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Animal Museum Mascots

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Lyne Allain

on 11 April 2013

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Transcript of Animal Museum Mascots

Tweeting Museum Animal Mascots A review of the use of a selection of museum animal mascots on Twitter
by Lyne Allain tweets Mentions their museum Related to their animal character Nat History Whale on Dec 3, 2012 tweet #4: "Lotsa chatter about @Pontifex. Is that anything like Das EFX?? #DooWahVaticinity"
Lee Rex on Jan 18, 2013 tweet #5: "My friend Lee Rex... is he armed? The world may never know. [link to Dee the Mammoth's Facebook where she posted the exact woring in this tweet along with a picture of a T-rex and a heading that says "Tyrannosaurus Rex the Hunter, licensed to carry small arms" ] "
Sue the T-rex on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #6: "I'm sorry, sir. I respect the fact you brought your own saddle. But no one gets "ride the T.rex like a cowboy." Ever."
heard @thencarboretum is a beautiful place!"
Sabra the Sabertooth on Sep 3, 2012 tweet #2: "@DelennDax7 Thank you! It's not me I'm worried about. It's my Musk Ox companion that gets a little squeamish when we travel."
Vic the Dino on Dec 10, 2012 tweet #2: "Ol' Vic says dinos role ROAR! MT @nature_jcp: @NMNH An elephant would be appropriate. Dinosaurs are over and overdone. (Sorry, @VicTheDino)"
Vic the Dino on Dec 7, 2012 tweet #3: "Ol' Vic asks with Winter starting here in Canada... How do other #museummascot deal with mittens & scarves stuck in ur teeth? ROAR!"
Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 30, 2013 tweet #3: "What a feeling! #Flashdance Dinos [link to picture of dinosaurs wearing leg warmers]"
Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 4, 2013 tweet #5: "Yes, you do! RT @EllieandEdmond: @FernbankMuseum Same here! Tell Giggy he owes us a dance!"
Giggy A. Dinosaur onDec 28, 2013 tweet #10: "Oooo, I want one! #poodlepower [link to picture/'meme' of a poodle with glowing eyes and a caption that says 'Poodle 3.0 Now with lasers']"
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #1: "Looks like another one of my museum friends got a little crazy. Any guesses on who this might be? link to a picture of an animal that has been taken with the swirl effect to make it harder to identify what animal it is]"
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 4, 2013 tweet #8: Who wants to see the Iowa Giant Sloths in the next Super Bowl? [link to picture of a football helmet with a sloth picture on the side]"
Zuts the Squirrel on Jan 22, 2013 tweet #1: "@HenryColesRat Pleased to meet you - I have a friend, Shirley Rat- from Gunston Hall in Virginia - their rats save archives in wall nests"
Zuts the Squirrel on Jan 22, 2013 tweet #2: "@BillthesnakeRMM Only if you think there might be an earthquake. It is COLD! [Response to @BillthesnakeRMM ' Is it safe for me to come out yet? #snow #rain #winter']"
Zuts the Squirrel on Jan 22, 2013 tweet #3: "@SquirrelBeebz I got some appreciation but one person thought they would appreciate me best in a bowl of GRAVY. [Response to @SquirrelBeebz 'Just a few hours to #SquirrelAppreciationDay. Of course, it's never too soon to start appreciating us! #SquirrelPlanet']"
Zuts the Squirrel on Dec 28, 2013 tweet #6: "@lizardvanilla @OisinTheDeer @GlassJarOfMoles @KVMMUMMY @Mauricetheminer I missed EVERYTHING thanks to some pecan beer I drank Christmas Eve"
Zuts the Squirrel on Dec 19, 2013 tweet #7: "@Zutsthesquirrel BTW Jean Rissover painted my Christmas portrait. Isn't she a great artist!"
Owney the Dog on Feb 5, 2013 tweet #5: "@thehistoryfan It was awesome. And probably my favorite stamp unveiling." On this date/ Today is Mentions other museums/institutions Facts related to their museum's topic Random Between "On this date/Today is" and "Mentions their museum" Human characteristics Language Though "Twitter is not just a public relations or marketing tool" (Stewart 2010, 45), I have a particular interest in marketing and decided to focus on the tweets that were used in a marketing sense, ie. the tweets that mentioned their museums. I noticed some similarities in the language used in the animal mascots tweets. Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 2, 2013 tweet #6: "<<hugs>>"
