Tuesday, 13. April 2021
Compared to most other primates, humans are characterized by a tight fit between the maternal birth canal and the fetal head, leading to a relatively high risk of neonatal and maternal mortality and morbidity. Why the human birth canal has not evolved to be larger and reduce these risks has long been a topic of debate. A new study, published in PNAS and co-led by Dr. Nicole Grunstra, affiliated scientist in the Mammal Collection at the Natural History Museum of Vienna, highlights the role of the pelvic floor in constraining human pelvic evolution.
Thursday, 08. April 2021
A new research paper on the pollen wasp genus Quartinia by scientists from the NHM Vienna in cooperation with the Natural History Museum Stuttgart describes the ability of females to produce a silky excretion, which serves as a bonding agent stabilizing the nest walls when nesting in loose sand. This key innovation that allowed them to colonize sand habitats as a new ecological zone for pollen wasps. Quartinia species are found primarily around the Mediterranean Sea and in southern Africa.
Tuesday, 06. April 2021
Researcher of the NHM Vienna identified a fossilized skeleton of a manatee. The bones bear rare fossil bite marks and teeth of a tiger shark were also found next to the skeleton. What do these fossils tell us about life 14.5 million years ago?
Friday, 26. March 2021
Natural History Museum Vienna to continue coordinating the ABOL project in Austria for a further three years
The Austria-wide initiative ABOL (Austrian Barcode Of Life, www.abol.ac.at) is now entering its third phase. In light of the current biodiversity crisis, the availability of data on biodiversity has become hugely important. ABOL not only coordinates the recording of genetic data from animals, plants, and fungi in Austria using DNA barcoding but is also involved in European and global projects to document biodiversity. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research has announced that it will continue to finance the NHM Vienna’s coordination of ABOL for the next three years.
Friday, 26. February 2021
March 3rd is dedicated to the protection of species. The World Wildlife Day initiated by the United Nations is intended to raise public awareness of this issue and to commemorate the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), signed on March 3rd, 1973.
Wednesday, 24. February 2021
An international team of researchers, including four scientists from the Natural History Museum Vienna and the University of Vienna, report on the discovery of meteorite dust in drill core samples from the Chicxulub impact crater (Mexico). This finding is the final piece of the puzzle following the discovery of a meteoritic component in rocks from the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary about 40 years ago, which led to the conclusion that the mass extinction was caused by an asteroid impact.
Monday, 22. February 2021
Natural History Museum Vienna and Evolution: Exactly 150 years ago, on 24 February 1871, Charles Darwin published his work The Descent of Man.
To mark this anniversary the Natural History Museum Vienna aims to draw attention to the close links which exist between its first Superintendent, Ferdinand von Hochstetter (1829-1884), and the revolutionary theory of Charles Darwin (1809-1882). In this context, the museum wishes to raise the profile of the various evolutionary and co-evolutionary processes when redesigning its exhibition halls in the future. The goal is to enable visitors to the museum to better understand and experience the mechanisms of evolution, focusing on (genetic) variability as a prerequisite for diversity and evolution as well as on the selection factors that affect today's distribution of species and will continue to do so in the future. Such factors include not only the climate and tectonics but also, for example, competitive and cooperative behavior as well as the co-evolution of humans alongside diseases and parasites.
Tuesday, 16. February 2021
The landscape of Oman is characterized by vast desert landscapes and barren, dry high mountain ranges. When one hears of newly discovered freshwater fish, few people think of the desert state in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. Studies by the Natural History Museum in Vienna now show that the fish diversity in this arid region was previously underestimated.
Tuesday, 19. January 2021
A newly designed display case on the first floor of the NHM Vienna addresses the urgent issue of species conservation, with a particular focus on reptiles. Snakes and many other reptiles are used to make leather. The animals are often caught in the wild – despite the fact that most snake species are strictly protected. This new exhibition area aims to help raise awareness about the importance of protecting these species.
Tuesday, 12. January 2021
On 12.1.2021 the book "The Science of Citizen Science" was published open access with Springer, to which over 100 authors contributed, including over 10 from Austria. "This book is a wonderful conclusion of four years of intensive exchange within a European research network on citizen science. At the same time it signals a beginning, as its curriculum-like structure gives universities and others the opportunity to reflect on both the substantive contributions to research and the societal added value of Citizen Science," Dr. Katrin Vohland, Director General of the Natural History Museum Vienna and first editor of the book, is pleased to say. "In addition, the book offers practical support for implementing projects and also addresses emerging topics such as Citizen Science and Artificial Intelligence."