Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mammal Day at the Burke

Since Portland sadly lacks a natural history museum, we are always excited to visit the Burke Museum in Seattle. We drove up to check out Mammal Day.  The Burke, like most museums, never has the bulk of its collection on display.  Mammal Day is a chance for the public to see some wonderful mammal specimens and to learn all about them from museum staff, professors and students of the University of Washington. It was really cool!  

These are pelts showing the winter and summer coats from the same animal, the snowshoe hare.
Wolverine!  A favorite mammal of ours.
The skeleton from a pair of Siamese twin harbor seals.
Do you know who these nightmarish claws belong to?  (Hint:  living mammal, not extinct dinosaur!)*
They had a complete exhibit of human ancestors!  In the center is a new, 3D printed skull from Homo nadeli, a fascinating recent discovery.
We also got to see their Titanoboa exhibit before it closed, the highlight of which was the life-size model Titanoboa gulping down an alligator!  The Titanoboa was a 48-foot, 2,500 lb. boa constrictor form the Paleocene whose vertebrae were recently discovered in Columbia.
Trilobite fossils from a permanent exhibit.
*Claws from a grizzly bear!  Yikes!

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