Nat History Whale on Dec 14, 2012 tweet #3: " :( :( :(" I recently created an account and joined the Twitter world. As a museum studies student, I began searching for museum twitter accounts to "follow" simply by typing in the word "museum" into the search bar. I began to "follow" dozens of museums and soon came across a few museum mascots. "Which museum first handed their Twitter account over to an animal? Whoever it was, they were pioneers in the field. Because there are now an abundance of them" (Mentiply 2013). The concept of a museum creating a Twitter account specifically for an animal mascot peeked my interest and I continued to sift through the search results of "museum" for more animal mascots. It soon became clear that many museums around the world are using animal mascots and a Twitter account to embrace this free social media form as a way that they can connect with the public and be "expressly invited into people's daily lives so personally and regularly" (Stewart 2010, 45). But what do they primarily use this Twitter account for? In an exploration of a selection of museum animal mascots and their tweets, I reviewed their language, their apparent personalities, and their potential target audiences. The scope of this project was quite narrow. Therefore, only a small number of mascots were explored and only a small portion of their tweets were reviewed. Giggy A. Dinosaur on Dec. 31 2012 tweet #8: "HAPPY NEW YEAR! RWWWWWWWWAR!"
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb. 7, 2103 tweet #9: "On this date in 1984, astronaut Bruce McCandless completed the first untethered #space walk."
Sue the T-rex on Feb 11, 2013 tweet #3: "Happy Lunar New Year, folks! I got SOOO many red envelopes this weekend. Except mine were full of bacon."
Sue the T-rex on Feb 9, 2013 tweet #5: "February 9th is "National Read in the Bath Tub Day. And here I was without a good book... [link to facebook picture of Sue being dusted]"
Nat History Whale on Nov 7, 2012 tweet #5: "Congratulations to President Obama on his victory. Sorry Mr. Romney. Hopefully this country can move forward peacefully."
Nat History Whale on Oct 31, 2012 tweet #7:"I hope all of my followers out there are ok. Be careful, stay strong, and help eachother out. I love you all."
Nat History Whale on Sept 3, 2012 tweet #10: "Happy Labor Day!!! Power to the people, right on! :)"
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 2, 2013 tweet #9: "An early sping is on its way! #GroundhogDay"
Vic the Dino on Dec 7, 2012 tweet #4: "ROAR! MT @kvmmummy: Happy #museummascot day #ff @ROMPalaeo @Shamu @gigigiraffe @VicTheDino @RustyGiantSloth @ilovecanaries @SparkieWilliams"
Vic the Dino on Nov 21, 2012 tweet #10: "Ol' Vic says hello, it's world hello day... should be world roar day ROAR! #worldhelloday #worldroarday"
Zuts the Squirrel on Dec 19, 2013 tweet #8: "[link to a picture of a painting of a squirrel in a santa suit] My Christmas card! Enjoy."
Owney the Dog on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #3: "A BIG snowstorm is due north this weekend. Stay inside, but if dogs [link to National Postal Museum dog sled and mail delivery information] bring you mail, please give them a warm treat."
Owney the Dog on Feb 2, 2013 tweet #10: "It’s World Ukulele Day! I'm strumming & remembering Brooklyn. But I visited before hipster was cool. Check out my tag: [link to picture of metal tag]" Giggy A. Dinosaur on Feb 9, 2013 tweet #1: "Me and a new friend @FernbankMuseum's 'Butterfly Bash.' [link to picture on the dinosaur and butterfly mascot]"
Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 11, 2013 tweet #4: "@AAM_EdCom @suethetrex Ahem.... @FernbankMuseum has a tweeting dino as well! Hint: It's ME!"
Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 2, 2013 tweet #7: "RT @fernbankmuseum: Join us on Facebook NOW for a chance to win FREE #IMAX tickets: [link to Facebook]"
Vic the Dino on Dec 19, 2012 tweet #1: "Ol' Vic says good luck ROAR! RT @billy_logan: New #Ingress submissions all over #Ottawa Mammoth & Chasmosaurus @MuseumofNature will be mine!"
Vic the Dino on Nov 23, 2012 tweet #8: "Ol' Vic says release your inner dino and choose @MuseumofNature ROAR! MT @markdjarvis: @Justin_Ling national gallery or museum of nature?"
