HMNS Weekly Happenings

January 23, 2017
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Lecture – Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals by Donald Prothero

Complete with full-color reconstructions of the beasts–many never before depicted–along with photographs of amazing fossils from around the world, Dr. Donald Prothero will take us on a journey to the Paleocene, 65 million years ago after the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. Here mammals became the dominant terrestrial life form. Spectacular beasts such as saber-toothed cats, giant mastodons, immense ground sloths, and gigantic giraffe-like rhinoceroses roamed Earth. Prothero will reveal an up-to-date family tree for each main group of prehistoric fossil mammals taking into account taxonomy and evolutionary history, as well as behavior.

Paleontologist, geologist and science writer Donald R. Prothero of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is author of over 30 books and professor emeritus of geology at Occidental College. Following the lecture, copies of his new book “The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals” which is considered to be the ultimate illustrated guide to the lost world of prehistoric mammals, will be available for signing by River Oaks Bookstore.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 6:30 PM

Members $12, Tickets $18

Lecture- Our Cosmic Chemistry and Explosive Origins – Yes, We Are Stars! by Carolyn Sumners

Is it true that we really are all made of stardust? In a fusion of chemistry, physics, astronomy and biology, Dr. Carolyn Sumners, HMNS VP of Astronomy, will overview our cosmic chemistry and explosive origins. You will leave appreciating your stellar makeup.

The evening will include a viewing of the film “We Are Stars!”

Thursday, January 26, 2017 – 6:30 PM

Members $12, Tickets $18

Mapping Texas: From Frontier to the Lone Star State

Featuring maps dating from 1513 to 1920, the special exhibition Mapping Texas: From Frontier to the Lone Star State traces more than 400 years of Texas history. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the formation of Texas, from an unnamed frontier in the New World, to a small outpost of New Spain, to the huge, bustling state that now leads the nation.

Through this unique presentation of cartographic history, visitors can visualize how the fourth largest city in the US, Houston, and the third most populous county in the US, Harris County, grew into an economic powerhouse because of the Houston Ship Channel and the growth of railroads in the region.

Mapping Texas: From Frontier to the Lone Star State will be in the Hamill Gallery and feature maps dating between 1513-1920. The works in this exhibition are mainly from the archival collection of the Texas General Land Office and Houston map collectors Frank and Carol Holcomb. Additionally, there are items on loan from the Witte Museum in San Antonio and the Bryan Museum in Galveston.

 On display from January 27 – October 8, 2017. FREE for Museum members.

Amber Secrets: Feathers from the Age of Dinosaurs

Prized amber gems began their journey through deep time in liquid form— as resin secreted by trees, likely in response to injury. This liquid “Band- Aid” served as a natural sticky trap for capturing a portion of the ecosystem that could not be preserved in such detail in any other manner.

Except in the rarest cases, the fossilization process is not a gentle one—it favors the largest and most durable. Delicate or small things are “forgotten” by the process. The copious ancient resin that trapped and drowned fragments of these ancient landscapes served as the most faithful and gentle of funeral directors. Details normally not preserved in fossils are plainly visible.

Amber Secrets, Feathers from the Age of Dinosaurs features over 100 of some of the most exquisite specimens dating as far back as 99 million years ago. Plants, fungus, vertebrates and invertebrates such as insects, spiders, scorpions, snails, millipedes and centipedes are represented.  Each polished translucent gem provides a window to the time of the dinosaurs

Closes Sunday, Feb. 5


Authored By Chris Wells

Adventure is my middle name. Well… actually it’s French. Literally, it’s Christopher French Wells. But the spirit of adventure lives in me, and has always inspired me to go out and seek new experiences. I’ve traveled to Europe, Mexico and South America, as well as few places in the U.S. I’ve seen different places with different cultures, learned some things about humanity and about myself in particular. My goal is to lend my unique perspective, carved out of my own triumphs and tragedies, fears and fancies encountered during my years of college and international travel, to the other great voices of this blog. Hopefully to the enjoyment of our readers…

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