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Photo of the Day #950: Gorilla

A lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), photographed at the Bronx Zoo.

Disclaimer: I write the following post as a private citizen. Even though I am a research associate at the museum, my work is done on a volunteer basis in cooperation with museum staff. I am not employed by the museum, and my views do not necessarily represent those of any New Jersey State Museum employee.…

The skeleton of the Hundsheim rhinoceros, Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis. From Kahlke and Kaiser, 2010. In any given environment, it might be expected that a generalized or unspecialized species might be less prone to extinction than one which depends upon a narrow temperature range, a peculiar kind of food, or other aspect of natural history which is…

A bufflehead duck (Bucephala albeola), photographed at the Bronx Zoo.

Photographed at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

Early Praise for Written in Stone

Even though I sometimes feel quite anxious about the publication of Written in Stone, the positive comments the manuscript has received so far have helped to relieve my apprehension. Professional reviews will not show up for another few months, of course, but during the process of composing the book – from pitching to my agent…

The nearly complete skeleton of a Steller’s sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) – it is missing bones from the wrist and hand. From Woodward, 1885. It did not take long for the last remaining population of Steller’s sea cow to be driven into extinction. Discovered by the German naturalist Georg Steller around the Bering Sea’s Commander…

The skeletons of Lucy (left) and Kadanuumuu (right). Both belong to the early human species Australopithecus afarensis. (Images not to scale.) I never fully appreciated how small Lucy was until I saw her bones for myself. Photographs and restorations of her and her kin within the species Australopithecus afarensis had never really given me a…

A few weeks ago I started prep work on a Tyrannosaurus rex toe bone recovered from Montana’s Hell Creek Formation and kept at the New Jersey State Museum. This is how the gypsum-encrusted bone looked when I started… … and this is how it looked at the end of last week. There’s still a lot…

Three-dimensional models of hominoid skulls used in the study – (a) Hylobates lar; (b) Pongo pygmaeus; (c) Pan troglodytes; (d) Gorilla gorilla; (e) Australopithecus africanus; (f ) Paranthropus boisei; (g) Homo sapiens. They have been scaled to the same surface area, and the colors denote areas of stress (blue = minimal stress, pink = high…