Blog científico

Tenemos muchas cosas para contarte

Blog científico

Publicado el 08 de marzo de 2014 por América Valenzuela

Museum pieces that come back to life on Twitter

Our dear Miguelón and his inseparable friend Lucy have many friends on social media. There are many pieces in museums, zoos and universities that come to life on Twitter. Here are some of my favourites. Sue is the largest and best-preserved fossil skeleton of a T-rex in the world. She is 67 million years old and lives in the Field Museum of Chicago. She is called Sue in honour of her discoverer, palaeontologist Sue Hendrickson. She was discovered in 1990 at a site in South Dakota. Ten years later, in 2000, the assembled reconstruction of her skeleton was placed in the museum and since then, she is the irreplaceable star of the place. She uses social media to tells us about the activities carried out in the gallery, if she is visiting any other museum or has been the protagonist of a story in the media. She is very friendly, active and interacts with other Twitter users.


The skull of murderer John Bellingham is one of the key pieces of the Barts Pathology Museum in London. Bellingham killed the British Prime Minister in 1812. The penalty for such a crime was execution and that his body would be used to teach anatomy to medical students. The skull of the criminal shares titbits on Twitter about forensic science and reports on the activities of the museum.


The Egyptian cobra that escaped in 2011 from the Bronx Zoo in New York and alerted the population is another of the most entertaining Twitter accounts of zoo inhabitants. This account was born a few hours after its disappearance. Its profile description said: “I am an Egyptian cobra out on the town." It told its imaginary adventures in different places, cafés, shops or museums of the city of New York. It appeared a week later, in a corner of the Bronx Museum itself. Its bio now reads: “I'm an Egyptian cobra back from being out on the town." It is dedicated to sharing fun curiosities about snakes and current affairs.


Another of the emblematic pieces of a museum with Twitter is the whale hanging from the ceiling of the Museum of Natural History in New York. The truth is that it is not very active. Impressing museum visitors in the flesh must take up a lot of its time. Occasionally, it drums a tweet with its fins to tell us about the current state of its living and wild companions or to explain how they take care of it in the gallery. The other day it said it was covered in dust, that it would get clean and shared a link to a video stream so we could see how the museum staff left it sparkling clean. It is an activity that seems extremely curious to those of us who do not work at a museum. That is why it shows it.


The fossil of the first fish that began to walk on land, the Tiktaalik roseae, has a Twitter account and lives in a university and not in a museum. Scientists at the University of Chicago, led by palaeontologist Neil Shubin, found its remains on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic in 2004. When the Tiktaalik lived on those lands, 375 million years ago, they were subtropical areas of shallow marshlands.  This fossil now comes alive to tweet to keep us abreast of all the news about itself, like its presence in exhibitions, new scientific studies and to have fun and interact as another Twitter user. These are just some of the many museum pieces you can find spreading science on social network Twitter. You can find many more in this list.

América Valenzuela