Vic the Dino on Nov 23, 2012 tweet #9: "Ol' Vic says you will have a dino-mite time ROAR! RT @themikewheeler: You'll have a "whale" of a time @MuseumofNature !"
Sue the T-rex on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #7: "#FF My new pal @Bhmllr wrote a great blog post about @FiledMuseum and a sauropod arms race. [link to the blog]"
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 6, 2013 tweet #6: RT @IowaMNH Wild Wednesday; The elk is one of the largest land mammals in North America."
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 11, 2013 tweet #2: "Amy Bertrand from @stltoday recently shared her family's secret to making #Chicago more affordable. A #SLSC membership!"
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 7 2013 tweet #8: "Don't forget that you can cast one vote every day in support of creating an aviation museum here at #SLSC! #STL" Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 11, 2013 tweet #4: "@AAM_EdCom @suethetrex Ahem.... @FernbankMuseum has a tweeting dino as well! Hint: It's ME!"
Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 2, 2013 tweet #7: "RT @fernbankmuseum: Join us on Facebook NOW for a chance to win FREE #IMAX tickets: [link to museum's Facebook page]"
Giggy A. Dinosaur on Dec. 31 2012 tweet #8: "HAPPY NEW YEAR! RWWWWWWWWAR!"
Giggy A. Dinosaur on Dec 31, 2012 tweet #9: "YES! I got special Cave Man flavored cookies from @wheelingchef. Nom, nom, nom, nom. [link to Owly website with a picture of a stuffed animal toy dinosaur and a cave man cookie in its mouth and holding a piece of paper with the Wheeling Chef's logo on it]"
Sue the T-rex on Feb 11, 2013 tweet #3: "Happy Lunar New Year, folks! I got SOOO many red envelopes this weekend. Except mine were full of bacon."
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #2: "Girl Scout Cookies!! RT@iowaBook BREAKING: A troop of Girl Scouts will be at Iowa Book TODAY from 3:30-5!!"
Lee Rex on Jan 29, 2013 tweet #2:"Don't forget! Tonight is our members only PEEP SHOW!! Always wondered whats in those little drawers? Join us... [link to Facebook post with complete post by Dee the Mammoth]"
Lee Rex on Jan 15, 2013 tweet #7: "Coffee, Tea and ME!!!! Tomorrow morning from 7:30am to 11:30am. Stop by for FREE coffee, tea ..."
Vic the Dino on Dec 7, 2012 tweet #3: "...ROAR!" Conveying Excitement Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 2, 2013 tweet #6: "@ZooATL So sorry for your loss. <<hugs>>"
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #2: "Girl Scout Cookies!! RT@iowaBook BREAKING: A troop of Girl Scouts will be at Iowa Book TODAY from 3:30-5!!"
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 7, 2013 tweet #4: "Check out the Iowa City Darwin Day website for a list of events starting tonight!"
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 11, 2013 tweet #1: "@Jason_Norton @stltoday We love the arrangement with ASTC. It means more science for everyone! [link to ASTC website on "members" and "passlist" page which discusses a passport program where free admission to certain museums is provided if you purchase said passport]"
Sue the T-rex on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #9: "@SCIOWA And I can wave at all the cars on MLK Parkway and freak out commuters."
Sue the T-rex on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #10: "#FollowFriday I like visiting @SCIOWA because I'm *almost* halfway between my home town and my adopted city. [link to Google maps with the three locations inputed]"
Sabra the Sabertooth on Sep 3, 2012 tweet #1: "@EllieandEdmond I am looking forward to it! I've
Sabra the Sabertooth on Sep 3, 2012 tweet #3: "@EllieandEdmond Thank you! Yes, @TheNCArboretum is in Asheville, NC. Appalachia here we come!"
Sabra the Sabertooth on Sep 3, 2012 tweet #4: "So long #StJoseph and all of the lovely people here especially @Lotus_The_Hippo! I am signing off. I hope to come back again soon!"
Sabra the Sabertooth on Aug 31, 2012 tweet #6: "It's Friday which means my last weekend in #StJoseph is almost here. Sad days ahead!"
Sabra the Sabertooth on Aug 24, 2012 tweet #7: "I can't lie - I am excited to prowl around the mountains of NC at @TheNCArboretum but I will certainly miss the shores of Lake Michigan"
Sabra the Sabertooth on Aug 24, 2012 tweet #8: "@Lotus_The_Hippo I hope to! I heard @TheNCArboretum is a beautiful place!"
