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Mmmmm. Botflies.
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Hey! We're behind the scenes on the set of our news show, called Natural News. It's a new news show about natural history news This isn't that show.

This is Ask Emily. [The Brain Scoop theme plays] Warning! This is fairly gross! Bot flies are from the family Oestridae and there are about 150 known species Most of which require some type of mammal to help complete the fly's life cycle There's even one that uses humans as a host [Dramatic music] The adults of the particular botflies that infest squirrels do so by laying their eggs on tree branches and leaves and the hatched larvae wait for a squirrel to stop by so they can attach themselves to its fur and may its way into an orifice From there, the larvae find a way to burrow under the skin and the animal reacts to this new infestation by creating a little pocket around the baby botfly, called a warble.

This warble has an open breathing hole and if you get close enough, you might actually see the larvae moving around inside. There they wait and grow, feeding off of dead cells and other material from the host animal After about a month, the larvae climbs out of the breathing hole, drops to the ground, and buries itself to pupate. As for their abundance in Florida.

Well, that's just bad luck for you, your pets, and the squirrels there. Botflies like the climate. I am super jazzed about coelacanths.

Up until 1938, this group of fishes was only known from the fossil record and was never recorded having been found alive It was thought they went extinct about 65 million years ago Wiped out with the dinosaurs Then one day, Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, curator of the East London Museum in South Africa took a trip to the harbor to see what the fishermen had brought in and low and behold, there was a coelacanth Further discoveries revealed that there are two known species alive today found off of the eastern coast of Africa and another species from the Indian Ocean And the genus, Latimeria is named for their discoverer Coming across a coelacanth is the equivalent of finding a Velociraptor running around your backyard Making them appealing to scientists in research museums. And we have three of them! Plus, a model on display that we got from the Paris Museum and here's a fun fact: they accidentally installed its pectoral fin upside-down Well, this topic could be an episode in itself but, here's the short version.

After the 1893 World's Fair closed, the Palace of Fine Arts building became the Field Columbia Museum But those buildings were created solely for the purpose of the fair and weren't made to last more than 6 months and the building quickly fell into disrepair Like, in 1905 fences had to be erected to prevent visitors from being hurt by crumbling mortar. Around that time, the museum's board and staff began seeking out a site for the new building and they couldn't find one. So they decided to create one by extending the shore of Lake Michigan, to build the museum on a massive pile of fill dirt, 30 feet deep.

Perhaps most interestingly, in 1918, while the building was being constructed, the US government came to the museum's trustees and informed them it would have to serve as a convalescent home for soldiers returning from World War I This came with altered plans for the building, including adding 35 enameled bathtubs, and 140 showers plus, sinks for doctors! Thanks to the European armistice, about 6 months later, this plan never had to be realized and the building we are still in today opened to the public in May, 1921 What do you think those original builders would have thought about us creating a studio for a YouTube show in their austere structure? I think it's pretty cool So, backstory: In the 1970s a group of exotic Monk Parakeets, which are indigenous to South America, started showing up in Chicago.

Nobody's really sure where they came from Speculations range from pet owners getting bored and letting them out of windows or perhaps they escaped a shipment at O'Hare Airport Unusually for tropical birds, Monk Parakeets are able to withstand our unfavorable, Midwestern climate. They'll even stay through the winter In the last few decades, a population set up in Hyde Park, a neighborhood south of the museum. While many people in Chicago love seeing the birds, they can cause problems in our cities.

A 2002 study talks about some arising issues with the population in Florida See, Monk Parakeets build build bulky nests out of sticks and they've begun erecting these on electric utility structures Because Monk Parakeets nest in large aggregations with dozens of mating pairs, and build on top of nests of nests from years prior, these nesting sites can be pretty huge and unwieldy This has caused damage to the electrical structures and this also resulted in increasing amounts of time and money spent on repairing lines and fixing power outages, which effected about 21,000 people over a 5 month period. And in New York, these type of nests caused a dozen electrical fires in 2009. So back to your question, it doesn't appear that the Monk Parakeets need a whole lot of encouragement to stay in an area, they're clearly good at adapting to urban environments but, should they begin causing problems for electrical companies and customers in the Chicago region, well, those residents might not be looking at these birds so favorably Either way, it's important we continue observing their numbers and paying attention to how much or little their impacting our cities before we take drastic action to remove them.

Although it's one of our smallest, with only 12,000 specimens, representing 1,200 distinct individuals, the Field's collection of meteorites is the largest of any private organization in the world The only institution with a larger collection of meteorites is NASA. Our meteorite collect even contains the musuem's smallest specimen which is a vial containing billions of pre-solar grains These are tiny diamonds, only about 2 nanometers across, consisting of a 1,000-2,000 carbon atoms and were extracted out of the oldest know materials ever discovered, the Allende Meteorite which is about 4.567 billion years old! and that is a pretty big idea! I chose you, Pikachu [The Brain Scoop theme plays]