The segments will air in the summer or fall of 2010 on a new National Geographic Channel show tentatively called “Wow.”
“We are focusing on unusual, amazing and unbelievable stories from around the world,” including places like Thailand, Cambodia, Kenya and WKU, said April Chabries, coordinating producer for National Geographic Television. “This campus is doing some phenomenal research. We’re selective in the stories we’re telling.”
Dr. Huskey, a functional morphologist, studies an animal’s morphological characteristics – its overall body shape and feeding mechanism, its wings or limbs, its physiology and muscle structure, its behavior – and how it uses those characteristics for survival or success in the wild.
Chabries and two freelance videographers were filming Dr. Huskey’s goliath grouper research and his construction of fully articulated skeletons.
In 2007, Dr. Huskey received a $15,000 grant from the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration for his research on the feeding behavior of the goliath grouper, the largest species of bony fish on the reefs of North America. (For more about the research, click here.)
Dr. Huskey’s research includes high-speed video analysis that shows the goliath grouper’s feeding habits and territorial interactions. “This research is visually unique and groundbreaking,” Chabries said. “We think our viewers will enjoy it.”
The National Geographic crew spent time filming and discussing the goliath grouper work in Dr. Huskey’s research lab in the Complex for Engineering and Biological Sciences. For his research on skeletal articulations, they spent time in the “bone room” in Thompson Complex North Wing.
Among the items filmed were skeletons of turkeys, fish, snakes, moles, ground squirrels and more. The crew even set up a time-lapse camera to capture the process of dermestid beetles doing their work to clean the skeletons of two moles.
As he described the various specimens, Dr. Huskey discussed how having the fully articulated skeletons can provide insights into the form and function of how the animal feeds and moves.
For a WKU Scholar magazine story on Dr. Huskey’s research, click here.
Contact: Steve Huskey at (270) 745-2062.