Sabra the Sabertooth on Aug 24, 2012 tweet #9: "It was just brought to my attention that I am leaving #StJoseph in 10 days! I will miss @Lotus_The_Hippo dearly."
Zuts the Squirrel on Jan 22, 2013 tweet #4: "@50ShadesOfDrey @SquirrelBeebz @uafsquirrel @YorkU_Squirrel @hackneysquirrel @GoSquirrelz @ricethesquirrel Did you write that book???? WOW! [Response to '@SquirrelBeebz #FF #SquirrelPlanet welcome @uafsquirrel @50ShadesOfDrey @YorkU_Squirrel @hackneysquirrel @GoSquirrelz @Zutsthesquirrel @ricethesquirrel']"
Zuts the Squirrel on Dec 28, 2013 tweet #5: "@SquirrelBeebz @CynthiaC15 @Nyx2701 @Smurf4568 This is a FABULOUS contribution to our squirrel heritage indeed! Pleased to meet you, Beebz."
Owney the Dog on Feb 5, 2013 tweet #6: "@amandabarrett @WFMU Arf! Thanks for the shout out!"
Owney the Dog on Feb 5, 2013 tweet #7: "@johngadsby @irenencurdie The Puppy Bowl was WAY better than the Superbowl. Also, there were no power outages."
Lee Rex on Jan 14, 2013 tweet #8: "CC started back to school today. Lots of students on campus, and cookies in our foyer for the geology students!"
Lee Rex on Jan 3, 2013 tweet #9: "JP and Patti went to CY Middle School's career fair today to talk about working in a museum. It was pretty cool... [link to a picture on Dee the Mammoth's Facebook of Jp (an employee) in the school]" Giggy A. Dinosaur on Dec 31, 2012 tweet #9:"YES! I got special Cave Man flavored cookies from @wheelingchef. Nom, nom, nom, nom. [link to Owly website with a picture of a stuffed animal toy dinosaur and a cave man cookie in its mouth and holding a piece of paper with the Wheeling Chef's logo on it]"
Nat History Whale on Jan 16, 2013 tweet #1:"In case you didn't realize it, some of us whales are really really old."
Nat History Whale on Dec 14, 2012 tweet #3:"I wish I could have teares so that I may cry. :( :( :("
Nat History Whale on Nov 6, 2012 tweet #6:"Get out and vote American humans! Vote because I. Can't. Vote!!! #notaUScitizen"
Nat History Whale on Oct 23, 2012 tweet #8:"Would humans like whales more if all of us learned one of your languages?"
Nat History Whale on Sep 13, 2012 tweet #9:"I wish you humans would just quit it with all the violence already. You're just making yourselves look stupid. #peace"
Owney the Dog on Feb 6, 2013 tweet #4: "I always liked riding through Appalachia, because it had great music. #seriouslyamazing"
Vic the Dino on Dec 7 tweet #5: "#museummascot most visitors are just happy if Ol' Vic doesn't decide he needs a snack when they are walking by ROAR! #hungrydino"
Sue the T-rex on Feb 11, 2013 tweet#1: "The debate over "Did the KT event kill off the dinosaurs?" is a lively one. I mean, it didn't exactly help us out. [link to The Telegraph News site with an article titled Dinosaurs 'made extinct by Mexico asteroid strike'] "
Sue the T-rex on Feb 9, 2013 tweet #4: "Come on y'all. It's 2013. Stop drawing my species upright. Personally, I blame Barney. [link to Cornell News website article titled Blame Barney: Students' perception of T. rex is outdated]"
Zuts the Squirrel on Dec 14, 2013 tweet #9: "@Wheres_Minmi WOLVES are always hungry and they scare me quite a bit. Coyotes too."
Zuts the Squirrel on Dec 14, 2013 tweet #10: "@OWNEYtheDOG @dancingdogblog @kolsnotes We always serve gingerbread squirrels and fleur de lis cookies here! But they are FOR humans." Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 6, 2013 tweet #5: "Who wants to be my Valentine? Send me a Valentine to Rusty the Sloth, 14 Macbride Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242!"
Sue the T-rex on Feb 11, 2013 tweet #2: "It's Inventor's Day! My favorite was @FieldMuseum taxidermist Carl Akeley. He invented a camera and a "cement gun" [link to the Field Museum's website page on Carl Akeley]"
Sue the T-rex on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #8: "It's Parinirvana Day for my Buddhist pals! Here's a look at @FieldMuseum preservationists working with Tibetan THankas [link to Field Museum's website]" Giggy A. Dinosaur @Giga_a_dino "Rawr! I’m a meat-eating dinosaur from the Cretaceous period. Follow my Fernbank Museum and Atlanta adventures here and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/giggydino ! Atlanta, Georgia · http://www.fernbankmuseum.org/ "

