January 20th is Penguin Awareness Day. If you are in the Greenwich CT area, consider celebrating by joining us for a penguin evolution talk and a live demonstration of 3D penguin printing. The event will be held in the same gallery as the photography show Antarctica: Images of an Ancient Land, featuring the work of Diane Tuft.
This afternoon we welcomed the 3D printed prototype of our penguin to meet the original. In the photo, you’ll notice a few differences. The colors of our old reliable penguin have faded a bit over the last half century, which is natural in older museum specimens. I still think he/she (we don’t know the sex for this specimen) has charm. The spot and collar patterns were carefully done but are not 100% accurate because the current scanning technology detects the surface of the scanned object, but not the color. Overall it is really nice to have not only a light weight printed replica of our penguin, but a virtual copy that can be viewed instantly on a computer.
You can meet them both next Tuesday (January 20th) at the Bruce Museum Penguin Awareness Day event. Doors open at 6:30pm for refreshments, and the talk and demonstration starts at 7:00pm.
In an earlier post, we saw the Bruce penguin being scanned at MakerBot. Now for the test – will the scan print out correctly? We decided to start small, with this three inch tall version. It looks a little like a penguin cookie awaiting frosting, but the beak, flippers, and feet came out very well. Soon, we will give it a run at full power and see if we can create a perfect life-size replica!
Our Bruce Museum Black-footed Penguin sure gets around town. Originally from South Africa, he now resides in our natural history collection: you may remember him from a recent trip through the collections freezer. He has been on another adventure, this time serving as the model for a technological demonstration. In this photo, our penguin is sitting on a chair being laser scanned (actually, he is a tad short so had to stand on a milk crate). The screen to the right shows the read-out.
This 3D scan will allow us to make a replicate of the penguin at live size. The Bruce Museum is partnering with the local MakerBot store for a special Penguin Appreciation Day event where we will have a penguin evolution lecture and then print a penguin live. If you are in the Greenwich CT area on January 11th, please join us at 6:30pm.
At the Bruce Museum, we take good care of our specimens. One of my favorites is of course our Black-footed Penguin (who by the way needs a name – please vote on here). Here it is, taking a one-week vacation from the natural history collections cabinets in the deep-freeze. Why this destination? One of the many ways museums keep specimens safe from pests is precautionary freezing. This kills insect pests that can infest objects like bird feathers and mammal fur and lead to damaged or destroyed specimens. When new specimens come into our museum or we shuffle things on and off display, we give them a deep freeze as a safeguard against unwanted hitchhiking pests.
Disclaimer: In case any museum folks were horrified to see me putting a penguin directly into the freezer, we seal all our specimens in bags before freezing them to prevent frost damage.
The Bruce Museum needs your help! We have a wonderful penguin in our collection, and it needs a name.
Please go to the museum’s Facebook page to vote for your favorite name – or suggest your own! We’ll report the winner and then cover some of the planned travels of this particular penguin in service of science and education.
So far, the leading candidates are Mrs. Bagley (after the 1942 donor of the specimen), Marples (after penguin paleontologist Brian J. Marples), Griswold (after original Bruce Museum Curator Paul Griswold Howes), and Moffat (after Robert Moffat Bruce, who ceded his estate to house the Bruce Museum in 1908).