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Secret Life of the Natural History Museum

What is behind the locked doors and hidden in drawers that the public never see? Paleontologist and author Richard Fortey shares some of the what goes on behind the scenes of a natural history museum and the subject of his book Dry Store Room No.1.


Content Info | Transcript


MP3 download | 12MB

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Topic Time
Introduction. 00:00
What goes on behind the scenes at a museum? 01:06
Who collects specimens for museums? 02:13
What is paleontology all about? 03:22
Trilobites 04:04
Are some rocks better for finding fossils? 05:02
Do you find whole trilobite fossils? Or just bits? 06:00
Molting. 06:42
What does a trilobite look like? 06:54
Where were trilobites found? 07:57
Trilobites are beautiful. 08:37
Do we need to go to museums anymore? 09:25
With technology developments, will museums change? 10:16
What was the worst risk or danger you've experienced? 11:09
Are there models of trilobites we can use to see how they would move? 12:28
What are the most fantastic trilobites you've come across? 13:11
Could trilobites see? 14:08
Where can you find good images of trilobites online? 14:52
What's in Eureka, Nevada? 15:39
Does your writing work well with your work in science? 16:38
Using imagination in science and writing. 17:45
Who are you writing your books for? 18:23
Three questions. 19:10
When did you first know you wanted to be a scientist? 19:15
If you couldn't be a scientist, what would you be? 19:47
Do you have advice for anyone interested in being a paleontologist? 20:17
Was there ever a moment when you almost gave up on this career path? 20:57
Dry Storeroom No. 1: passage 21:22
Sign-off. 23:22

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Secret Life of the Natural History Museum

Audio editor: CJ Kazilek

Trilobite Fossil

Trilobite fossils found in Oklahoma. Image by Moussa Direct Ltd. via Wikimedia Commons.

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Trilobite Fossil

Trilobite fossils found in Oklahoma. Image by Moussa Direct Ltd. via Wikimedia Commons.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.