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Bats, Scanning Mummies and Ants

October 24, 2014

Manchester Science Festival has started across the city – you can check out the packed programme here.

As well as fantastic family events – Science Spectacular on Saturday 25 October, Woolly animals and Ice Age Science to link in with our Siberia exhibition, there is an Urban Naturalist on Bats also on Saturday 25 October, a talk on CT-scanning the Manchester Mummies on Monday 27 October and on Saturday 1 November, a Royal Society talk about Ants and Information.

Urban Naturalist: Bats
Sat 25 Oct, 2-4pm
Book on 0161 275 2648 or, £3, adults
Do you know your Pipistrelle from your Noctule? These are just two of the 18 species of bats found in the UK. Join Steve Parker from the South Lancashire Bat Group in an exploration of all things Chiroptera (scientific name for the only mammal that can truly fly.) Urban Naturalist is a series of friendly, practical workshops run by leading naturalists. From wild food-foraging and composting to bird song and insect identification, explore biodiversity on our doorstep.

CT-Scanning and the Manchester Mummies

Mon 27 Oct, 1-2pm

Book on 0161 275 2648 or, free, adults

A new look beneath the bandages of several of the Manchester Museum’s 20 human mummies, examined using CT-scans and interpreted by former consultant Dr Bob Loynes. A brief explanation of CT scans – how they work and how they can be used to discover the mysteries of ancient Egyptian mummification techniques. The unique collection of Egyptian mummies in Manchester Museum has recently undergone investigation using CT scanning and some of the results will be used to illustrate this modern medical imaging procedure and its contribution to Egyptology.

Explore the hive mind of ant colonies with Dr Elva Robinson.

Sat 1 Nov, 2.30-3.30pm.

Ant colonies have an astounding ability to make coherent, collective decisions based on nothing more than the simple interactions between individual ants. This has made them one of the most successful groups on the planet, with over 12,000 species inhabiting every conceivable environment on Earth. This fascinating talk looks at the dynamics of ant societies, how scientists can gain insights into the way these bottom-up systems operate, and how they might inform the way we organise and communicate information.

Dr Elva Robinson is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow based in both the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis and the Department of Biology at the University of York. She studies the organisation of social insect societies, utilising lab experiments, fieldwork and computer modelling to identify the simple rules followed by individual members of a colony, and to determine how they interact to produce successful group-level behaviours.

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