Natural History

Monthly Archive: December Natu

On the Rocks Again — in which a pair of intrepid palaeontologists head for the hinterland.

Posted: November 7, 2011 - 11:59 , by David Rudkin

Ah, the romance of fieldwork. There’s nothing quite like waiting for the morning sun to rise high enough to illuminate a cold, wet outcrop, so that one can spend the next 8 or 9 hours kneeling in mud and splitting razor-sharp rock slabs. But we have hot coffee in the thermos, dry gloves in the pack, and — hopefully — there are some new fossils to be found!

Bugs are moving in (not bed bugs this time)

Posted: November 3, 2011 - 08:54 , by Antonia Guidotti
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Question: It’s fall, why are all these bugs coming into my home? I’ve never seen them before!

Leptoglossus occidentalis

Western conifer seed bug; copyright ROM images

Is Burton Pipistrelle a Budding Superhero?

Posted: October 26, 2011 - 16:04 , by admin

Cover image of "Burton and Isabelle Pipistrelle out of the bat cave"

Burton & Isabelle Pipistrelle out of the bat cave, by Denise Dias, Illustrated by Tara Winterhalt

The Butterflies of Toronto

Posted: October 5, 2011 - 13:38 , by admin
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To educate and foster appreciation for these much-loved colourful insects, the City of Toronto, in partnership with the ROM and Livegreen Toronto, has published a new book, Butterflies of Toronto: A Guide to their Remarkable World. With hundreds of full-colour photographs, this new publication shares the local history of butterflies and details on where they live in Toronto. It is part of a Biodiversity Series being produced by the City to commemorate the Year of Biodiversity 2010.

How Do I Identify a Space Rock?

Posted: October 3, 2011 - 12:06 , by Ian Nicklin
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Originally published in ROM Magazine, Fall 2010.

I found a blackened rock that I think might be a meteorite. How can I tell for sure?

Update from Dawn’s Exploration of Vesta

Posted: September 29, 2011 - 08:20 , by Ian Nicklin

Yellowjackets (a.k.a. Late Summer Picnic Pests)

Posted: September 28, 2011 - 10:24 , by Antonia Guidotti
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We love picnicking outside in the summer but in August and September our meals are inevitably cut short because of wasps. What are they and what can we do about them?

Space junk: what goes up …

Posted: September 26, 2011 - 11:35 , by Ian Nicklin
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The ability to place man-made devices – satellites – in orbit around our planet has revolutionized the ways in which we communicate and allowed us to study our planet, our solar system and our universe in ways not otherwise possible. In fact, satillites are so useful that there is a growing lack of space in outer space. Our planet is surrounded by literally tens of millions of pieces of man-made material ranging from dust and flecks of paint, to multi-tonne satellites and spent rocket components.

Summerasuarus: Dino Storage

Posted: September 21, 2011 - 08:53 , by admin

Recently, we visited at the Vertebrate Palaeontology Lab to see how dinosaur bones are extracted from their plaster field jackets after they are hauled back from the field by palaeontologists like Dr. David Evans.

But where does the ROM store these fossils once they are free from their rock matrix? Welcome to Vertebrate Palaeontology Collections room, housing more than 75,000 fossilized bone specimens ranging in size from small toes to an entire row of Hadrosaur skulls!

From the Field: Farewell Churchill

Posted: September 15, 2011 - 13:37 , by David Rudkin

July 27

The weather forecast was pretty much on the money, and a dismal dawn yields to thunder-squalls rolling across the tundra. But, after breakfast and a second cup of coffee, the rain eases and we are a shade more optimistic about our flight out later this morning. Time for one last walkabout of our temporary home.