Natural History

Monthly Archive: December Natu

Empty Skies: Resurrecting the Passenger Pigeon Backdrop

Posted: September 18, 2014 - 22:41 , by Stacey Kerr
a passenger pigeon mounted specimen sits in the Empty skies exhibit in front of the digitally restored backdrop

A long time ago, in a ROM gallery quite different from today’s, there was a diorama that showcased a migrating flock of passenger pigeons.... 

To X-Ray an Egg: Behind the Scenes of Empty Skies

Posted: September 11, 2014 - 23:50 , by Stacey Kerr
the flashing sign in the x-ray lab glows white with red text that reads "x-ray room in operation, do not enter"

“That egg is approximately one hundred and forty-four years old,” says Brad Millen, a technician who works in the ROM’s Natural History collections. Suddenly the large speckled shell that sits in the palm of my hand feels just a little bit heavier. I feel the weight of its place in the world - it is the egg of a passenger pigeon, and its species has been extinct for a hundred years.

Empty Skies: Behind-the-Scenes - Recreating Passenger Pigeon Habitat

Posted: September 5, 2014 - 00:08 , by Stacey Kerr
ROM Artist Georgia Guenther gives a passenger pigeon mount a final check before installing it into the exhibit

Come behind-the-scenes with environmental visual communication students/guest bloggers Justine DiCesare and Vincent Luk to take a look using photos and video to see how the flowers and scenery were created for the new exhibit: Empty Skies: The Passenger Pigeon Legacy.

Empty Skies: Who Are the Species At Risk?

Posted: August 28, 2014 - 15:25 , by Stacey Kerr
A museum preparator collects the Species At Risk that will be added to the Empty Skies Passenger Pigeon exhibit

In the case across from the Passenger Pigeons in the new Empty Skies exhibit, eleven different Species At Risk birds are on display. But who are these species? What are their stories? 

First Peek at Empty Skies: The Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon

Posted: August 21, 2014 - 23:02 , by Stacey Kerr
Stuffed passenger pigeons from the ROM collections sit on a table in the Gallery of Birds waiting to be installed in the new special exhibit

The ROM's latest special exhibit, Empty Skies: The Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon swoops in this Saturday, August 23. Get an exclusive first glimpse at the behind-the-scenes of the exhibit being installed!

Game Jam 2014 - A Revolutionary Success

Posted: August 19, 2014 - 13:41 , by Stacey Kerr
A group photo of all 2014 ROM Game Jam participants in front of a dinosaur skeleton

The 2014 ROM Game Jam, "The Evolution Revolution" took place over the weekend of August 8-10 and was a huge success! Check out some photos and a featured video about the event and some of the awesome game concepts that came out of this convergence of creative energy.

Up on the Rooftop - The ROM's Green Roof

Posted: August 14, 2014 - 12:47 , by Stacey Kerr
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A wide view of the ROM Green Roof, facing North to the structure of the Crystal

Earlier this summer, a group of Torontonian researchers and PhD students were granted rare access to the ROM’s green roof, “Liza’s Garden” to survey the biodiversity, take soil samples, and to look for changes in the vegetation profile.

Biodiversity in the City: Toronto Biodiversity Series Launch

Posted: August 12, 2014 - 17:45 , by Stacey Kerr
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A volunteer gathers a stack of Toronto Biodiversity Series books on a table

Earlier this summer, the public was invited to the Evergreen Brickworks for the launch of the “Biodiversity Series of Toronto”. The initiative, a project by the City of Toronto and a number of GTA partners like the ROM, is intended to connect Torontonians with the biodiversity found in their very own backyards.

Gamers Unite for ROM Game Jam 2014

Posted: August 5, 2014 - 12:06 , by Stacey Kerr
Logo of the 2014 ROM Game Jam with the theme "The Evolution Revolution"

The second annual ROM Game Jam will begin this Friday, August 8th, bringing together gaming enthusiasts and game developers to work together to create interactive games inspired by the unique setting of the ROM. This year's theme is "The Evolution Revolution".

Ontario BioBlitz Brings Bad News for Arachnophobes

Posted: June 9, 2014 - 03:03 , by Stacey Kerr
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a young boy carefully lets a spider crawl across his palms

Guest Blogger and 2014 Ontario Bioblitz Arachnid Taxon team leader Dr. Gergin Blagoev, Research Associate at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO), tells us about finding double the expected number of spider species in the Humber River Watershed and shares a couple of the most interesting species that were found.