Rusty - Giant Sloth @RustyGiantSloth "The name's Rusty. I'm an Ice Age Giant Ground Sloth that likes long walks on the beach and candle lit dinners of grass and tree leaves. Macbride Hall, Iowa City, IA · http://www.uiowa.edu/mnh/ "

STL Science Center @SLSC (AKA Mr. T. Rex.) "Mr. T. Rex. I basically run the Saint Louis Science Center. I mean, would you mess with me? Saint Louis, MO· http://www.slsc.org "

Zuts the Squirrel @Zutsthesquirrel "As the current literate squirrel at the Bolduc House Museum, my job is to chronicle what the humans are doing in the Bolduc House. Ste. Genevieve, MO · bolduchouse.org"

NatHistoryWhale @NatHistoryWhale "I am the whale on the ceiling of the Natural History Museum in New York City. New York, NY · http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent/ocean/03_oceanlife/f1_bluewhale.php"

OWNEYtheDOG @OWNEYtheDOG "I rode Railway Mail trains in the 1890s and prevented train wrecks. Now I'm at @PostalMuseum. If you've seen my e-book, let me know what you think of it! Washington, DC · http://www.npm.si.edu/owney "

Lee Rex @LeeRex_Tate "I was born and raised in Wyoming...65 million years ago! Join me and my roommate Dee the Mammoth as we tweet about our lives at the Tate Geological Museum! Casper College · http://www.tatetrex.com/ "

Vic the Dino @VicTheDino "Suave Daspletosaurus living at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Ol' Vic says... join the Roarvolution and release your inner dino ROAR! Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · http://nature.ca "

Specimen FMNH PR2081 @SUEtheTrex "Hi, I'm SUE the T.rex. I'm a Leo, I like meat, the movie Jurassic Park, and... Oh yeah, I'm the world's greatest apex predator! Chicago, IL · http://fieldmuseum.org "

