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Vertebrate Paleontology  
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Carnegie's Dinosaurs

 
Powdermill Nature Reserve
 
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Botai village

New evidence of early horse domestication is found

A team of geologists from the University of Pittsburgh is collaborating with Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Anthropology Curator Sandra Olsen to investigate a possible prehistoric horse corral in northern Kazakhstan. Olsen and her colleagues, Dr. Rosemary Capo and Dr. Michael Rosenmeier, and their students found phosphorus-enriched soils indicative of ancient manure within a fenced enclosure at a site belonging to the Botai culture. These findings provide evidence for horse domestication as long as 5,600 years ago. For more information, follow these links:

National Geographic:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/10/061026-first-horse.html
Discovery Channel:
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/10/20/horse_arc.html?category=animals&guid=20061020161530
United Press International:
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20061024-124511-5264r
Live Science:
http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/061024_ancient_horses.html
   
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AAM group

New Historical Web Site

The Division of Anthropology has developed a Web site to help identify the attendees of the American Association of Museums (AAM) meeting that was held at The Carnegie 100 years ago. If you have historical information that may help in this effort, please take a look at the site:

http://www.CarnegieMNH.org/anthro/AAM/index.htm

   
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Job Openings
1. Assistant Curator of Anthropology: Click here to see the job announcement.

2. 2007 Rea Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Click here to see the job announcement.
3. Rea Research Scientist in Ecology and Conservation Biology: Click here to see the job announcement (Microsoft Word document).

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Research News
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Hendersonia occulta

Snails on the Radio

A rare snail, Hendersonia occulta (cherrystone drop) was known from only 2 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties before 2005. Fieldwork by Tim Pearce in 2005 increased the number of known counties for this snail from 2 to 5, and noted finding the snail near rare larkspur plants. In this 5-minute radio expedition produced by Cynthia Berger from WPSU-FM in University Park, Pennsylvania, join Dr. Pearce to see if a 10-year old report of the larkspur is the clue to finding Hendersonia occulta in yet another county: http://wpsx.ois.psu.edu/www/wpsu.org/radio/features.php?bookmark_id=355&view;=2

   
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Mark A. Klingler/CMNH

Newly discovered fossils of an ancient bird provide new evidence of evolutionary relationships

The discovery of dozens of beautifully preserved fossils of the ancient bird Gansus yumenensis in China is providing fresh evidence of how and when modern-style birds evolved from their dinosaur ancestors. The Chinese-American research team, co-led by Carnegie Museum of Natural History paleontologist Dr. Matt Lamanna, published its findings in the June 15 issue of the journal Science. Click here for the press release and images!

Reconstruction artwork by Mark A. Klingler/CMNH

 
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Mark A. Klingler/CMNH

New family of mammal really a living fossil

Laonastes aenigmamus, a rodent first described in 2005, made international headlines as the sole member of a new family of mammals. But according to a paper published by a team of international researchers led by Carnegie Museum of Natural History paleontologist Mary Dawson, the animal is actually a surviving member of the rodent family Diatomyidae, thought to be extinct for 11 million years. Click here for the press release and images!

Reconstruction artwork by Mark A. Klingler/CMNH

 
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Mark A. Klingler/CMNH

Scientists discover first swimming mammal from the Jurassic

A team of international researchers have discovered Castorocauda lutrasimilis, a new species of primitive mammal capable of swimming in the Middle Jurassic lake beds of China. In a cover article published February 24 in Science, the team of researchers including scientists from Carnegie Museum of Natural History describe the fossilized skeleton. Click here for the press release and images!

Reconstruction artwork by Mark A. Klingler/CMNH

 
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Crane Fly

Not Your Typical Mosquito
A Web site for the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania

By mobilizing our data-rich collections and collaborating with conservation organizations, government agencies and private citizens, CMNH is working to satisfy expanding demands for biological information that contribute to effective stewardship of natural habitats. An example of this environmentally useful research is the current survey of the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania. Learn more about the project at this link: http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/cranefly

   
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Powdermill Ornithologist Spots the "Holy Grail" of Birdwatching, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Avian Researcher Mike Lanzone was a member of the select research team seeking evidence of a bird presumed to have been extinct for the last 60 years. Learn more about this historic event at these links:
- Rediscovering the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Cornell Lab website)
- Pittsburgh Tribune Review Article

 
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Sue McLaren

Carnegie Museum of Natural History Collection Manager named President-Elect of the American Society of Mammalogists

Suzanne McLaren, Collection Manager in the Section of Mammals, was named President-Elect of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) at their annual meeting June 17-21 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. McLaren will be only the third female president and the first non-PhD. president in over 50 years. Click here to read the press release.

 
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Online Collections

A searchable database of selected specimens from our scientific collections is now available online. While still under development, the CMNH Online Collections Database already offers researchers access to some of the best scientific collections in the world. Click here to explore the collections online!

 
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Chen Young - Megistocera

Freshwater Invertebrates of the Malaysian Region
Chen Young of the CMNH Section of Invertebrate Zoology contributed a chapter on aquatic crane flies in Freshwater Invertebrates of the Malaysian Region. This article with illustrations and taxonomic key will be an aid in the understanding and preservation of aquatic crane flies fauna for freshwater researchers and students in Southeast Asia. Visit the Web page for more information!

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BioForay 2005
Experts from Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the State Museum in Harrisburg, and St. Vincent College were on hand to lead amateur naturalists on expeditions through BioForay 2005, a four-day exploration through a 75-acre plot at Powdermill Nature Reserve. Enthusiastic participants shadowed the scientists as they collected, identified, and recorded specimens for demonstration and study. Click here to go to the slideshow!

 
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PBBA project team Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas
Coordinated by Powdermill Nature Reserve's Field Ornithologist Bob Mulvihill, the five-year Second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas study will provide unprecedented amounts of data and increased levels of understanding about Pennsylvania's bird populations. We need volunteers!  Click to visit the PBBA Web site.
 
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Swallowtail
Official Powdermill Butterfly Count Results are in

The annual North American Butterfly Association (NABA) Fourth of July Butterfly Count was held at Powdermill for the seventh year on Saturday, July 15, 2006. The count program has been held annually across the country since 1975. Volunteers around North America select a count area with a 15-mile diameter and conduct a one-day census of all butterflies observed within that circle.

The count program is intended to promote interest in butterflies and provide scientific results for the monitoring of this beautiful and fascinating group of insects.

For more information:
– Click here to see the 2006 press release (Microsoft Word document, 28 Kb)

– Click here for the 2006 results table (PDF, 8 Kb - if you don't have Acrobat Reader, click here for the free download)

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Programs for Educators
Give your students the opportunity to handle museum artifacts, meet live animals, and explore our world-class exhibits!
To enhance your science curriculum and the students' learning experience, teachers can borrow exhibit-related materials or host an education programs at your location. A new and exciting addition to our outreach programs is the IDEA Distance Learning Program, where students and teachers can interact with museum educators and CMNH scientists through videoconferencing.  Learn more about our Educational Programs through our Programs & Classes pages!

Also check out the programs for educators through Powdermill Nature Reserve, including In Service credits and Homeschool programs. Click here to visit the Powdermill special programs page.

   
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