Pittsburgh has a "Gold Rush"
The 2001 Gem & Mineral Show
August 24- 26
Gold is the theme
for the fourth annual Gem & Mineral Show, as some of the world's
foremost collections bring outstanding specimens to Pittsburgh. There will be an international flavor
this year, and the "Gold Rush" is the theme at the Gala Preview
party on Thursday evening, August, 23.
As usual, a variety of minerals will astonish visitors.
Specimens will be here from famous mineral collections such as the Harvard
Mineralogical Museum and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Kristalle from California will be
selling crystalline gold, and you will be able to buy nugget gold from (who
else?) Colorado Nuggets. Silvertown
will be bringing in sterling silver jewelry, and there will be carved opal
and "sheen obsidian" from Austin, Texas. Pittsburgh's own Headwaters Lapidary
will have loose stones that it has cut and faceted, as will Mine Design and
Gem Fair. The unrivaled work of
Gem Artists of North America will be on display. If you select a gem or mineral you like and want to have
mounted, it can be done at the show by an expert.
The popular Gem
& Mineral Show has had increasing attendance during the past few years
and is continually changing. Local hobbyist groups work hard to make the
Gem & Mineral Show a success, including attending a private workshop
conducted by the museum's mineralogist Marc Wilson. International interests will be
represented this year by exhibitors such Dimitri Belakovsky of the Fersman
Mineralogical Museum in Moscow and by a vendor from India. Of the nearly 30 dealers, many more will
have craft-oriented materials than in the past. The public will have a chance to see and buy trinkets and
crafts that are seldom seen in western Pennsylvania.
information, call 412.622.3391
Marc Wilson makes the
"Rockhound Hall of Fame"
The museum's head of
the section of minerals, Marc Wilson, has been elected into the Rockhound
Hall of Fame.
The rewards are a
portrait plaque, a ceremony of induction, and inclusion in the National
Rockhound and Lapidary Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Lapidary Journal, in
Murdo, South Dakota.
Wilson has been with
the museum for more than eight years and has built strong relationships
with local hobbyists, experts, and professionals around the world. Hillman Hall of Minerals & Gems is
well known in the profession as a premier venue for displaying fine
specimens and as the home of an outstanding collection of masterpiece
specimens. Wilson is quick to give
credit to his predecessors, to the teamwork of volunteers, and to the great
facility of which he is manager: "I put additional polish on what was
already a great hall." But his expert
management, development of the
collections and of events such as the Gem & Mineral show, and his
enthusiastic supporters have earned him the esteem of his peers as an
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The Tiniest Mammal
By R.Jay Gangewere
Scientific research is like cultivating a rose; sometimes
it seems to dry up and wither, and sometimes it takes root and blossoms.
An international team of researchers led by Carnegie
Museum of Natural History Vertebrate Paleontologist Dr. Zhe-Xi Luo has
discovered a 195 million-year-old fossil mammal, a creature the size of a
paperclip weighing only two grams. It is the smallest mammal known to
science, and a new branch on the mammalian family tree.
An article published in the prestigious journal Science
(May 25, 2001) describes the animal as having a precociously large brain
and a middle ear like that of modern mammals. It suggests that these two features may have evolved
together. Named Hadrocodium for its exceptionally large brain (hadro –
Greek for “large and full” and codium – Greek for head), the fossil has
widespread implications for the earliest mammalian evolutionary history,
and pushes back the origins of mammals by some 45 million years to the
With such a tiny body, it was probably limited to eating
very small insects and small worms.
Its enlarged brain and very small body tell scientists that the
animal had a very high metabolism, which forced it to eat
continuously. Small size is also
regarded as an indication of ecological diversification. Today's living mammals distantly related
to it are the platypus, kangaroos and primates. The smallest mammals living today are species of bats and
Dr.Luo was first involved in the study of this tiny
skull in 1988 when he was a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard University,
working with Alfred W. Crompton of Harvard and Ailin Sun of the Chinese
Academy of Sciences. Through the
years they explored the meaning of
the small skull, and are finally publishing their findings. "I never
stopped working on it," says Luo.
"Science is sometimes like gardening. Your carefully nurtured plantings can wither and never amount
to anything. But then something you
research and plant will take root and blossom like a rose after years of
work." The little Hadrocodium
wui is right now his scientific rose.
Scientifically, "This little critter really has it," says
A Century of Scientific Publications
The museum's managing editor talks about his work
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In 1901, Carnegie Museum published the first scientific
description of Diplodocus carnegii,
the museum’s original dinosaur. One
hundred years and many volumes later, the scientific publications program
of Carnegie Museum of Natural History continues to play an important role
in advancing our understanding of natural history.
Most people are familiar with our exhibits and public
programs, but they might not realize how active we are as a research
institution. Our publications are an important outlet for our staff and
research associates to share their work with colleagues in the scientific
The scientific publications program produces the
quarterly journal Annals of Carnegie
Museum and two additional series, the Bulletin of Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Special Publications of Carnegie Museum.
A fourth series, Memoirs of the Carnegie
Museum, was published from 1901–1936.
features a mix of articles from various scientific disciplines. Thumb
through the pages of an issue and you might find a description of a new
species of animal or information on an archaeological excavation site. Bulletins and Special Publications usually consist of longer papers on a
One important Bulletin
resolved the debate over which skull belonged atop the skeleton of the
museum's own Apatosaurus louisae. This is the "type specimen,"
the example which identifies the species and to which specimens anywhere
else must be compared. After
publication of the 1978 paper by Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology David
Berman and Research Associate John McIntosh, every museum in the world that
had mounted the wrong head on the dinosaur’s skeleton knew it had to change
The managing editor, with the help of scientific editors
David Berman, David Watters, and John Wible, guides each manuscript
submission through an external peer review process and formats each
publication before sending it to press.
In a 1901 editorial opening the first issue of the Annals, former museum director
William J. Holland expressed his hope that the dawn of a new century would
find the Annals on library shelves
around the world. In 2001, the
museum shares its publications with over 500 libraries and institutions in
more than 80 countries.