Sabra @SabraSabertooth "I'm an Ice Age Smilodon with two cubs named Rip and Roary. I travel with the exhibit Ice Age Imperials. See me @TheHeritageMCC St. Joseph, Michigan · http://www.theheritagemcc.org " Introduction Giggy A. Dinosaur @Giga_a_dino Rusty - Giant Sloth @RustyGiantSloth STL Science Center @SLSC (AKA Mr. T. Rex.) Zuts the Squirrel @Zutsthesquirrel NatHistoryWhale @NatHistoryWhale OWNEYtheDOG @OWNEYtheDOG Lee Rex @LeeRex_Tate Vic the Dino @VicTheDino Specimen FMNH PR2081 @SUEtheTrex Sabra @SabraSabertooth According to pictures on Twitter, Giggy is a stuffed dinosaur toy. Then Giggy was transformed into a mascot costume a human could wear and who could greet visitors at the museum. This was the only case of one of these mascots being used in a more traditional method of mascot engagement with the public. The bones of Rusty the giant ground sloth were excavated and a replica of what Rusty would have looked like was carved out of wood and foam. It appears to be covered with fur to look more "real" and is on display at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. Mr. T-Rex is an animatronic dinosaur that moves and roars. Zuts is a stuffed animal toy squirrel. This whale is a fiberglass model of a female blue whale I thought it was interesting that the picture below of a blue whale in what appears to be the ocean is the picture the twitter account uses in order to appear alive and "real". Owney was a real dog that traveled with mail on the trains mostly across the United States. After his death, he was taxidermied and is on display at the National Postal Museum of the Smithsonian. Lee Rex is a Tyrannosaurus rex specimen the staff at the Tate Geological Museum uncovered and brought to the museum. His fossil remains have not been re-articulated yet as they seem to still be working on removing his remains from a large chunk of rock removed from the archaeology site. Interestingly, as a mascot, they show the outline of Lee Rex as if he is all assembled. I had difficulty finding informatino on Vic the Dinosaur on the Museum of Nature's website. According to his Twitter account, he is a life-sized model of a Daspletosaurus torosus on display in the Museum of Nature's fossil gallery. This was the only Canadian example of an animal museum mascot that I could find. "Sue" is the nickname given to Specimen FMNH PR 2081, which is the largest and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex specimen ever found. It was discovered in 1990 by Sue Hendrickson, a paleontologist, and was named after her. After ownership disputes were settled, the fossil was auctioned in October 1997 for US$7.6 million and is now a permanent feature at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. Sue was featured prominently in the movie Night at the Museum. Sabra is a model of a diorama maker’s best approximation of what an Ice Age Smilodon or Sabertooth Cat would have looked like. Along with her two cubs (Rip and Roary), she is on usually on exhibit at the Heritage Museum & Cultural Center in St. Joseph, Michigan. Nat History Whale on Dec 19, 2012 tweet #2: "Pygmy right whales are alive and well and living in the Southern Hemisphere."
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 5, 2013 tweet #7: "World's Oldest-Known Wild Bird Hatches Another Chick [link to U.S. Geological Survey website article with same title as the tweet]"
Lee Rex on Jan 28, 2013 tweet #3: "Tiny Feathered Dinosaur Discovered [link to Yahoo! News article with same title as the tweet]"
Lee Rex on Jan 24, 2013 tweet #4:"Biggest Dinosaurs Had Brains the Size of Tennis Balls [link to article on Yahoo! News article with same title as tweet]" Owney the Dog on Feb 10, 2013 tweet #1: "I was in Lexington, KY on this date in 1896. The Wildcats were basketball champs in 2012 but they should change their mascot to win in 2013."
Owney the Dog on Feb 9, 2013 tweet#2: "I was in Louisville, KY on this date in 1986. The derby is three months away, but I should start to think about my hat. [link to a picture of a metal tag]"
