5 Fun Facts about the Naked Mole-Rat:
1. Naked mole-rats can live up to 30 years.
2. A colony contains up to 300 naked mole-rats!
3. They have a social system like bees – the queen is the only female reproducing in the colony.
4. She can have 900+ pups in a lifetime!
5. Because the queen’s milk has high water content, she needs to produce 58% of her body weight in milk daily to feed her pups.
Learn more with experts from Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Smithsonian Environmental Research Center via Smithsonian Science. 

5 Fun Facts about the Naked Mole-Rat:

1. Naked mole-rats can live up to 30 years.

2. A colony contains up to 300 naked mole-rats!

3. They have a social system like bees – the queen is the only female reproducing in the colony.

4. She can have 900+ pups in a lifetime!

5. Because the queen’s milk has high water content, she needs to produce 58% of her body weight in milk daily to feed her pups.

Learn more with experts from Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Smithsonian Environmental Research Center via Smithsonian Science

Through work on the Smithsonian’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP), our scientists are seeing species in their habitats for the first time, such as these hermit crabs affectionately called “The Three Amigos.” This is the first time the species (Pylopagurus discoidalis) has been photographed alive.  
(via “Charro” and “Cowboy” Hermit Crabs - National Museum of Natural History Unearthed)

Through work on the Smithsonian’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP), our scientists are seeing species in their habitats for the first time, such as these hermit crabs affectionately called “The Three Amigos.” This is the first time the species (Pylopagurus discoidalis) has been photographed alive.  

(via “Charro” and “Cowboy” Hermit Crabs - National Museum of Natural History Unearthed)

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, 1859
This week’s Smithsonian Snapshot marks the May 11, 1820, anniversary of the launch of HMSBeagle, the ship that took Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage.
In 1820, Beagle was launched from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames in London. It was moored afloat for years until it was finally adapted as an exploration bark and took part in three expeditions.
On Dec. 27, 1831, Beagle began its second survey voyage. Darwin, the young naturalist hired to provide advice on geology, was on board. His work would eventually make Beagle one of the most famous ships in history.
During this five-year scientific voyage to South America and the Galápagos Islands, Darwin collected animal fossils, inspected plant specimens and studied the geology of islands and coral reefs. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection grew out of his work aboard the Beagle.
In 1859, he published his theory in On the Origin of Species, a revolutionary book that changed the course of modern science. It soon found supporters at the Smithsonian. Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, held the book in high regard. Darwin’s theory continues to guide research of experts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to this day.
This important first edition is registered with the Darwin Census, no. 10143, and was acquired by the Smithsonian Libraries in 1976.
To learn more about the 1.9 million living species known to science, visit the Encyclopedia of Life’swebsite.
This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collections. It is not currently on display. To learn more about this item, visit the Smithsonian Institution Libraries website.

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, 1859

This week’s Smithsonian Snapshot marks the May 11, 1820, anniversary of the launch of HMSBeagle, the ship that took Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage.

In 1820, Beagle was launched from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames in London. It was moored afloat for years until it was finally adapted as an exploration bark and took part in three expeditions.

On Dec. 27, 1831, Beagle began its second survey voyage. Darwin, the young naturalist hired to provide advice on geology, was on board. His work would eventually make Beagle one of the most famous ships in history.

During this five-year scientific voyage to South America and the Galápagos Islands, Darwin collected animal fossils, inspected plant specimens and studied the geology of islands and coral reefs. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection grew out of his work aboard the Beagle.

In 1859, he published his theory in On the Origin of Species, a revolutionary book that changed the course of modern science. It soon found supporters at the Smithsonian. Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, held the book in high regard. Darwin’s theory continues to guide research of experts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to this day.

This important first edition is registered with the Darwin Census, no. 10143, and was acquired by the Smithsonian Libraries in 1976.

To learn more about the 1.9 million living species known to science, visit the Encyclopedia of Life’swebsite.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collections. It is not currently on display. To learn more about this item, visit the Smithsonian Institution Libraries website.

