A Trip to the Smithsonian, Part 1: Under the Sea

In Miscellaneous on May 3, 2012 at 5:36 pm

It’s been a while. I apologize to anyone who may have been looking forward to a new post recently. I’ve been extremely busy this semester with classes and the organizations I’m a part of, and I haven’t had much of a chance to write anything out recently. For those of you looking for more Conservapedia bashing, I am working on a post on their “Counterexamples to an Old Earth” page, and will hopefully have it out fairly soon. In the meantime, though, I figured I’d share something a bit more relaxed with you. A little over a month ago, I went with my family to Washington, D.C., and got a chance to spend some time at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I loved it. I spent a full day and a half exploring the place, especially the area on human evolutionary history. What can I say, I’m a nerd! Anyway, I came back with plenty of pictures to share with the interwebs. Enjoy!

Now, most of my pictures were focused on the exhibits that dealt with biological life, and more specifically, its development. I’d have taken more, but sadly, my phone’s camera was running out of space. I’ll try to keep the pictures more or less in the order in which the evolutionary developments occurred. However, because of the way the exhibits were set up, the development of sea life will be separate from the development of terrestrial organisms.

Murchison Meteorite

Some hypotheses on the origins of biological life. Accurate? Maybe, but I feel like it could use more women made out of ribs.

Trilobites! Trilobites everywhere! And they’re arranged from youngest to oldest, with the younger ones in the background and the oldest in the foreground, so you get an idea of what the trilobite life cycle looked like. Or you would, if I’d used a real camera. Either way, this was one of my favorite exhibits.

More trilobites! These are from the Cambrian Period. As you can probably tell from the display that says “Cambrian Period”.

The Ordovician Period. And more trilobites.

The Silurian Period. And more goddamn trilobites.

The Devonian Period. And…well, you know what they are by now. These things were persistent.

Devonian trilobite, Drotops armatus, apparently from Morocco.

And just like that, our friends are dead. Sad day.

Just to help keep track of where we are.

Unfortunately, the glare from the glass is preventing me from reading the label, so we’re just gonna have to call it “some kind of fish” and leave it at that. Unless someone who knows what this is happens to pass through here. If that happens, please tell me what it is!

A sea turtle. Check out those forelimbs. Carpals, tarsals, phalanges, and all that. They kinda look like our hands. Comparative anatomy is fun.

A display of  fossil shells.

Pliosaur, Dolichorhynchops osborni. Check out, once again, the structure of the bones in its flippers.

A couple of Mosasaur skulls, each from a different species.

Eolates gracilis, an early bony fish

An ancient whale. I didn’t get the species name, sadly. The similarity between its flipper bones and the bones in the human hand and arm has become even more pronounced.

I don’t remember what this was, but if I had to guess I’d say it’s either a manatee or an evolutionary relative of the manatee.

And that’s all I’ve got from the aquatic areas. Like I said, I’d have gotten more, but I was very limited in terms of space. In the next couple of days, I’ll get the next set of pictures up. It should be all the land animal fossils I got pictures of, excluding those dealing with hominin evolution, which I’ll deal with in more detail in Part 3. So, stay tuned for more pictures of bones!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: