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When Did Our Backbones First Appear?

Smithsonian Channel
When did vertebrates emerge, asks David Attenborough? An exciting fossil find in China points to a 525-million year old sea-dweller who used its new backbone to swim nimbly away from predators. From: DAVID ATTENBOROUGH'S RISE OF ANIMALS: TRIUMPH OF THE VERTEBRATES: FROM THE SEAS TO THE SKIES http://bit.ly/1vvsWTv

Star Stories: The Star That Does Not Move

National Museum of the American Indian
This animation tells the Paiute story about the North Star, created by the god Shinh when his goat son Na-gah is trapped after climbing to the top of a mountain. It is one of nine traditional Native American stories that are part of the National Museum of the American Indian inaugural exhibition "Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World," which is on view through April 20, 2019.

Capturing a Photo of a Swimming Polar Bear is Risky Work

Smithsonian Channel
A wildlife photographer spots a swimming polar bear, completing the last lap of its summer migration. It's the perfect photo op--but it requires him to be dangerously close to the hungry animal. From the Series: Polar Bear Town: Bears Vs. Belugas http://bit.ly/2A10egF

What Do Elephants Use Their Trunks For?

Smithsonian Channel
Incredibly, there are over 150,000 muscle units and tendons in an elephant's trunk. But what do these animals use one of their most distinctive physical features for? Caretakers at Smithsonian's National Zoo fill us in. #ZooQs From the Series: Wild Inside the National Zoo http://bit.ly/2y61TUM

Star Stories: The Lover Star

National Museum of the American Indian
This animation tells a Chipewyan story of the tragic love between a woman and a wandering star. It is one of nine traditional Native American stories that are part of the National Museum of the American Indian inaugural exhibition "Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World," which is on view through April 20, 2019.

A Homage to Georges Méliès

Smithsonian Libraries
In conjunction with our current exhibition, Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910, the Smithsonian Libraries recently held an "indoor recess" event where attendees worked in groups to reproduce scenes from Georges Méliès' "Voyage Dans La Lune." The iconic 1902 silent film follows the fantastic voyage of a group of astronomers from Earth to the Moon and back. Scenes were recreated and shot via stop animation. The accompanying music is "Smithsonian Polka," (1855) composed by W. Bergman and performed by Michael Hendron.

Star Stories: Quillwork Girl and Her New Seven Brothers

National Museum of the American Indian
This animation tells a Cheyenne story of how the Big Dipper came to be when a girl and her loyal brothers escape from a bison. It is one of nine traditional Native American stories that are part of the National Museum of the American Indian inaugural exhibition "Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World," which is on view through April 20, 2019.

Skin & Bones - Meet the Scientist: Spencer Fullerton Baird

National Museum of Natural History
Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887) was the Smithsonian's first curator. He thought it was important to collect and study specimens before species disappeared, being the force behind the Smithsonian becoming the Nation’s Museum. This video is one of a series taken from the mobile app Skin & Bones. The app brings animal skeletons to life through 3D imagery in the Bone Hall at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Download on the App Store and enjoy the videos and 3D experience at the Museum or wherever you are.

Boxing Rats (Proechimys sp.)

National Museum of Natural History
http://www.mnh.si.edu/ In September 1993, two female spiny rats (Proechimys sp.) were seen boxing along a lake's edge in the western Amazon of eastern Perú. These common, nocturnal animals were seen punching, grabbing, pushing and shoving one another for approximately 10 minutes without any interuptions. (Reference: Wilkinson, F. A. 2002. An Aggressive Interaction Between Two Female Proechimys sp. sp. (Rodentia: Echimyidae). Vida Silvestre Neotropical 11:1-2)

An Ape like Us: A Case Study of Disease in Captivity

National Museum of Natural History
Can you really tell what happened to an animal from bones? Stephanie Canington discusses what happened to an orangutan that is in the mammal collection of the National Museum of Natural History.

Cephalopod video: Mastigoteuthis magna

National Museum of Natural History
With single sinusoidal undulation of fins originating at posterior end. Animal somewhat above bottom with tentacles contracted into tentacular sheaths of arms IV. From: Roper, C.F.E. and M. Vecchione. 1997. In situ observations test hypotheses of functional morphology in Mastigoteuthis (Cephalopoda, Oegopsida). Vie et Milieu 47:87-93. Online abstract: http://invertebrates.si.edu/cephs/rv97/rv97.html To see other cephalopod videos: http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?fq=online_media_type%3A%22Video+recordings%22&q=&fq=tax_class:%22Cephalopoda%22 [taxonomy:binomial=Mastigoteuthis magna]

