Here are some excerpts from this article by Shaye Weaver. It appeared in amNY on June 12, 2019:
After five long years of planning, the American Museum of Natural History broke ground on its brand-new, $383 million Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation on Wednesday.
The Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family Insectarium – Visitors can learn about all sorts of insects, which are the most diverse group of organisms on the planet. The gallery will be the first of its kind in 50 years solely dedicated to the creatures.
The Butterfly Vivarium – This gallery will be open year-round for guests to get up close and personal with butterflies in their own habitat.
The Invisible Worlds Theater – Visitors can learn about new scientific findings through visualizations screened here.
New changes to Theodore Roosevelt Park
Landscape designer Reed Hilderbrand will offer upgrades including a wider entrance from Columbus Avenue, new hardscape gathering area with seating, new plantings, drainage and irrigation improvements, and more trees and benches.
The disturbance of the beloved park has been a sticking point for many Upper West Side residents. Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park unsuccessfully sued the museum to halt development of the Gilder Center, but the museum was able to get approval from the necessary city agencies and Community Board 7 after conducting an environmental review.
Full article here.
– 21 years of the butterfly vivarium
– The devoted volunteers
Our end of year party was a blast. Even the napkins were of a lepidopterist persuasion.
Awards were handed out for longevity. I’m looking forward to my ‘5 year’ button in a couple of years.
All the staff contributed their home-made food. It was very lovely.
My very first photo of the SUMMER SIGHTINGS season!
This Red Admiral butterfly was in Riverside Park today.
Saw a Red Admiral yesterday on the ferry to Governors Island, but it did not alight anywhere long enough for a photograph to be taken.
This third year of my Butterfly Vivarium Happy Place concludes with some glorious photographs.
White Peacock, from Florida and Central America
Clipper from Southeast Asia and a Blue Morpho from Central and South America.
Another Clipper from another view point.
Leopard Lacewing from Southeast Asia.
Common Mime from Southeast Asia.
Clipper, Dark Blue Tiger and a Longwing.
a synthetic composite material with a structure such that it exhibits properties not usually found in natural materials.
Here’s an excerpt from an article in the New York Times, May 17, 2019:
Knitting Is Coding, Untangling the Weave by Siobhan Roberts
When discussing the emergent properties of knitting, Dr. Matsumoto sometimes makes reference to a butterfly, the vibrant blue morpho. Its color is optically emergent, the result not of chemical pigment but of structure. In effect, each wing is a metamaterial: covered in layers of nanosized scales, arranged in a pattern called a gyroid surface, the wing absorbs most wavelengths of light, but reflects blue.
Knitted fabric is also a metamaterial. A length of yarn is all but inelastic, but when configured in slipknots — in patterns of knits and purls — varying degrees of elasticity emerge.
Here’s my question:
What is the connection between knitting and the color of the blue morpho’s wings? I understand that the pattern of the scales create a ‘metamaterial’ – like the stitches of knitting, but why mention the color?
Here’s the answer from Peggy Monahan, science educator, knitter and pal (and former colleague at the NY Hall of Science):
It seems that a metamaterial has qualities that are quite different than the underlying material, depending on the way that material is shaped. The proteins of the butterfly wing’s scales aren’t blue at all – but the scales look blue because of the way the shape of the proteins scatters light. The material isn’t blue, but the metamaterial is – because of the way it’s shaped.
Just like the wool yarn isn’t really stretchy, but the metamaterial of the knitted fabric is – because of the way it’s shaped.
Listen to the sound made by a million butterflies flying. This video was created by Phil Torres, a tropical entomologist in the series, The Jungle Diaries.
Click here for the video.
More short videos of butterflies here.
It is almost the end of the season in our beloved Butterfly Conservatory.
Here’s a new favorite: a Lime Swallowtail from Southeast Asia. Curiously, it has also been seen in the Dominican Republic.
Our most popular beauty displays its blueness… or its ability to reflect blue!
Blueness with a Cracker and a closed Blue Morpho.
I see right through you!
Malachite butterflies often offer classy poses.
Always interested in hearing about someone’s passion. Just like visitors do in the Vivarium when they get me going about butterflies.
So when NYC Audubon issued an invitation to “discover birding in the more serene northern part of Central Park during the height of songbird migration,” I went.
About 30 people showed up, equipped with really fancy binoculars.
When they spotted a Solitary Sand Piper, they got very excited.
The NYC Audubon leader, in the red plaid shirt, was knowledgeable and nice. He told me that they were concentrating on spotting migrators.
I gave him some AMNH vouchers to come see the Butterfly Exhibit, which he seemed to really appreciate.