Behind the Scenes at Melbourne Museum

Picture Source: http://www.aaavacsew.com/bumble%20bee.jpg

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go behind the scenes at The Melbourne Museum?  

Well, now you can find out thanks to Access All Areas Podcast Adventures. 

“Each episode we will be sneaking into the research laboratories, slipping into the collection stores and swanning about in the exhibitions, to get a side of the museum you don’t normally see.” Dr Andi

Episode 1 is called Bee Nice to Curators and gives you heaps of information about the bees and the bee hive exhibit at the Melbourne Museum.

Check it out at:

http://museumvictoria.com.au/podcasts/accessallareas/post/Episode-1-Bee-Nice-to-Curators.aspx

Octopus vs Rubik’s Cube

Recently reported in the Scientific American…

octopus and Rubik's Cube

Picture Source: Herve Lavigne/iStockPhoto (Octopus); GNU: Booyabazooka (Rubik’s Cube)

In an attempt to find out if octopuses are right- or left-handed, er, tentacled, scientists from the Sea Life Center in England, have provided 25 of the beasts with colorful Rubik’s Cubes to play with in the center’s aquariums across Europe. Many animals in nature are known to favor one appendage, but researchers are unsure whether that holds true for the eight-armed octopus. (They could turn out to be “octidextrous”—equally good with all tentacles.) Biologists, who worry about the stress that these creatures are prone to in captivity, want to determine if octopuses have a preferred side for receiving food, as this may make their lives just a little bit easier. For the study, visitors and caregivers will record which limb (labeled as R1, R2, L6, L7, etcetera) the octopus uses to pick up the cube when it’s dropped into their tank, along with other objects like jam jars and Lego bricks. Researchers said it’s unlikely that any of these cephalopods will solve the Rubik’s Cube. Let’s hope the challenge doesn’t add to their stress level.

Source: http://www.sciam.com/gallery_directory.cfm?photo_id=04A6AC54-DFF7-6744-EA8131F1594C0B55 (accessed 17/7/08)