most prominent observations in its aftermath was the appearance of a marine invertebrate species that is not commonly found in this area, Molgula manhattensis. This species was... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at No Bones
The Paleontological Society of Washington 7:00 pm, Wednesday, September 19 National Museum of Natural History, Constitution Ave. entrance Amphibians, lizards, and snakes from the Age of Dinosaurs and the end-Cretaceous mass extinction David G. DeMar, Jr. Postdoctoral Research fellow, Paleobiology Dept., Smithsonian Institution. The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction, which famously... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2018 at Paleontological Society of Washington
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2018. The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) celebrated National Pollinator Week 2018 in June in an effort to raise awareness of the decline of important pollinator populations. On June 23, the Smithsonian Institution hosted Solstice Saturday, a Smithsonian-wide celebration kicking off... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2018. The publication, “Grasses of Chihuahua, Mexico” (Smithson. Contr. Bot. 107: 1−380; 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.1938-2812.107), is a culmination of a long and fruitful collaboration between Yolanda Herrera Arrieta (Instituto Politécnico Nacional, CIIDIR, in Durango) and Paul Peterson. Chihuahua is floristically diverse, bordering the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2018. A recent open-access paper published in the Journal of Systematics and Evolution (a journal co-edited by Botany Department member Jun Wen) discusses the importance of collections based research from the 1700s to 2100 (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jse.12315). In the article, the author, Botany Curator... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2018. Summer interns at the National Museum of Natural History received a tour of the Plant Anatomy and Histology Laboratory. A tour of the Department of Botany’s Plant Anatomy and Histology Lab was presented for National Museum of Natural History interns on... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2018 at The Plant Press
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What comes to mind when you think of a jellyfish? Stings? Tentacles? SpongeBob SquarePants with his net? I like all of these answers, but after coming across some scientific studies, I’d add the elements copper, zinc, chromium, arsenic, and iron to the list. Cassiopea are unique in their upside-down lifestyle.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2018 at No Bones
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2018. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Temitayo Ogunbiyi is a visual artist who creates work that considers and constructs contemporary channels of communication. She is currently working on a series that fuses hairstyles with botanical forms. This will be honed and developed further... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2018 at The Plant Press
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The vast world of invertebrates encompasses some truly beautiful and bizarre creatures, animals so exotic-looking that you’d only expect to encounter them in the deep regions of underwater realms. But many would be surprised to know that the National Museum of Natural History houses LIVING jellyfish in the 2nd-story region... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2018 at No Bones
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Manuela Dal Forno, Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow, Eric Schuettpelz, genome sequencing, to lichen, Basidiomycota, molecular systematics, George Mason University, basidiolichens, Cora¬-Rhizonema, horizontal gene transfer, Dictyonema, Agaricales, Peter Schafran, Isoëtes flaccida, Isoëtaceae, southeastern United States, Smithsonian Botanical Symposium, Botanical Society of Washington, Iraq Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2018. -Adapted from Pensoft Publishers Eight years, more than 500 articles and no less 13,000 pages since its launch, Pensoft's flagship botanical title PhytoKeys, celebrates its 100th issue. Among the open access pioneers in its field, the journal brings more than just... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2018. The Department of Botany and the United States National Herbarium present the José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany to a botanist and scholar of international stature who has contributed significantly to advancing the field of tropical botany. The award... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2018 at The Plant Press
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If you have ever been snorkeling in Florida or the Caribbean, or pretty much any warm shallow tropical or subtropical water, you may have been lucky enough to see the charming and eccentric upside-down jellyfish (Cassiopea spp.). Unlike most jellies, these animals sit bell-side down on the sandy or rocky... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2018 at No Bones
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(Part of a continuing series of travel commentaries) By J. Daniel Rogers The Great Plains brings all landscapes down to their essence—earth and sky. No hills, no trees. It is not boring, or blank or incomplete, the prairie is the foundation, the prototype. For me, it is the place to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2018 at Rogers Archaeology Lab
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2018. By Kayleigh Walters and Gary A. Krupnick Speakers, conveners, and award recipients at the 2018 Smithsonian Botanical Symposium at the National Museum of Natural History (from left): Laurence Dorr, Sir Peter Crane, Alan Graham, Kirk Johnson, Selena Smith, Surangi Punyasena, Andrew... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2018 at The Plant Press
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Today our 3D team drove to the Smithsonian’s Museum Support Center (MSC) with a car full of 3D scanning equipment. MSC is a collection storage facility that houses objects not on display at the Smithsonian museums. The 3D team’s mission is to scan a group of ancient turtle skeletons and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2018 at No Bones
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Reported from southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, Hymenoxys ambigens is comprised of three local varieties. Variety neomexicana is known from the rocky slopes of the Animas and Peloncillo Mountains of New Mexico, and is ranked as imperiled (T2, NatureServe status).... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Adapted from Pensoft Publishers The grass genus Diplachne only includes two species, but it does not fall short when it comes to remarkable features. It was precisely this affinity to the unusual displayed by the nearly worldwide genus that inspired Neil... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. By Kayleigh Walters Springtime brings Easter and the joy of dyed eggs. Even though Easter was on April 1 this year, our interest in the botanical history of egg dyeing is still piqued. In an age before packets of color tablets... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Kaieteur Falls, Guyana. (photo by Carol L. Kelloff) The Biological Diversity of the Guiana Shield Program (BDG) recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. This dynamic program seeks to document, study, and preserve the biological diversity of the Guiana Shield. The Shield is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. By Kayleigh Walters When Marcelo Pace and Stan Yankowski gave a tour of the National Museum of Natural History's wood collection to Andrew Rozefelds, no one anticipated that it would lead to the publication of two new papers (including a recent... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. By Carlos Garcia-Robledo In a recent paper in BioScience (http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy019), botanists W. John Kress and Ida Lopez (Smithsonian Institution), Carlos Garcia-Robledo (University of Connecticut), Katharine Wilson (Smith College), computer scientists David Jacobs (University of Maryland), João Soares, and Peter Belhumeur (Columbia... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2018 at The Plant Press