Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Amy Sisk / WESA

Researchers have a new way of tracking the song sparrows, dark-eyed juncos and other birds that fly about the Laurel Highlands.

Andrew McAfee / Carnegie Mueseum of Natural History

The bones of a new species of meat-eating dinosaur have been discovered in the Patagonia region of Argentina, with the help of a local paleontologist.

Scientists believe the carnivorous Tratayenia rosalesi was about 30 feet long, with serrated teeth like a steak knife and hollow bones. It lived about 85 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period -- the last segment of the age of dinosaurs.

Agrupación Señor Serrano / Courtesy of Carnegie Museums

The ways migration affects people, animals and the environment is the focus of an upcoming event series through the Carnegie Museums featuring live performances, speakers and a documentary debut, all centered around the theme of movement.

Andrew McAfee / Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Mansourasaurus shahinae was a long-necked, plant eating dinosaur that lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 80 million years ago, and its discovery is disrupting a major theory in the field of paleontology.

This Age Of Humans That We're Living In? It Has A Name: Anthropocene

Dec 7, 2017
Kara Holsopple / Allegheny Front

As visitors enter a new exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, they’re asked for their opinion.

Jim Fetzner / Carnegie Museum of Natural History

A researcher at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History has helped discover three new kinds of crayfish in Kentucky's Appalachian region. Jim Fetzner and his team said these newly classified lobster-like crustaceans could help us understand how crayfish evolve.

Climate Change Forces Local Birds To Breed Sooner

Jul 7, 2017
Powdermill Nature Reserve

Several species of birds that call southwestern Pennsylvania home are breeding as much as three weeks sooner than they did 50 years ago.

If the shift continues, bird populations could begin to decline, according to Powdermill Nature Reserve Avian Research Coordinator Luke DeGroote.

Researchers at the facility in Westmoreland County, run by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, have been capturing and banding birds since 1961 and have seen a shift, which DeGroote links to climate change.

Desiree Williams / Flickr

An immersive theater production will take visitors to places normally off-limits at the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Bonnie Isaac held up a piece of cardstock with a leaf glued to it. It was a large-seeded-forget-me-not that was collected in 1995 in Greene County. The botanist said it was the first specimen found in Pennsylvania.

“We considered listing it as rare or endangered, but when we started looking around we thought there’s just too much of it out there so we decided not to list it,” she said. “But it’s a fairly new thing.”

NASA

Humans have had a greater impact on the Earth than any other species in history.

“I mean, you can see it from space,” said Steve Tonsor, director of science and research at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. “If you see images from space at night, you see all the lights of human activities. That is really a sign of our consuming fossil fuels and turning them into light energy. If you see the images from space during the day, you see the vast acreages of land that humans have manipulated.”

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Children have encountered a curious pair of miniature doors in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Birds for decades.

“People were constantly turning those doorknobs,” said Becca Shreckengast, the museum’s director of exhibition experience. “They are very attractive doors. They are small, hobbit-sized doors, child-sized doors, so there was already this built-in mystery, like, ‘Why is there this little door?’”

    It’s "Take Your Child To Work Day" and Josh Raulerson’s adorable kids have stopped by to help WESA’s Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel bring you Social Club. 

These kids. We can’t. They are too cute. We’re dying.

Okay, let’s compose ourselves and deliver you some events.

Mora McLaughlin / 90.5 WESA

Paleontologists have unearthed the most well-intact titanosaur skull ever found. The herbivore was 40-to-50 feet long and weighed twice that of an average zoo elephant.

After presenting their findings in Pittsburgh, Dr. Rubén D. F. Martínez of the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco; Dr. Lawrence Witmer of Ohio State University and Matt Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History published their research in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

After quadrupling visitation during his previous position as head of a New Zealand museum, Eric Dorfman hopes he can use his techniques and experience to improve profits as new director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Dorfman comes to the Steel City after five years with the Whanganui Regional Museum and Ward Observatory. He shared his vision for the museum’s future with Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer.

Bernardo González Riga / Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and CONICET

A new species of a very old dinosaur was recently discovered with help from a Carnegie Museum of Natural History paleontologist. 

Believed to be 85 million years old, Notocolossus was likely 82 to 92 feet in length and weighed more than 132,000 pounds -- as much as nine to 13 elephants and about three-times the weight of "Dippy," the Diplodocus dinosaur outside of the museum.

Bernardo González Riga of the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo led the study and published a report on his findings this week.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

 It would be easy to breeze past the mountain goats on their sliver of vertical cliff in the Hall of North American Wildlife or to step around the black rhino milling about in the hallway. But these are not just any animals: they’re animals remade by humans.

courtesy, Powdermill Nature Reserve

John Wenzel believes there should be greater diversity among the ecologists working to preserve the globe’s biodiversity.

