nature

Showing 218 posts tagged nature

This breathtaking video of the Aurora Borealis is not a time-lapse video — this is what it looks like in real time. It was filmed in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada by astro-photographer Kwon O Chul, and not only displays the bright northern lights and these rather magical looking glowing teepees, but also sets them to the awed, ambient sounds of tourists in the cold night air.

A related must-watch: How the Aurora Borealis is created.

In this clip from PBS’ The Funkiest Monkeys, we travel into an Indonesian island rainforest to learn about the complex relationships of the extremely intelligent and social crested black macaques

There is an unusual looking monkey called the crested black macaque that is endemic to rainforests in Indonesia, which includes the island of Sulawesi. These striking black primates, sporting punk hairstyles and copper-colored eyes, first caught the attention and won the heart of wildlife cameraman and biologist Colin Stafford-Johnson 25 years ago. But since then, their numbers have dropped by almost 90 percent, so the filmmaker returns to the island to discover why and how he could help.

Upon his arrival, Stafford-Johnson finds a very different looking Sulawesi. An island once entirely covered in forest, is now undertaken with new roads, people and buildings. He meets up with the leader of a team of local biologists — Giyarto, or Ugi for short — who has been studying the macaques for seven years. Together they will make a film to show how special these monkeys are, hoping to involve the local community in protecting them before they disappear forever.

You can check out The Funkiest Monkeys trailer here. Related watching in the archives: Japanese macaques cuddle in hot springs, and more endangered creatures.

The next time that you’re in your local natural history museum, don’t just look at the large animals in the dioramas — really look for those hidden small animals, too: a brown-headed cowbird near a bison, a Botta’s pocket gopher peeking from a burrow, or a Blue Echo Butterfly on a flower. These smaller details in scenes get as much attention from museum staff as the central figures. 

Above, the American Museum of Natural History's Conservation Fellow Bethany Palumbo describes how she studied museum specimens of the Blue Echo to recreate it using a mix of photocopying, hand painting, and sculpting with layers of glue.

New York’s AMNH made a series of excellent videos about their dioramas from their 2012 restoration efforts

Every detail was studied for accuracy, down to the cougar’s whisker texture:

Even the shadows, background paintings, and native grasses demand proper attention to detail. After new, energy-efficient lights were installed, museum artist Stephen C. Quinn even altered the slight color variations of the crushed marble dust “snow” to better represent the moon shadows in the Wolf Diorama

Related watching: Ancient Ancestors Come to Life, How to Make a Large Crocodile Sculpture, Anatomy of Preservation, and Paleontology 101.

h/t Sagan Sense.

In this time lapse video, nature history and prehistoric life modeler Gary Staab studies, welds, sculpts, and paints to create a large crocodile sculpture with his team. Staab has worked for clients like National Geographic, the American Museum of Natural History, Walt Disney Animation, and the Smithsonian. This sculpture will tour the United States in an exhibition called “Crocs — Ancient Predators in a Modern World.”

Related watching: paleo-artist John GurcheFlorentijn Hofman’s Feestaardvarken (Partyaardvark), and The Secret Story of Toys.

Thanks, Michael.