Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tomb Raiders Date Night

Last Saturday, 33 couples arrived at the Bean Museum after hours to embark on a
dangerous quest . . . the quest for the crystal skull of Count Monte L. Bean! Cleopold
Reginald III, Madame Duvalt and Captain Reynolds led the explorers on their journey, who
had to collect the pieces of a map that lead to the treasure. The tomb raiders braved the
jungles of the island with Captain Reynolds and his first mate, showcasing their expertise
in shooting firearms. The Mystic certainly challenged our explorers with a puzzling maze
they had to complete before receiving her piece of the map. The Old Hag kept the tomb
raiders on their toes with her riddles, as well as by hiding a map piece on the island.
Madame Duvalt had a safe to crack, which the explorers had to discover the code for.
Cleopold Reginald III then assisted the explorers through a laser maze set up to protect the
crystal skull from thieves. All the while, the shadowguards roamed the island, capturing
explorers and sending them to frightening locations. Thankfully, everyone made it out alive,
and one couple discovered all 6 pieces of the map! Cleopold then led these two heroes to
the tomb of Count Monte L. Bean, where they discovered the crystal skull. Thank you to all
who dared join our journey, and we wish you luck on your future adventures.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Snow Goose Festival with Merrill Webb

Each February, thousands of Snow Geese flock to Utah on their long trek home – roughly 3,000 miles! At the beginning of the month they leave their winter home in Mexico and make their way north, making a pit stop in Delta, UT where they will spend a few weeks resting up before the remainder of the journey towards their summer home in Canada. To celebrate this amazing migration, at 7 am Saturday morning the Bean Museum stuffed two twelve passenger vans full of people and equipment and took off towards Delta, excited to catch a glimpse of these migrant birds.  Led by Merrill Web, our group of birders began adding bird sightings to their list right out of the gate! Walkie-talkies connected the two vans, which allowed Dr. Webb to call out the species of birds being seen from the road the entire drive down to Delta.
Upon our entrance to Delta, we were met with an amazing sight.  Flocks on flocks on flocks of geese crowding the skies above us!  Looking forward to finding the landing sites of these flocks, we strategized our search.  Our first stop was along the beach of the Gunnison Bend Reservoir. While most of the reservoir was frozen, there was a small flock of geese hanging out right in the middle of the reservoir.  Upon further inspection, this flock comprised of Canada Geese and one solitary Snow Goose! Anxious to find even more Snow Geese, we soon left the Gunnison Bend Reservoir in search of them and soon found them in the fields surrounding the reservoir. Dr. Webb taught the group how to tell the difference between a Snow Goose and a Ross’s Goose (its all in the bill) and with this newfound knowledge our group was able to start making sense of all the white feathers being seen in our scopes.
Once satisfied with the amount of geese seen, our caravan pressed on along a long stretch of road in hopes of seeing some hawks and eagles. With our eyes focused on the tops of telephone poles and in large trees, our hawk sightings were off the charts. While our hawk sightings were racking up, we had yet to find any eagles, and the time to head home was soon approaching. Although disappointed to be leaving Delta without seeing a single eagle, our caravan started to make the trek back to Provo.  As we started through the mountain pass that marked our exit out of Delta, there they were! Two Golden Eagles soaring high above us. A probable mated pair, we watched as the male showed off for the female by tucking in his wings and diving past her. We watched these two eagles dance through the air until they finally passed out of view, before finally heading back to Provo.
We were able to see thousands of birds on this trip, divided up into 23 species. The complete list of species seen is as follows:
Snow Goose
Ross’s Goose
Canada Goose
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Pheasant
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Prairie Falcon
American Coot
Northern Flicker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark

Friday, February 9, 2018

Night at the Museums 2018

The rumors are true…..museums really do come to life at night! On January 19, 2018, the five museums of Brigham Young University were open late for patrons to come see what fun adventures happen in the museums after hours. BYU"s Education in Zion, Museum of Peoples and Cultures, Museum of Paleontology, Museum of Art, and of course, Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum provided a night full of fun activities and delicious food. There was even a scavenger hunt that spanned the five museums, which involved obtaining a clue to find a special sticker that each particular museum had hidden in their building. If a guest found four of the five stickers, they were able to win a Night at the Museums car decal!
At the Monte L. Bean Museum, guests had the incredible opportunity to come face to face with a model of the largest snake that has ever existed, Titanoboa! In order to find the extra-large reptile, guests first had to weave their way through the trees and vines of the jungle-like Titanoboa exhibit, and even had an option to pet one of the museum's live snake friends, before laying eyes on the behemoth snake.