“We are not a very attractive career for a lot of minorities,” said Wenzel, director of Powdermill Nature Reserve, and that’s troubling.

“If you look at the ethnic composition of field ecologists, they’re overwhelmingly white Anglo, and the same way our studies of biology focus on diversity, most of us recognize we would probably do better as a field if we had a greater variety of people with different backgrounds and different perspectives doing the research itself.”

What's the Big 'Dill?' Social Club July 17

Jul 16, 2015

This weekend's events are kind of a big "dill" since PicklesBurgh comes to town. Events include demonstrations from chefs, live music and pickle themed food and games, including a pickle juice drinking competition. The free event will be held on Friday evening and all day Saturday on the Rachel Carson Bridge.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

It’s become a familiar and iconic sight– the dinosaur stationed outside the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland.

The life-size cast of a Diplodocus carnegii, so-named for its discovery by a team of Carnegie scientists in 1899, was the first major dinosaur fossil in the museum. An accompanying statue, “Dippy,” took shape at its centennial, and so he's stood with no major maintenance since.

Courtesy Carnegie Museum of Art

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History will once again open up their doors to all, with free admission Thursday evenings throughout March.

Spokesperson Leigh Kish said the free evenings are courtesy of the Jack Buncher Foundation.

“(The museums are) a big part of the community and we want everyone from the community to come in, knowing full well that price might be a barrier, or admission might (make it) difficult to bring a family,” Kish said.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has some 22 million objects and specimens relating to the history of life on Earth.

Starting in 2015, Stephen Tonsor will take over as director of science and research. He will also head the museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded more than $300,000 to two Pittsburgh museums.

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh was able to snag $149,611, while the Carnegie Museum of Natural History received two grants, one for $25,000 and another for $147,462.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Race: Are We So Different? is one of the current exhibits at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The touring exhibition examines the history of how race has been defined and its impact on our lives.

Cecile Shellman, communications and community specialist for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said the exhibit’s long term goal is to be an “awareness building campaign, and to stamp out racism.”

“It’s just a taboo subject for some people," Shellman said. 

"Some people may lack the skills or the interest or the vocabulary or the courage to talk about race. And this exhibition really does invite people in overt and unconscious ways to talk about race. I think across the board, all of the other venues and here at the museum, we realize we’re actually helping people by encouraging that openness.”

Flickr user Via Tsuji

With high temperatures in the 90s this week, it’s hard to believe Pittsburgh saw snow less than two months ago.

Thankfully, the Steel City has finally shrugged off winter just in time for a slew of outdoor events in and around downtown Pittsburgh.

Venture Outdoors Festival

Point State Park is the location for the 14th annual Venture Outdoors Festival, which takes place at Point State Park and runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

courtesy of American Anthropological Association and Science Museum of Minnesota

A new exhibit opening at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History takes on the vast subject of race. The “Race: Are We So Different” exhibit examines the subject from several different angles.

“From the scientific angle: What is the science? What is the science involved in race? What is race? Is race real? The history of the idea of race and finally the contemporary lived experience of race.” said Cecile Shellman with the Carnegie Museum. “How is race played out, particularly in the United States of America?”

Looking for something fun to do on a Thursday night? The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History will be offering free admission on all Thursday evenings throughout March.

From 4-8pm everyone is admitted and parking is only five dollars after 5pm. “A lot of people might not be aware we are open on Thursday nights every week until 8, so if you’re having trouble finding time to come to the museum, you can always go on a Thursday night after work,” said Jonathan Gaugler, Media Relations manager for Carnegie Museum of Art.

A Season for Bigger, Badder Poison Ivy

Jul 25, 2013
Zen Sutherland / Flickr


Global warming has had some unexpected consequences, some good, some bad, but perhaps none are quite so itchy as the explosion in poison ivy growth.

Because of the abundance of CO2 in the air of late, weed plants such as poison are thriving, and biologist Joylette Portlock claims that poison ivy “could be growing twice as fast” by the middle of the 21st century.

Around the country, people are facing rapidly growing  poison ivy, often with pan-sized leaves. With that increased size comes an increase in urushiol, the toxin that puts the “poison” in poison ivy.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

A team of international scientists announced Wednesday the discovery of the oldest-known fossil primate skeleton, Archicebus achilles, uncovered in an ancient lake bed near the modern Yangtze River in China’s Hubei province.

Christopher Beard, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said the fossil’s discovery has profound implications for understanding eras of human evolution that remain shrouded in mystery.