UF researchers discover earliest use of Mexican turkeys by ancient Maya

August 9th, 2012

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A new University of Florida study shows the turkey, one of the most widely consumed birds worldwide, was domesticated more than 1,000 years earlier than previously believed.

Researchers say discovery of the bones from an ancient Mayan archaeological site in Guatemala provides evidence of domestication, usually a significant mark of civilization, and the earliest evidence of the Mexican turkey in the Maya world. The study appears online in PLoS ONE today. (more…)

Fla. Museum hosts award-winning history painter Jackson Walker April 19

April 4th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join the Florida Museum of Natural History for “Science Sundays” at 2:30 p.m. April 19 with award-winning Florida history painter Jackson Walker.

Walker, artist-in-residence at the Museum of Florida Art in DeLand, will display some of his work and discuss how he recreates past events in his oil paintings. His work is known nationally for its accurate portrayals of historical circumstances and he has become recognized as a reliable source of historic vision. His portrayals have been featured on television productions of the A&E Network, including the History Channel, and in many publications and books, as well as various private and institutional collections. His work also has been commissioned by the Florida National Guard and the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C.

Walker was awarded the Florida Commendation Medal and other honors for his work documenting Florida’s military history, and has received official recognition by two Florida secretaries of state and the endorsement of the Florida Historical Society. (more…)

Florida Museum Science Sunday presentation focuses on Florida’s last Ice Age

October 29th, 2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Mammoths, saber cats and prehistoric Floridians will come to life at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Florida Museum of Natural History during a presentation on Florida’s last Ice Age.

University of Florida professor emeritus of anthropology and Florida Museum curator emeritus of archaeology Barbara Purdy will discuss the debate over how early people and animals co-existed in Florida and how emerging research techniques and instruments could be used to solve this mystery.

Human remains, artifacts and butchered bones provide evidence that people lived on the Florida peninsula during the last Ice Age more than 13,000 years ago. These early Floridians, also called Paleoamericans, hunted animals such as mammoths, mastodons, tapirs, camels and saber cats among an abundance of plants and trees. However, as the climate rapidly warmed the lifestyle of people and animals alike changed almost overnight and led to the extinction of many species. (more…)

Florida Museum hosts "Science Sunday" lecture April 6

April 2nd, 2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host the “Of Ants and Elephants” portion of its “Science Sunday” lecture series this Sunday, April 6 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

University of Florida Zoology professor Todd Palmer has returned from east Africa to share with lecture-goers the details of his experience. In this lecture, participants will learn how the relationship between ants, acacia shrubs and African elephants is vital to maintaining a healthy environment.

Palmer is an ecologist with broad research interests, including species coexistence, the ecology and evolution of mutualisms, and the role of ecosystem engineers in structuring rangeland communities. Most of his work is conducted in East Africa, although he has also worked in alpine streams, meadows and prairies of the western U.S. Palmer is the author of numerous publications and conducts various research projects funded by the National Science Foundation. (more…)

Fla. Museum Sunday lecture examines climate change, global warming

March 13th, 2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a lecture by University of Florida Ecology professor Stephen Mulkey on the latest work and discoveries in the battle against global warming from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday as part of the museum’s Science Sundays lecture series.

The presentation, “Turn Down the Heat,” will examine how climate change is shaping the earth and the steps being taken to reduce the risks associated with these changes. Mulkey serves as science adviser to the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida and as Director of Research and Outreach/Extension for the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment and is involved in numerous committees related to energy, greenhouse gas emissions, land use and sustainability. (more…)

Fla. Museum archaeologist explores role of myths in history during Oct. 28 program

October 15th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Discover the true story of Columbus through his own words, native oral history and modern scholarship during the Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Science Sundays” lecture series, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Oct. 28.

Florida Museum Caribbean Archaeology Curator William Keegan will discuss how myths and beliefs of the storyteller bias our history. A book signing will follow.

Keegan is the author of the recently released book “Taíno Indian Myth and Practice: the Arrival of the Stranger King.” He began investigating Caribbean prehistory nearly 30 years ago and infuses his accumulated knowledge about the Taíno, an indigenous pre-Columbian people, with archaeological theory to explain how myths and beliefs not only affect cultures, but also may be used thousands of years later by archaeologists interpreting culture. (more…)

Rich fossil dig site near Newberry subject of Fla. Museum program Sept. 9

September 5th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Learn about animals that roamed Florida 2 million years ago, surfacing now in western Alachua County, during the Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Science Sundays” lecture series, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

Florida Museum Vertebrate Paleontology Collections Manager Richard Hulbert will discuss the struggles and victories of the “Tapir Challenge” fossil dig site, how it is being excavated and its scientific significance for understanding Florida’s ancient fauna and climate. Sunday’s program also includes a short documentary film by Michelle Friedline. (more…)

Fla. Museum offers ‘Science Sundays’ presentation on manatees March 18

March 12th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Learn what a combined experience of 60 years working with manatees has taught authors Roger Reep and Robert Bonde. The Florida Museum of Natural History will host the authors from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. March 18 as they discuss topics in their book “The Florida Manatee: Biology and Conservation.” A book signing will follow the presentation.

The lecture is part of the Florida Museum’s ongoing “Science Sundays” series. The next presentation, “Nature’s Laboratory” from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on April 15, explores how environmental factors helped shape the evolution of the Florida cottonmouth’s venom. (more…)

Fla. Museum hosts presentation covering 100 years of physics Feb. 11

January 28th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host University of Florida physics professor Tarek Saab for a “Journey Through Time and Space” from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Feb. 11. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Saab will discuss 100 years of physics from Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking to the newest questions regarding dark matter and dark energy. He also plans to explain how the two seeming disparate fields of astrophysics and sub-atomic physics have made amazing advancements leading to our current detailed, but experimental, understanding of the cosmos.

The presentation is part of the Florida Museum “Science Sundays” series. Other presentations this spring include Florida manatees on March 18 and the evolution of the Florida cottonmouth’s venom on April 15. All presentations are from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (more…)

Fla. Museum hosts Jan. 28 workshop on selecting children’s books

January 23rd, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a literature workshop for adults who want to learn how to select books for children from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Jan. 28. University of Florida education professor Linda Lamme will focus on natural history topics for children ages 2-10.

The presentation is part of the Florida Museum “Science Sundays” series. Other presentations this spring include 100 years of physics on Feb. 11, Florida manatees on March 18 and the evolution of the Florida cottonmouth’s venom on April 15. All presentations are from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

For more information on the “Science Sundays” series, call (352) 846-2000, ext. 246 or visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu/education/science_sundays.htm. (more…)

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