Fill in the Blanks with Curator of Vertebrate Zoology Dan Brooks

If you’ve gazed with wide-eyed wonder at the museum’s Frensley-Graham Hall of African Wildlife and the adjacent Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife, you can thank curator Dr. Dan Brooks for his loving attention to detail.  Since 1999 he’s been an integral part of the world at HMNS, overseeing the institution’s vast vertebrate specimens collection. Bringing […]

Happy Egyptian New Year

The stale sticky days of high summer are upon Houston – and also Egypt (although the Egyptian summer has stayed mild so far). What time of year could feel less fresh? For the Egyptians, however, now was the start of the year, a time of new beginnings. Egypt, as no Egyptologist can avoid telling you, […]

From the Curator: Aquatic Turtles of McGovern Lake

I’ve been doing aquatic bird surveys at McGovern Lake in Hermann Park for over a decade, but that will have to be a blog topic for the future!  Every now and then my son comes with me, and he’s pretty much a reptile-magnet.   We now have documented the following four species of freshwater turtles at […]

From our Collections: Sailor’s Valentines of the 1800s

After long sea voyages in the early 1800’s, sailors returned home to wives, mothers and sweethearts with wondrous gifts from their travels.  Among these wondrous and exotic gifts were what we now call  “Sailor’s Valentines.”  These intricate designs created with seashells were highly sought after, then and now.  There are many serious collectors of these […]

The First American Revolution of 1680

August 10 marks the anniversary of the Pueblo Revolt against the Spaniards. This took place in 1680 and resulted in the expulsion of the Spanish presence for a period of twelve years. The consequences of this revolt continue to today. New Mexico is home to nineteen Pueblos, all separate nations with their own government. They […]

Fill in the Blanks with Horticulturist Theresa Lancaster

Part of the dynamic and hands-on team that keeps the Cockrell Butterfly Center humming and fluttering with life on a daily basis, horticulturist-slash-entomologist Theresa Lancaster has a very important role on the front lines inside our butterfly sanctuary and learning center.  On any given day you can find her tending to the endless, exotic vegetation […]

From Our Collections: a Manangya katsina

Kachina dolls are familiar Native American museum objects. They appear in art galleries and anthropology exhibits alike, but they are often misrepresented, misidentified, and misunderstood. Even the term kachina leads to confusion; it is an Anglicized spelling of the Hopi word katsina (singular) or katsinam (plural). In the Hopi worldview, katsinam take on three different […]

From Our Collections: Making Use of Quieter Times

The HMNS staff has been putting this quieter time in the galleries to great use.  Over time in every museum, permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions require maintenance.  However, it can be difficult to justify closing a gallery to complete maintenance work when you have visitors wanting to enjoy the collection.   The crew is using the […]

Mars Outshines the Stars: Sky Happenings August 2020

Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast at dusk this month. Look southeast in the early evening for the two planets which will be about 6 degrees apart. Mars is higher and brighter in the morning sky each day this month. Look high in the south at dawn. Mars now outshines all the stars visible at night from Houston […]

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