100 Years – 100 Objects: Egyptian Goose

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 – meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.

This description is from Dan, the museum’s curator of vertebrate zoology. He’s chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating animals in the Museum’s collections, that we’ll be sharing here – and at 100.hmns.org- throughout the year.

egyptian-goose-gosling-mount-resizeThis is the oldest mount in the Vertebrate Zoology Collection that is currently on display.  It was part of the large Westheimer donation, purchased from H. P. Attwater in the early 1920’s.  The specimen is currently featured in Phase II of the Frensley-Graham Hall of African Wildlife

Phase II depicts many of the species in family or social groups, including mother-offspring associations such as the Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus) on display.

Range across seven biomes to explore the entire continent of Africa in the Evelyn and Herbert Frensley Hall of African Wildlife and Graham Family Presentation of Ecology and Conservation Biomes, a permanent exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

You can see more images of this fascinating exhibition – as well as the other objects we’ve posted so far this year – in the 100 Objects section at 100.hmns.org

100 Years – 100 Objects: Phosphophyllite

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 - meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.that we’ll be sharing here – and at 100.hmns.org- throughout the year.

This description is from Joel, the Museum’s President and Curator of Gems and Minerals. He’s chosen spectacular objects from the Museum’s mineralogy collection, which includes some of the most rare and fascinating mineral specimens in the world,

phosphophyllite

Unificada Mine, Cerro Rico de Potosi, Bolivia

Phosphophyllite crystals from Potosi, with their beautiful bluish green color, brilliant luster and attractive transparency, are among the most highly desired treasures in the mineral world. They are rare today because most crystals were destroyed by mining before their identity was even understood. Any size crystal larger than one centimeter is highly valued, and this 6.8-cm twinned pair of gem crystals, the second largest known, should probably be considered priceless.

Marvel at the world’s most spectacular collection of natural mineral crystals in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

You can see more images of this fascinating artifact – as well as the others we’ve posted so far this year – in the 100 Objects section at 100.hmns.org

100 Years – 100 Objects: Spondylus americanus

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 – meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.

This description is from Tina, the museum’s associate curator of malacology. She has chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating shells and animals in the Museum’s collections, that we’ll be sharing here – and at 100.hmns.org- throughout the year.

orange-shell-original

This beautiful, orange specimen of the “Atlantic Thorney Oyster” is not an oyster at all.  It is a member of the same Family and Pectens or”scallops.” They are edible, as are all the members of this Family, but do not occur in large numbers so are not generally consumed by the general public. 

Their habitats range from North Carolina to Florida, to Texas and down to Brazil.  They are quite variable in color and in length and number of spines.  This rare color specimen was found by a diver on a ship wreck off the Texas coast.

You can see more images of this fascinating artifact – as well as the others we’ve posted so far this year – in the 100 Objects section at 100.hmns.org

100 Years – 100 Objects: Black Diamond

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 – meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.

black-diamond-historical-photo

This description is from Dan, the museum’s curator of vertebrate zoology. He’s chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating animals in the Museum’s collections, that we’ll be sharing here – and at 100.hmns.org- throughout the year.

During a circus parade in Corsicana, TX during the 1920’s, this famous elephant attacked members of the public audience while his handler wasn’t paying attention. 

What ensued after the attack would surely have been one of the strongest publicized cases regarding humane treatment of captive elephants.

You can see more images of this fascinating artifact – as well as the others we’ve posted so far this year – in the 100 Objects section at 100.hmns.org