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Don't mind the sparse office decorations.
Check out Animal Diversity Web!


The Brain Scoop is hosted and written by:
Emily Graslie

Created By:
Hank Green

Directed, Edited, and Scored by:
Michael Aranda

Assistant Editor:
Stefan Chin

Once again, Katerina Idrik, Evan Liao, Seth Bergenholtz, and John-Alan Pascoe earn Awesome Points for translating this episode's subtitles.

(To small dodo figurine)

No, you're a dodo! No, you're a dodo!

 Intro Plays

(singing) Question time with Emily where I answer your questions.

 Question 1

Jill Grace asked, "If birds have hollow bones, do they still have bone marrow?"

All vertebrates have bone marrow, birds just happen to store it differently than mammals and other reptiles. The majority of bones in a bird's body are called pneumatic bones, and these are hollow and full of air sacs that aid in their ability to fly. But do they do still store a lot of marrow in some special bones, namely those in the legs and in the arms.

 Question 2

Daniel, @pontelon asked, "Does the museum trade animals with others to fill out the collection? Hey! A blue-crested cardinal? I'll trade you a rare blue parakeet!"

Yes! It is common for museums to trade with other natural history museums in order to help diversify their collections. It's something that the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum did back in the 1960's. Some researchers went to China, and others to Russia in order to trade with small natural history museums there, because they have a lot of species that we don't have, and we had a lot of Northern Rocky Mountain wildlife that they didn't have, so it was a win-win for everybody!

 Question 3

Kylie Ann, @punkaroono asked, "How exactly does a curator decide what out of a collection will be displayed in a museum?"

A curator will select objects for display that best help to illustrate the theme of that exhibit. At any one time, though, a large museum will only have about 1% of their entire collection on display, and that's because museums aren't just storage houses. They're active laboratories, and the artifacts that are in the collections get used every single day by researchers and scientists all over the globe. The artifacts that eventually do go on display might be anything from historical documents to items of power and wealth, or a zoologist might put a newly discovered species on display. It really depends. Museums are changing their exhibits all the time!

 Question 4

Christian, @thirdatarian asked, "What are the biggest problems natural history museums are facing today?"

I personally believe that one of the biggest challenges facing us today is that the general public just have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. Natural history museums are hubs for some of the greatest scientific minds of our time. Scientists and researchers are working behind the scenes every day to solve ongoing problems. They're discovering new species and communicating with governments and communities all over the world to convey the importance of the biodiversity in their rainforest so rainforests can be preserved. They're working to save dying cultures from extinction. They're discovering new things about biology that can change the face of modern medicine. We need to spread the word that these are institutions of active, ongoing research. And if we can do that, then we can help them to continue to thrive.

 Question 5

metaphorshaveimplications asked, "What was your favorite science class in high school?"

You know, I really didn't like science in high school. I thought it was overly complicated and I couldn't relate it to things that I liked at the time, like Harry Potter, and boys who looked like Harry Potter.

 Question 6

Ben, @ben_0_ asked, "What kind of balance do you think museums should have between the oddities that are meant to attract people and the exhibits meant to educate?"

Obviously, a one-eyed horse or a six-legged cat is going to be a lot more attention-grabbing than your average pigeon, but you guys, pigeons are living breathing dinosaurs. You can't tell me that that isn't some kind of weird quirk of evolutionary wonder.

(While saying next part, on screen text says "everything is dead" but rolls over to say "fascinating")

Basically, everything is fascinating.

 Question 7

Jim Kline @xalith asked, "How can museum patrons best support their museums?"

Well aside from the obvious: monetary donations, and annual memberships, if you aren't able to do that, then just helping to spread the word is very beneficial! Tweet about it, put up a flyer at your work or school... but really the best thing you can do is to get all your friends to watch "The Brain Scoop"

(on screen promo)

 Question 8

Haley, @crackrboxpalace (laughing)--that's a great name (chuckles)--asked, "When you work with specimens that smell really awful, does that smell really stick with you for days or weeks?"

It can definitely get into your clothes, and if you do something on accident like puncture the anal glands of a skunk, the smell can literally permeate your fat and skin cells and literally stick with you. But really, it's not something that a quick shower and some understanding friends and family can't overcome.

 Question 9

iwillseetheocean asked, "I want to learn everything I can about frogs but I don't know where to start. Any advice?"

(mystery music playing as a faded image of Google appears over Emily)

To be quite honest, if you really don't know where to start, Wikipedia is a pretty good place. It'll tell you anything, from the origin of frogs, to how they move, what their organs look like, how they function, how you can cook them and eat them, and if you went a little more in-depth, you can go to Animal Diversity Web from the University of Michigan. They have a really broad database, and a quick search of frogs will come up with literally dozens of different species. For instance, I just found out about the Barking Frog, which apparently is a frog that sounds like a barking dog.

(gestures with arms while on screen is displayed, "wut.")

 Question 10

salikat asked, "Will you be doing any other skinning or dissecting videos like the wolf?"

(camera pans up to view a stuffed raccoon above Emily, while on screen is displayed, "Soon")


The Brain Scoop
Hosted by Emily Graslie
Directed, Edited, Animated, and Scored by Michael Aranda
Shot by Michael Aranda
Executive Producer Hank Green
Graphic Design by Karen Kavett
Special Thanks to The University Of Montana
Filmed on Location in Missoula, Montana still has brains on it