Shortsnout Scorpionfish X-Ray, 1908
Smithsonian scientists use X-ray images like this one to gather important information about the internal biology of a fish without dissecting or in any other way altering the specimen.
This X-ray shows a Shortsnout Scorpionfish (Scorpaenopsis obtuse). It has venomous glands in the spines of the fins, which can deliver a powerful, numbing toxin. This specimen was collected in the Philippines in 1908, but it was not named as a new species until 2001.
The Smithsonian’s National Collection of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History is the largest and most diverse collection of its kind. The collection comprises an estimated 4 million individual fish specimens representing more than 70 percent of the world’s fish species. These specimens serve as a historical record of fish biodiversity and a working reference library for scientists around the world.
This photo is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is currently on display in the “X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out” exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History.
All X-rays and fish photographs were taken by Sandra J. Raredon, museum specialist in the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History.
For more info on “X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out,” visit the exhibition website.
To learn more about each of the fish species featured, visit the Encyclopedia of Life.

Shortsnout Scorpionfish X-Ray, 1908

Smithsonian scientists use X-ray images like this one to gather important information about the internal biology of a fish without dissecting or in any other way altering the specimen.

This X-ray shows a Shortsnout Scorpionfish (Scorpaenopsis obtuse). It has venomous glands in the spines of the fins, which can deliver a powerful, numbing toxin. This specimen was collected in the Philippines in 1908, but it was not named as a new species until 2001.

The Smithsonian’s National Collection of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History is the largest and most diverse collection of its kind. The collection comprises an estimated 4 million individual fish specimens representing more than 70 percent of the world’s fish species. These specimens serve as a historical record of fish biodiversity and a working reference library for scientists around the world.

This photo is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is currently on display in the “X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out” exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History.

All X-rays and fish photographs were taken by Sandra J. Raredon, museum specialist in the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History.

For more info on “X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out,” visit the exhibition website.

To learn more about each of the fish species featured, visit the Encyclopedia of Life.

Alexander Graham Bell’s Large Box Telephone, 1876
On March 7, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell, scientist, inventor and innovator, received the first patent for an “apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically,” a device he called the telephone.
On March 10, 1876, three days after his patent was issued, Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson, made the first successfully transmitted message. Pressing the receiver against his ear, Watson heard Bell’s message: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”
This is one of two telephones used by Bell in a demonstration between Boston and Salem, Mass., Nov. 26, 1876. It features an iron diaphragm, two electromagnets and a horseshoe permanent magnet. Unlike other so-called “box telephones” in the Smithsonian collection, it does not have a wooden cover.
The Smithsonian collected this telephone primarily for its role in the Boston to Salem demonstration; it was acquired in 1923 from American Telephone & Telegraph Co. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has a collection of almost 1,000 objects that are used to explore the origin and development of telephone technology. This box telephone, as part of that collection, helps experts understand and present the history of telephony.
This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It will be on display in “American Stories,” a long-term exhibition beginning April 5 at the National Museum of American History.
For more info, visit the National Museum of American History’s website. To view photos, sculptures and portraits of Alexander Graham Bell, visit the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery website.

Alexander Graham Bell’s Large Box Telephone, 1876

On March 7, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell, scientist, inventor and innovator, received the first patent for an “apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically,” a device he called the telephone.

On March 10, 1876, three days after his patent was issued, Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson, made the first successfully transmitted message. Pressing the receiver against his ear, Watson heard Bell’s message: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”

This is one of two telephones used by Bell in a demonstration between Boston and Salem, Mass., Nov. 26, 1876. It features an iron diaphragm, two electromagnets and a horseshoe permanent magnet. Unlike other so-called “box telephones” in the Smithsonian collection, it does not have a wooden cover.

The Smithsonian collected this telephone primarily for its role in the Boston to Salem demonstration; it was acquired in 1923 from American Telephone & Telegraph Co. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has a collection of almost 1,000 objects that are used to explore the origin and development of telephone technology. This box telephone, as part of that collection, helps experts understand and present the history of telephony.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It will be on display in “American Stories,” a long-term exhibition beginning April 5 at the National Museum of American History.

For more info, visit the National Museum of American History’s website. To view photos, sculptures and portraits of Alexander Graham Bell, visit the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery website.