That’s a good glyptodon!
Image from Catalogue of casts of fossils, from the principal museums of Europe and America, with short descriptions and illustrations (1866)
Despite the dinosaur-like appearance of it’s fossil skeleton, glyptodon was a relative of the modern armadillo that lived in the Pleistocene and became extinct around 10,000 years ago.
Much has been written upon the effects of Coffee on the constitution, which by some are considered as highly salutary, and by others as very injurious. There is no possibility of reconciling accounts to contrary; but doubtless the effects are various upon different persons.
Bradley said he could give up anytime he wanted, didn’t even like the taste. Then wrote this whole text in ten minutes after downing twelve cups before passing out in Mrs. Miggins’ pie shop. True Story.
Note: Our legal team (Bob) would like me to make clear this is not a true story.
Thanks to awomanofwonder for catching my typo in Corinne Roosevelt Robinson’s name in last week’s post - fixed! (better late than never?)
Corinne Roosevelt Robinson was born Sept. 27, 1861 - the younger sister of future president Theodore Roosevelt. In 1921 she wrote a book about her brother Teddy, who was quite the naturalist, with his own theoretical take on Darwinian Theory, as illustrated in letters written in the early 1870s.
Above, he illustrates his own evolution from a giraffe. Or is it that the giraffe evolved from a “Tedie”?
Some days just call for unicorns and rainbows. Being one of those days, the only rainbow I could find was a rainbow
Unicorns from Johnston’s Historiae naturalis de quadrupetibus libri
Rainbow snail from Cuvier’s Les mollusques : décrits et figurés d’après la classification
Yesterday Dr. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian, dropped by the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History!
Here he is with our colleague Daria Wingreen-Mason looking at ‘The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands’ by Mark Catesby (1754).
This awesome poster is a free download from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and it’s especially great considering this year’s focus on comics and graphic novels that have been challenged.
Share widely, friends!
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere of our little planet, today is the Autumn Equinox (if not…happy Spring!)
To celebrate the coming of harvest season, here are some (slightly corn-y) images from our seed and nursery catalogs collection.
Sébastien Vauban, a French military engineer, wrote this manuscript on defending against sieges around the year 1700. 300 hundred years later, we’re hoping some canny folks can help us transcribe it and uncover his secrets. Check out the Smithsonian Transcription Center to see how you can help.
Arrrr, guess what day it be?
From A general history of the pyrates, from their first rise and settlement in the Island of Providence, to the present time. With the remarkable actions and adventures of the two female pyrates Mary Read and Anne Bonny … (1724)
Gross insect fact o’ the day: the Cicada-killer wasp
A female flies out and inspects trees until she finds a cicada. After she stings it, the cicada becomes paralyzed within one minute. The wasp then grasps the base of the wings of the cicada with her middle legs, and flies with the cicada in an upside-down position back to her burrow. ….
The cicada killer’s venom preserves the cicada, which will live in a paralyzed state twice as long as an unstung, unfed cicada. Within two weeks the [wasp] larvae have eaten the paralyzed cicadas and grown into prepupae, the form in which they will spend the winter.
Description of Sphecius speciousus behavior from eol.org
Image from Field book of insects, with special reference to those of the Northeast United States….(Lutz, 1918)
About a year ago, we posted a gif of hover whales. This, however, was our original creation—at the time too big for Tumblr but now able to be posted.
from Suggestions to the keepers of the U.S. life-saving stations, light-houses, and light-ships; and to other observers, relative to the best means of collecting and preserving specimens of whales and porpoises. By Frederick W. True.