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Did you know? There has never been a confirmed case of a melanistic (black) mountain lion to date. Sir Purr could be a black jaguar or a black leopard, but we love him just the same.

With a national championship on the line, Charlotte’s football fandom has risen to a fever pitch. If you’re anything like our team at Discovery Place, you probably have a panther plastered on everything you own.

But what do you really know about the mascot of Carolina football?

1. First things first.
The black panther is not actually a species, but a common name used to refer to any big cat with a black coat. The coloring is a genetic variant seen in several species of big cats.

2. How does this happen?
According to Big Cat Rescue, the coloring comes from a surplus of melanin, the s… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Breaking Science
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What keeps your body moving? Muscles!

But do you really know how they work?

"The muscle typically stretches over a joint and is fixed to the skeleton by means of a tendon," said Dr. Angelina Whalley, a licensed physician and curator of BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life. "When it contracts, it either bends or stretches the joint, depending on where the muscle attaches to the bone."

BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life is on exhibition at Discovery Place for a limited time.

Watch the video below to learn more about keeping muscles healthy as we age and why exercise is a true fountain of you… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Breaking Science
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One of the most visible indicators of our age is our skin, but it is possible to slow the effects of time, said Dr. Angelina Whalley, a licensed physician and curator of BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life, now on exhibition at Discovery Place.

"Our skin contains two major proteins called collagen and elastin, and these proteins render our skin resilient, smooth and flexible," she said. "As we age, unfortunately, these proteins decrease production. As a result, we lose some smoothness and, finally, wrinkles occur.

So how can you minimize visible signs of aging?

Watch the video below to le… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Breaking Science
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When it comes to keeping your brain healthy, use it or lose it, says Dr. Angelina Whalley, a licensed physician and curator of BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life, now on exhibition at Discovery Place.

"Our brains are made up of crowded nerve cell branches that connect with each other and form pathways," she said. "If we have an experience several times, it forms permanent pathways. But unused pathways are pruned away."

This process continues throughout our lifetime.

So how do you teach an old dog (or human) new tricks?

Watch the video below to learn more about brain development and he… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Inside Discovery
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Keely Lewis, Collections manager, cleans dust and debris from an American black bear in the Explore More Collections lab at Discovery Place. The Museum's Collections department has 175 mounted taxidermy mammal specimens, many more than 50 years old. One of the most important ways to care for these specimens is to keep them free of dust and debris, which can attract pests and discolor and damage their appearance.

While vacuuming and dusting isn’t usually fun, it’s one of our Collections staff’s favorite things to do. After all, when else do you get to give a polar bear a manicure?

In our Collections department at Discovery Place, we have 175 mounted taxidermy mammal specimens. Over half of our specimens are from the United States but we also have mounts of animals from Africa, India and the Arctic region of Canada.

Three of our biggest and most beloved mounts — a polar bear, a Kodiak bear and an American black bear — are on display in the Explore More Collections lab and have been a focal point i… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Inside Discovery
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This amethyst jewelry set from Kim Jong Pil, the wife of Korea's Prime Minister, was donated to the U.S. government, who has permanently loaned it to Discovery Place. Photo credit: Charlotte Agenda

Charlotte Agenda's Kylie Moore recently visited our Collections department to check out some of the 80,000+ items housed at the Museum.

From fossils to minerals and cultural artifacts to animal specimens, Collections is a treasure trove for the rare, exotic, bizarre or fascinating.

Click here to discover the coolest, weirdest and grossest things Kylie uncovered.

Thanks for stopping by, Charlotte Agenda!…

Filed Under: Inside Discovery
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Top Contributors

Robert Corbin

Vice President, Learning Experiences

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Elliot Provance

Director, Live Exhibitions

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Juliann Chavez

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Lindsay Stewart

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Director, School Experiences

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Stephanie Hathaway

Director, Discovery Place Education Studio

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Joel Bonasera

Program Manager, STEM Fellows

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