Archive for the ‘Mystery Museum Specimen’ Category

Just a quickie here! I’m finishing a little sabbatical at Brown University and had a bit of downtime, then ran across this confusing image that seems to have loveable, sometimes-superhero Sesame Street character Grover in it, and also poses a tough but solveable Mystery CT Slice post! So go for it! Can you find Grover? (no points for that) and can you tell us (1) what the image is of (animal/species, region of anatomy, identifiable bits), and (2) what the heck is wrong with this image and why?

Scoreboard is here for easy reference.

Difficulty: fuzzy image, amusing childhood memories.

Stomach-Churning Rating: 1/10 unless you have bad childhood memories associated with Grover.

This is the mystery image below, not the Grover image above! You cheeky monkey.

No rhyming in your answers or you lose 10000000 points! Grover is grumpy today and hates rhymes. He had a bit too much Hefeweissen and polka music last night. Pity the poor creature.


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It’s back! Mystery Anatomy is in full swing again after a lovely summer holiday in Antarctica- check out its fabulous tan freezerburn! We now have a new scoreboard page, too, for your convenience.

Today is another poetry round, which means you not only get 1 pt for trying but also can amaze and delight us all– and win extra points for rhapsodizing in sublime eloquence at the marvel of nature you are about to behold!

The poetry form for today is the SONNET. 14 lines as usual, but we’ll relax the form and allow you to be maximally creative– just include some rhyming, but you do not need to stick to iambic pentameter or other rigid, galling forms. You must (1) identify the specimen, (2) explain what’s important/unusual about it, and (3) have fun.

Look upon this foul form, feel its greasy exterior and inhale deeply of the same rancid perfume that might have graced Pliny’s or Caesar’s aquiline nose, while your mind reels at its historical significance, which spurred on one individual of some note to exclaim “I was so ignorant I do not even know there were three varieties… how do they differ?”


Difficulty: The poetry will be the hardest part for some.

Stomach-Churning Rating: 2/10. Again, the main threat here is the poetry.

Proceed, morpho-poets; let this museum specimen be no paltry muse!

Some labels to help those unfamiliar with the wonders of chicken foot anatomy!

Some labels to help those unfamiliar with the wonders of chicken foot anatomy! The position I’ve labelled the “extra toe” in is arbitrary; it might be “toe 1” that is the new toe. That might make more developmental sense, that the identity of “toes” has migrated up the limb to add a new toe– and is the spur in male chickens also spurred on by similar signals? No one knows, I think.

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…a daily picture of anatomy! And today the pictures are a mysteryyyyyyy! ♫

Welcome back againagain, and again (gasp, pant)– and again (exhausted howl)… and… aaaaaagaiiiiin… to Freezermas

This is the end. I’ve worked hard all week to bring you all-new content for Freezermas, and on the Seventh Day I get drunk rest— and make you do the work! Off into the hoary wilderness you go, seeking answers to eternal trivial mysteries.

Seven mystery photos of museum specimens today, each from a different museum (or other institution whose role it is to display critters, in 2/7 cases) and animal! I’ve visited all these facilities and taken these photos myself. Which specimens can you identify, and (ultra difficult) can you identify the institution it’s from?

Stomach-Churning Rating: 2/10. Super tame.

You had some impromptu practice on day 2. Very well, then. This session counts for points. If you want a recap of points, see last Mystery Dissection.

But because the pictures are small and numerous (refer to them by number 1-7, please), the points/correct answer are simplified: 2 pts for correct answer, and maybe 1 bonus pt for something clever but incorrect, 0 pts here just for shooting the breeze (“Superhuman effort isn’t worth a damn unless it achieves results.”–Ernest Shackleton), plus 1 pt extra credit if you correctly ID the museum/institution. Being first does not matter here. Just being correct. With 7 mysteries, you can freeze up a lot of points here! But…

Difficulty: Cropping. Lots of cropping. And therefore quite pixellated if you zoom in much; don’t even bother clicking to embigitate. However, there may or may not be themes between some pictures, or critical clues. They are identifiable.

Off you venture, brave Freezerinos! Wear multiple layers.

1) Freezermas7-1 2) Freezermas7-2

3) Freezermas7-3

4) Freezermas7-4 

5)Freezermas7-5 6)Freezermas7-6


But wait– there is a mystery eighth specimen, which even I am not completely sure what it is! No points for figuring it out, but mucho respect!



Happy Freezermas! One last time– sing it: “On the seventh day of Freezermas, this blo-og gave to me: one tibiotarsustwo silly Darwinsthree muscle layersfour gory heartsfive doggie models, six mangled pangl’ins a-aaaaaaand seven specimens that are mysteries!” ♪

I hope you enjoyed Freezermas. Let’s hope we’re all thawed out in time for the next one.

CLUES/ANSWERS: Click these thumbnails to embigrinate them if you need help–

snapperpareiasaurs frogfish  Sclerocephalus  Suedinosauroidaardvarks

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