Tag Archives: extreme

Yes, It Exists: The Tardigrade

Tardigrade Exhibit Signage
All Photos By Gail

This past summer, the Museum of Natural History had a fun special exhibit called Life at the Limits: Stories of Amazing Species. There was an additional fee (above regular admission)  to get into the exhibit, but I paid it because I wanted to see this thing that looks like a Bear in a Hazmat Suit. Because, What the Hell is That Thing? I wondered.

Tardigrade Model

It turns out that Hazmat Bear is called a Tardigrade — a water-dwelling, eight-legged, segmented micro-animal — and it was definitely the star of the show! There were giant, suspended Tardigrade models all over the ceiling inside the exhibit, accompanied by many informative placards telling you why they are so special.

For example, the microscopic Tardigrade can survive for years without water. Generally, it lives on damp moss, where water forms a film around its body. If the moss dries out, the Tardigrade senses trouble. It shrinks into a ball and its vital systems nearly shut down. The dried-out-ball — called a Tun — can live on for up to a decade, then spring back to action when moistened with water again. Fascinating.

Two Tardigrades

The Tardigrade has some fun nicknames as well, such as the “Water Bear” or “Moss Piglet” (My favorite). Tardigrades are a large group of animals that includes some of the toughest creatures in the world. They have been known to survive temperatures far above boiling, and colder than the surface or Pluto. In a word: Resilient!

Tardigrade Model Photo

Why had I never even heard of these little guys before learning about them in a museum exhibit?

Tardigrade, I am glad you exist!

Cadbury Creme Egg inside a Chocolate Cupcake

This luscious chocolate cupcake (with a special surprise inside) looks delicious to me as a new and exciting way to use Cadbury Creme Eggs. I would eat it. Check out the recipe at the link below!

Recipe Via Neatorama

How I Am Starting to Feel About The Snow in New York City

What I love most about the man in the above image is that he looks just like my friend David Lee Beowulf!

Extreme Mammals Exhibit: Something Fun to See When You are Wasted

Extreme Mammals Sign

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation to attend a private viewing of Extreme Mammals; the latest new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. Of course, there is no way I was going to turn down an invite to see anything labeled “extreme” – especially when it included free drinks! Yes! As part of the evening’s festivities, we were treated first to a wine tasting party (with snacks) held in the museum’s Hall of Ocean Life – the massive, bi-level exhibit room distinguished by the 94 feet-long model of a Blue Whale suspended from the ceiling. Extreme!


After an hour of heavy drinking, many of us staggered off to find the featured exhibit, located on the fourth floor. “Extreme mammals, please!” I announced to the elevator operator, so he would know where we were going; even though it was after hours, the museum was closed, and we really could only have been going to one place.

Extreme Whale
This is What a Whale With Legs Looks Like

The Extreme Mammals exhibit boasts, “the biggest, smallest and most amazing mammals of all time,” almost all of which are now extinct, so you are really not going to see them in a zoo.  Made up of fossils, bones, models and various recreations, the exhibit includes a lot of required reading (Extreme!). So, even though it was fun to be drunk while viewing the various mammals and their extremeness, I would not recommend being so ‘out of it’ that you forget how to read, because then you would miss out on a lot

Extreme Mammals 1
This Dude Was My Favorite

Extreme Mammals  runs through January 3, 2010 at the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, NYC.