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Women in Nature

Manchester Museum is playing host to a number of wonderful series of after hours events in the coming weeks and months, with “Women in Nature” quickly approaching next week on 4th October. Come to this event to experience Manchester Museum like never before, be taken on an afterhours tour of our Vivarium, Living Worlds and Nature’s Library, and hear from amazing women working in nature.

To accompany this we will have the first of our monthly musical takeovers led by MCR live https://www.mcr.live/, providing a full female DJ line up, plus creative workshops and more! Everyone is welcome to attend and admission is free, just register using the eventbrite “Tickets and Information” link below. We hope to see you there!

Tickets and Information

MM After Hours Events Facebook     MM After Hours Events Twitter

Science Uncovered

We are looking forward to meeting everyone attending tonights Science Uncovered here at Manchester Museum. It promises to be a really great night with a huge range of related activities and guest speakers contributing the event. In the talks there will also be an opportunity to hear about the discovery of Sylvia’s Tree Frog and see the frog for real. Manchester is home to a group of amazing and dynamic Scientists, and lots of other ground breaking research.

Tonight we bring them together at the museum. If you available why not join us for an evening of lightening talks, debates, researcher speed dating, music and the Museum as you’ve never seen it before.

Science Uncovered Itinerary

mcrmuseum@eventbrite.com

Hello future

A week today our Ancient Worlds Galleries will be closing as over the next three years Manchester Museum will undergo an exciting £13 million transformation, hello future.

The new project will see the building of a new two-storey extension, a new South Asia gallery in partnership with The British Museum, a Chinese Culture gallery, a large Special Exhibitions hall, and a new entrance and shop, making the museum more inclusive, imaginative and relevant to the diverse communities it serves.

During this time all our Natural History galleries will remain fully open, including the Vivarium. Our new entrance will be through our Fossils Gallery, directly below the Vivarium, in the beautiful original 1885 building designed by Alfred Waterhouse.

To find out more follow #MMhellofuture

mmhellofuture.wordpress.com

In Memory

It was with shock and great sadness that I learn’t a friend of mine passed away last week. He was buried yesterday. Ged Casserley was a very special person, very well liked by all who came into contact with him and someone I had the privilege to know.

His great interest in nature, his imagination, humour, and passion for achieving whatever he undertook resonated. I will remember Ged for the great excitement and interest he had for unusual creatures – from giant spiders to frogs with metallic eyes, from within caves in Barbados to faeries in his home studio. He would send me random emails with photographs of just amazing animals with such excitement it was impossible not to smile when I got the message in my inbox that said ‘Greetings from Saddleworth!’, and then be in awe when looking at what Ged had sent – usually with a message written in excitement for what he was sharing and also with such complimentary kind words in recognition of my work at the time.

I first met Ged not long after I first started at Manchester Museum and we instantly became friends. His enthusiasm was truly infectious. Ged was a great traditional artist, digital artist, musician, and herpetologist. He produced all the fabulous backgrounds to our public exhibits and the personal animals he provided to us include the beautiful green tree python we now have on public display.

Ged had a special place in his heart for Manchester Museum’s Vivarium. His positiveness, great encouragement and praise for all we are trying to achieve in the Vivarium has helped me greatly at times. He used to make me smile widely and I just loved his passion for the all things he was interested in. Ged was a gentleman, and a gentle man. He would graciously tip his head when saying ‘Bye bye now’, and sign off with ‘Til later..

Ged will be missed by all who knew him, for his kind unassuming manner, his great sense of humour, his unbounded enthusiasm for animals, art, and fantasy, and for just being him.

Til later Ged

Faeries

Saatchi Art

Connery in Saddleworth

Flagged-Down in Vienna

Staurois latopalmatus

Staurois latopalmatus (c) George Madani

You don’t need to be a world-class gymnast, dancer or yogi to successfully articulate your intentions with your feet, you just need to be a species of foot-flagging frog!

This past weekend I was extremely fortunate to reconnect with my Bornean research roots and arrange a meeting with Dr. Doris Preininger, Scientific Associate at the astoundingly beautiful Schonbrunn Tiergarten Zoo.

I was taken into the Bornean gallery, which gave the very successful illusion that I had stepped out of the warm Viennese sun directly into the hothouse jungle.  Here, Dr. Preininger introduced me to her Bornean foot-flagging cohort, Staurois parvus and S. gutatta. I was thrilled to see the success Dr. Preininger has had with her foot-flagging frog breeding program, and the resulting tiny froglets symbolizing this success! These frogs communicate with one other over the roar of noisy streams and waterfalls found in their natural habitats using hind foot gestures, or flagging. Species of foot-flagging frogs are where Dr. Preininger has focused her work, and it was a pleasure to see the incredible gallery, and exhibits displaying all manner of native Bornean wildlife as well as these remarkable frog species.

 

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Unfortunately due to my excitement and the steamy conditions of the artificial jungle, I was unable to take any clear photos of the frogs themselves, so for these don’t hesitate to visit the links below to satisfy your curiosity!

Foot-Flagging Frogs      Frogs & Friends at Schonbrunn      Frogs of Borneo

Filming some Splendid Frogs

Hello frog blog readers! My name is Katie and I’m a filmmaker. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of filming at the Manchester vivarium.

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The newly described Sylvia’s Leaf Frog (Cruziohyla sylviae) ©Katie Garrett

I’ve always loved reptiles and amphibians and I’ve been working with Andrew to document his recent discoveries in the Cruziohyla genus, and the naming of Sylvia’s Leaf Frog as a new species.  I’ve worked a lot in Latin America and the leaf frogs have always caught my attention. In my opinion, Manchester holds many of the worlds most stunning frog species so it was an honour to be able to get up close and spend some time with them.

I’d like to share some pictures and a little teaser video, with some footage of the incredible frogs I was able to encounter.

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Lemur Leaf Frog (Agalychnis lemur) ©Katie Garrett

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Yellow-eyed Leaf Frog (Agalychnis annae) ©Katie Garrett

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Painted Tree Frog (Boana picturata) ©Katie Garrett

The video will focus on Andrew’s long journey of discovery, and the historic mix-up that has occurred within the genus Cruziohyla. We want to highlight the importance of museum collections and how they can help us to better understand and protect the living world around us. Here are a few clips – stay tuned for the full documentary!

Breeding Bonanza

Although my trip to Costa Rica has come to an end, there is still much work to be done. Including some exciting conservation collaborations and projects that I will be working on over the coming months, so stay tuned for more details.

I’m also keen to share some of my other Costa Rican adventures! One event which will stay with me for a very long time indeed, was our first night at the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Centre (CRARC). We were very fortunate to coincide our visit with a full moon and lots of rainfall, which are the perfect conditions to witness the explosive breeding behaviour of the gliding leaf frog (Agalychnis spurrelli).

Heading into the forest with Brain Kubicki, we were treated to many exciting finds (More posts to follow!), but his tip to return to the ponds just before dawn produced a definite herpetological highlight. Hundreds of individuals had formed huge aggregations around two large ponds, frogs that we had spotted earlier in the evening were now in full voice and the sights and sounds were incredible. This short video below showcases some of what I saw, enjoy!

 

Spurrell’s Leaf Frog                                           Leaf Frogs of the CRARC