Why Science?

The following videos feature young scientists, their research and why they have decided to pursue a career in science.

Fossil bird study describes ripple effect of extinction

Meet Jessica Oswald, a Florida Museum NSF predoctoral fellow, as she shows some of the fossils analyzed in a recent study demonstrating extinction's ripple effect through the animal kingdom, including how the demise of large mammals 20,000 years ago in Sonora, Mexico, possibly led to the disappearance of one species of cowbird. For more information, visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu/pressroom/2011/releaseĀ­_03-07-2011c.htm

Megalodon fossil teeth show evidence of 10-million-year-old shark nursery

Florida Museum of Natural History researchers have discovered a 10-million-year-old Neotropical nursery area for the extinct megalodon shark in Panama, providing fossil evidence the fish used these types of areas to protect their young for millions of years. Join vertebrate paleontology graduate student Dana Ehret as he displays teeth scientists discovered during the project and compares them with other megalodon specimens.


Museum scientists find state record 87 eggs in largest python from Everglades

University of Florida researchers curating a 17-foot-7-inch Burmese python, the largest found in Florida, discovered 87 eggs in the snake, also a state record.


Bats in the Caribbean

Explore Research at the University of Florida: Doctoral biology student Angelo Soto-Centeno explains his research into how climate change has affected the diversity of bat populations across the Caribbean. He also describes the two methods researchers use to catch the bats.


Why Science? Lepidopterology

Explore Research at the University of Florida: Akito Kawahara, an assistant professor and curator of Lepidoptera at the Florida Museum of Natural History, explains why he became interested in butterflies and moths and why he loves this area of research.


Digitizing Biological Collections - The iDigBio Project

More than 1,600 natural history collections across the United States house over 1 billion biological specimens ranging from fungi to fish to fossils. This video describes the iDigBio project. It explains why digitized information and ready access to it are important, provides an overview of the digitization process and highlights some of the challenges faced when working with different types of natural history collections.


Fossil dig adventure with junior paleontology field camp

Hear students in the 2009 summer junior paleontology field camp describe what they love about searching for fossils at Rattlesnake Creek in Gainesville, Fla. In this camp, Florida Museum vertebrate paleontologist Art Poyer and University of Florida zoology Ph. D. recipient Larisa Grawe DeSantis teach students, ages 9-11, how to uncover prehistoric creatures that once roamed the area. This video is featured in the Florida Museum's national traveling exhibition, "Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived." The exhibit features a 60-foot-long walk-through sculpture and highlights the evolution, biology and misconceptions regarding giant prehistoric sharks. Visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu/megalodon/


Miocene Epoch - Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land

This video from the Museum's Florida Fossils exhibit describes the Miocene Epoch, 24 million to 5 million years ago. While much of the Northern Hemisphere was becoming cooler, the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico protected Florida. Still, Florida's climate became increasingly drier and more seasonal, particularly during the late Miocene.

Shallow water marine habitats supported thousands of species of marine animals and plants. Life on land was becoming increasingly more abundant. The spread of grassland savannas with mixed woodlands offered a wide range of plant foods for grazing and browsing mammals. Florida had giant tortoises, giant sloths, elephant-like proboscideans, tapirs, camels, horses, rhinos, and, of course, predators, like bear-dogs and saber-toothed false cats.


Why Science? Marine Veterinarian

Explore Research at the University of Florida: Mike Walsh, a clinical associate professor of veterinary medicine, explains what led him to become a marine animal veterinarian and why teaching is important to him.