Guest Contributor

From distinguished lecturers to scientific scholars to visiting curators to volunteers to leaders in their respective fields, we often invite guest authors to contribute content to our blog. You'll find a wealth of information written by these fascinating individuals as we seek to expand your level of knowledge with every post.

Stinky Meg | Corpse Flower to Bloom

The Cockrell Butterfly Center has a plant that’s about to make a big stink! Her name is Meg, named after the prehistoric Megalodon shark featured at the museum’s new SHARKS! exhibit. Meg is an Amorphophallus titanum, also called the Titan Arum but more commonly known as the corpse flower. You might remember our most famous […]

Indigenous Cowboys: The Living History of Native Americans in Rodeo

Editor’s Note: Anna Dean, Collections Technician, highlights the Indigenous influences found in a cultural phenomenon known as the rodeo. It’s Rodeo season in Houston, which means that dozens of athletes from across the United States and Canada will be competing in events like steer wrestling, barrel racing, and bull riding. Among these contestants are three […]

Getting to the Poinsettia of it all

Now that the holiday season is upon us, let’s get to know a plant commonly associated with the festivities, the Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). Native to Mexico, they are known as ‘Flor de la Noche Buena’, or ‘Flower of the Holy Night’. Poinsettias are members of the Spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. A little fact: Euphorbia is named […]

Plan for Planting with the HMNS Museum Store

The plant cart in the museum is a great place to find some interesting plants and Greenhouse Manager Soni Holladay has curated a list of what you may want to grab on your next trip to the HMNS Museum Store. We regularly stock the cart with blooming annuals and perennials that feed pollinators like native […]

HELIUM BALLOONS ARE KILLING MARINE LIFE IN THE THOUSANDS

Various colors of tangled balloon strings on a black background

Written by Tina Petway, Associate Curator of Malacology and Marine Invertebrates While we all love to watch things fly up into the sky such as helium balloons, we do not see them when they eventually come back to earth.  Unfortunately for marine and land animals they prove to be the instrument of death. Whales, porpoises, […]

HMNS Celebrates Charro, the Green Iguana

Written by Celeste Castro, Animal Care Supervisor We are saddened to announce the passing of our beloved iguana and Cockrell Butterfly Center resident, Charro. He died peacefully in his sleep on 5/6/2022 just 2 days after celebrating his 23rd birthday. He joined the CBC in the summer of 2009 and delighted visitors with his antics […]

HMNS Explains | Telescopes 101

A person stands at a telescope underneath the stars

Written by Leonard Ferguson, George Observatory volunteer Have you ever gotten a new telescope? Are you possibly frustrated with not being able to figure out how that new ‘scope works? Next is figuring out how to really “see” those objects once you find them! While a discussion of the many different telescope designs is far […]

Mute Swans: More than Just a Pretty Bird

Guest blog by Cathy Hou Editor’s note: Cathy interned with Dr. Dan Brooks, HMNS Curator of Vertebrate Zoology. Her hard work culminated with publication of this article on Mute Swans in our beloved Lone Star state: https://www.hmns.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/SwanEprint.pdf A Mute Swan swims in the lake, white feathers glistening, recognized by its distinctive S-shaped neck. You may […]

Ramses & Nefertari: Journey to Osiris in VR

Written by HMNS Staff David & Alicia Furse Imagine – You open your eyes and see pale light illuminating the area in front of you. In the light, you see a massive block of stone with a carved foot on top of it. Your gaze is drawn higher and you, perhaps, recognize a seated male figure […]