If coming face to face with a variety of snakes wasn't their cup of tea, guests could also participate in many other fun activities taking place throughout the museum. Those that were trying to placate their sweet tooth had to face the challenge of reaching into our cockroach and tarantula cage to retrieve a piece of candy. Others tried their chances by spinning our prize wheel, where they could win candy, t-shirts, and other exciting prizes. Many in attendance watched our fun and educational live animal shows, and even posed in our photo booth with some of their favorite stuffed animals! And if all that wasn't enough, guests could snag a free doughnut to munch on as they toured the various museum exhibits. All in all, there were fun activities for every age and interest.

We would like to thank everyone who came to our fun event! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we loved hosting it. It was the largest attendance we have seen at Night at the Museums since it opened in 2014! We hope you continue to come to the wonderful museums offered at BYU, and be sure to check in next year for another eventful evening at BYU's famous Night at the Museums. After all, who knows what might come to life?
Also, be sure to come see Titanoboa before it leaves for the Smithsonian Museum on March 18!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Titanoboa: Monster Snake

There’s a new animal on display at the museum; some might even call it a new monster!  Its name is Titanoboa!  Titanoboa cerrejonensis was a massive snake as long as a school bus.  It lived fifty-eight million years ago in a swampy jungle in what is now Colombia.  By this time, dinosaurs had gone extinct and the region was covered in familiar-looking, albeit monster-sized plants and animals.  This snake looked a lot like a modern boa but acted a lot like a modern anaconda.  Boa constrictors can grow up to fourteen feet long, and anacondas can reach lengths of twenty feet, but nothing compares to Titanoboa at 42 feet long. That's a long snake!  Both boas and anacondas kill their prey by constricting - or squeezing - them to death.  Titanaboa was also likely a constrictor, however, it could grow over forty feet long and weighed more than a ton!  When constricting prey, it could exert 400 lbs of pressure per square inch.  It also had more teeth than either kind of snake previously talked about.  This might have helped it eat slippery fish even though it was large enough to chow down on alligators, dyrosaurids, and anything else that got in its way!  Next time you’re wandering through the Paleocene jungle, watch out for these slithery reptiles!

On December 16, 2017, the new Titanoboa exhibit will open at the Monte L. Bean Life Science museum.  The exhibit will feature a life-size replica of Titanoboa created by the Smithsonian; information about how this ancient snake was discovered in a Colombian coal mine; and interactive elements to help you learn about snakes.  You might even be able to pet a real life snake!  (One much friendlier than Titanoboa!)  Come learn about our slithery, scaly friends!"

Also keep your eye out for our Titanoboa bus ad, slithering its way around Utah and Salt Lake County!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Clue Date Night

During our detective's date night, we had an unfortunate turn of events, with the mysterious murder of Mr.Bean! We were extremely fortunate that we had the best detectives in town at our dinner. They were able to finalize the suspects down to six of Mr. Bean's closest friends:

Mrs White 2.0.png

After their diligent searching for clues and intuitive interrogations, one clever couple accused Mrs.Peacock of using Mr.Bean's own storage of cobra venom to murder him in the billiard room of his home. After her arrest, she claimed her motive was due to an under appreciation for her hunting skills and rising popularity among animal rights activists. Thanks to all our fantastic detectives who joined us and helped put Mrs. Peacock behind bars!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Halloween Family Night 2017

Thank you to the over 1900 princes and princesses, wild animals, Pokemon masters, superheroes, Jedis, and all other costumed friends that joined us for our Halloween Family night!
We had a lot of fun making Spider Finger Puppets, watching our special Halloween show, spinning our prize wheel, and taking pictures in our photo booth!

Happy Halloween and enjoy the rest of 2017!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

SNAKES! An Interview with Dr. Jack Sites

Thank you BYU radio for interviewing our wonderful curator of herpetology, Dr. Jack Sites! In this interview, Julie Rose and Dr. Sites talk about the ancient snake, Titanoboa, and how it compares to modern snakes. Follow the link to listen to the interview, and be sure and check out the Titanoboa exhibit at the Bean Museum, coming December 16th!