Zoom through the Galaxy and tour the planets

National Museum of Natural History
© Smithsonian Institution Animations courtesy NASA/GSFC The atmosphere has been changing since Earth began. Once living things evolved the ability to carry out photosynthesis, perhaps 2.7 billion years ago, they began to remake the atmosphere. Explore the invisible envelope that surrounds us and see how our changing atmosphere is unique within our Galaxy. Learn more about our atmosphere by visiting the online exhibition, Change is in the Air at: http://forces.si.edu/atmosphere

Castelao (by Jorge Prelorán)

Human Studies Film Archives
Clip from historical documentary film by Jorge Prelorán presents the biography of Galician writer and nationalist Alfonso Castelao. Using historical film and photographs, animation, and Castelao's own political cartoons, the film explores Castelao's life and times. This film was released in 1980. For more information, see the full catalog record: http://collections.si.edu/search/results.jsp?view=&dsort=&date.slider=&q=hsfa+castelao and visit the Human Studies Film Archives' web exhibit on the Prelorán Collection: http://anthropology.si.edu/accessinganthropology/preloran/index.html

The Singing and the Silence online interview with Walton Ford (short version)

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Walton Ford has been depicting animals for as long as he can remember. Although immediately reminiscent of traditional natural history painting, Ford’s images double as complex allegories, blending depictions of nature with historical events and sociopolitical commentary. Over the last twenty years, Ford has created more than one hundred paintings and prints with birds as the primary subject.

Colorful Tornaria

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
These acorn-worm larvae are known as tornaria. Most of the tornaria we have collected in the plankton in Panama are transparent, but in November we collected a large number of these animals with multi-colored guts. We hope to find out what species they are by sequencing the DNA from these larvae and matching it to sequences from known adults.

Star Stories: Itcohorucika and His Brothers

National Museum of the American Indian
This animation tells the Ho-Chunk story of jealous brothers and good brothers, who are really stars. It is one of nine traditional Native American stories that are part of the National Museum of the American Indian inaugural exhibition "Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World," which is on view through April 20, 2019.

Meet Our Scientist: Briana Pobiner, Dietary Detective

National Museum of Natural History
Meet Briana Pobiner -- human origins researcher and educator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Briana tells what it's like to be a human evolution expert, why it matters, and how she got here. Digging up early human and animal remains from the field in Africa, performing examination and publishing research about her findings, then enticing and educating the public about the implications are all in a week's work for Dr. Pobiner.

What If There Were No Chuck Jones? Say It Isn't So!

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
Created for the upcoming traveling exhibition "What's Up Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones," developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. See the full traveling exhibition tour itinerary at http://www.sites.si.edu/chuckjones/index.htm. Images courtesy Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Looney Tunes characters, names, and all related indicia are © Warner Bros., Inc. 2013 © CJE

This Wild Pig Has Fangs That Can Pierce Its Own Skull

Smithsonian Channel
A male babirusa's canines are an evolutionary mystery: They never stop growing, they're too fragile to hunt or forage with, and, given time, they end up twisting and penetrating the animal's own skull! From: CRAZY MONSTER: Fangs http://bit.ly/2k4zlAP

This Lizard Must Dance to Stay Alive

Smithsonian Channel
A shovel-snouted lizard is proportionally one of the fastest animals in the desert--running 20 times its body length in one second. But when it rests, it must dance to keep from burning on the boiling sands. From the Series: Speed Kills: Desert http://bit.ly/2zVxw0M

Hou Yi And The Ten Suns: A Chinese Folktale

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, when the full moon is at its roundest, Chinese families gather to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festivities. The full moon symbolizes reunion and completeness. No matter how far apart they may be, family and friends feel connected when they look up at the same moon. Narrated by Karlie Leung Produced and animated by Aurélie Beatley [Catalog No. CFV10637; Copyright 2014 Smithsonian Institution]

Dietary Detective: Smithsonian Scientist Briana Pobiner

Smithsonian Institution
Meet Briana Pobiner -- human origins researcher and educator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Briana tells what it's like to be a human evolution expert, why it matters, and how she got here. Digging up early human and animal remains from the field in Africa, performing examination and publishing research about her findings, then enticing and educating the public about the implications are all in a week's work for Dr. Pobiner.

SI-Q Is there a woman on the moon?

Smithsonian Institution
Karlie Leung, intern at the Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Culture Heritage, tells the story of Hou Yi and the Ten Suns. Don't miss more folktales from China at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival: http://www.festival.si.edu/ Animation by Aurelie Beatley

Sagittarius dwarf galaxy passes galactic center of the Milky Way

Smithsonian Institution
This movie simulates several passages of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy past the galactic center (GC) of the Milky Way over the course of 8 billion years. The blue and red particles represent dark matter and stars, respectively. (Animation by Marion Dierickx / Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) Video accompanies CfA press release: "Farthest Stars in Milky Way Might Be Ripped from Another Galaxy." Release 2017-02/Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 9:45am/ https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2017-02
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