The striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) has a special gland beneath its large tail that sprays a foul-smelling oil to defend against predators. The skunk can blast this spray up to 12 feet to protect itself.

The striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) has a special gland beneath its large tail that sprays a foul-smelling oil to defend against predators. The skunk can blast this spray up to 12 feet to protect itself.

#wildwednesday: This white river crayfish (Procambarus acutus) was taken from the Mississippi River bottoms of a creek near Bellevue, Iowa. P. acutus is found from the Great Lakes to the Louisiana and along the east coast from Georgia to Maine.

#wildwednesday: This white river crayfish (Procambarus acutus) was taken from the Mississippi River bottoms of a creek near Bellevue, Iowa. P. acutus is found from the Great Lakes to the Louisiana and along the east coast from Georgia to Maine.

#Throwback Thursday: Museum studies, 1920s. Image from University of Iowa Special Collections and University Archives.
Back in the day when mounting an owl while wearing a 3-piece suit was just how we rolled…

#Throwback Thursday: Museum studies, 1920s. Image from University of Iowa Special Collections and University Archives.

Back in the day when mounting an owl while wearing a 3-piece suit was just how we rolled…

#WildWednesday: Wild turkeys largely disappeared from Iowa by 1900, due to habitat loss and overhunting. In 1965, 11 turkeys from Missouri were released here. The flock flourished, and other releases were made. Today, turkey densities are higher than ever in some places, as the birds have adapted to smaller habitats and feeding on waste grain in winter.

#WildWednesday: Wild turkeys largely disappeared from Iowa by 1900, due to habitat loss and overhunting. In 1965, 11 turkeys from Missouri were released here. The flock flourished, and other releases were made. Today, turkey densities are higher than ever in some places, as the birds have adapted to smaller habitats and feeding on waste grain in winter.

Check out today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette! Our insect collection made the paper!

Check out today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette! Our insect collection made the paper!

#ThrowbackThursday: Museum studies student Sherry Moffit with ring-necked pheasant, May 1974. 

#ThrowbackThursday: Museum studies student Sherry Moffit with ring-necked pheasant, May 1974. 

#Throwback Thursday: Museum studies student in anatomical modeling class, c. 1950.
This bust of the Piltdown Man still sits in our office. The Piltdown man is a paleoanthropological hoax, claimed to be found in a gravel pit in Piltdown, England, in 1912 and presented as fossilized remains of an early human. In 1953 the specimen was proven to be a fake, the combination of an orangutan jaw and a modern human skull. Learn more here.

#Throwback Thursday: Museum studies student in anatomical modeling class, c. 1950.

This bust of the Piltdown Man still sits in our office. The Piltdown man is a paleoanthropological hoax, claimed to be found in a gravel pit in Piltdown, England, in 1912 and presented as fossilized remains of an early human. In 1953 the specimen was proven to be a fake, the combination of an orangutan jaw and a modern human skull. Learn more here.

Throwback Thursday: Museum studies student, c. 1948.

Throwback Thursday: Museum studies student, c. 1948.

#WildWednesday: All European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in North America descended from 100 birds released in Central Park in the 1890s by a group who wanted America to have all the birds Shakespeare mentioned in his works. To date, 200 million starlings range from Alaska to Mexico.

#WildWednesday: All European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in North America descended from 100 birds released in Central Park in the 1890s by a group who wanted America to have all the birds Shakespeare mentioned in his works. To date, 200 million starlings range from Alaska to Mexico.

Dunky made the list! We’re glad he’s not quite as terrifying when you see him in Iowa Hall