Mambachiton fiandohana backbone and diagram showing osteoderms.

Triassic Archosaur Had Armored Plates Above Its Backbone

August 3, 2023

Mambachiton fiandohana lived in what is now Madagascar during the Middle-Late Triassic transition, around 235 million years ago — the time of the first appearance of dinosaurs. Articulated cervical vertebra and osteoderm series of Mambachiton fiandohana (UA 8-25-97-132) in right lateral view as a photograph (A) and line drawing (B). Grey shading in (B) indicates… Read More >

We loaded our bus full of excited teachers and lots of luggage!

Tropical Ecology Institute: We Made It!

July 21, 2023

We loaded our bus full of excited teachers and lots of luggage! After three years of waiting, the Educators of Excellence Tropical Ecology Institute team finally landed in Belize. Here is an excerpt from their first blog post: “The early morning was worth it — we took off from RDU at 5:05 AM. We had… Read More >

Haemopis septagon, giant leech, on woman's wrist.

Giant leeches may benefit ecosystems

July 17, 2023

  The largest terrestrial leech in the South, Haemopis septagon, has terrifying eating habits. Yet, its presence in pristine ecosystems indicates that it might be beneficial in a way yet to be discovered. “A wise tinker saves all the pieces,” says NC Museum of Natural Sciences Emeritus Curator Alvin Braswell, “It’s a little dangerous to… Read More >

Shark in the water.

From the Deep: Shark Teeth on the North Carolina Coast

July 10, 2023

Our state is a hotspot for discovering fossilized shark teeth. We talked to an expert to learn why — and get some tips on how to find them. by Emma Deal, Nelie Tahssili & Eliza Martin Shark in the water. Photo: Joshua Steadman. Among our bragging rights here in Raleigh, we like to remind folks… Read More >

Eastern glass lizard on exhibit at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.

Snake-like lizards blink, break like glass

July 6, 2023

Eastern glass lizard with full tail. Photo: Jeff Beane/NCMNS. The Ocracoke Observer recently highlighted the glass lizard, and interviewed Museum Collections Manager of Herpetology Jeff Beane. Glass lizards, also known as legless lizards, got their name because their tails easily break (sometimes into several pieces like glass) when grabbed by a predator. People often confuse… Read More >