Owney the Dog on Feb 3, 2013 tweet #9: "On this date in 1896, Ogdensburg, NY was my home. Arf!" Between on this date and their animal character Owney the Dog on Feb 3, 2013 tweet #8: "So torn between the 49ers & the Ravens since I visited both cities. Maybe I'll just watch the Puppy Bowl Instead. #SB47"
Vic the Dino on Dec 3, 2012 tweet #6: "Ol' Vic says millions yr old plaque! Sandblaster? ROAR! MT @therealneeroc: Photo: @VicTheDino needs to use a toothbrush [link to a picture of what I assume is his teeth]"
Vic the Dino on Nov 26, 2012 tweet #7: "Ol' Vic will take 2 as cufflinks ROAR! MT @chaficfilfili: 1 million #canadian #dollar #gold #coin @MuseumofNature [link to instagram picture of a 1 million dollar Canadian coin]"
Giggy A. Dinosaur on Feb 5, 2013 tweet #2: "I have found my Valentine's Cards! I will get all the love. via @scoutmob" Exploring the Tweets Target Audience Children Older Youths and Adults Mentions their museum and another museum Sabra the Sabertooth on Sep 3, 2012 tweet #5: "Tomorrow morning the Antiquities Company arrives @TheHeritageMCC to pack Max and I up for our big move to @TheNCArboretum."
Sabra the Sabertooth on Aug 24, 2012 tweet #10: "This cute little guy was added to the museum's dinosaur display recently. He'd like to say ROAR to @VicTheDino [link to picture of a model of a dinosaur]"
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 1, 2013 tweet #10: "It's #followamuseum day! Check out my museum @IowaMNH and it's neighbor @IowaOldCap"
Lee Rex on Jan 16, 2013 tweet #6: "I am the feature story on the IMLS website!! Check me out! [link to IMLS website]" A few of the mascots appeared to be targeting older youths and adults. Nat History Whale had a few tweets that targeted not only adults but also U.S. citizens by discussing U.S. politics and telling American humans to go vote. Lee Rex tweets often linked to new research related to dinosaurs and also mentioned events at the museum like free coffee and tea. Owney the Dog used past tense when referring to where he was on certain dates. This provides readers with the realization that Owney is in fact dead. I do not think they would take this approach if their target audience was only children. "The target audience, of course, also puts its own meaning into certain words. Different people sometimes interpret language in different ways" (Linguarama International 2000). More indepth reserach outside the scope of this project should be done to understand the demographics of the people using Twitter. However, assumed target audiences were obvious for some of the mascots. By looking at each of the museums' websites, I looked into their use of other social media. First I checked to see if they had another twitter account for the museum in general. I wanted to compare the number of "followers" for the mascot's Twitter account versus the museum's Twitter account. If they did not have a Twitter account for the museum, I checked to see if the museum had a Facebook page for the museum in general. I then compared the number of "followers" of each of the mascot's Twitter account versus the number of "likes" for the each of the museum's general Facebook page.

A possibility for future study beyond the scope of this project would be to compare the language used in the museum's Twitter account or Facebbok page versus their mascot's Twitter account. Museums with another twitter account for the museum in general The Fernbank Museum has a Twitter account (@FernbankMuseum) in addition to having the Giggy A. Dinosaur mascot Twitter account.

The Iowa Natural History Museum has a general Twitter account (@FIowaNHM) in addition to having the Rusty the Giant Sloth mascot Twitter account.

The American Museum of Natural History has a general Twitter account (@AMNH) in addition to having the NatHistory Whale mascot Twitter account.

The Canadian Museum of Nature has a general Twitter account (@MuseumofNature) in addition to having the Vic the Dino mascot Twitter account.

The Field Museum has a general Twitter account (@FieldMuseum) in addition to their Sue the T-rex mascot Twitter account.

The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center has a general Twitter account (@TheHeritageMCC) in addition to having the Sabra the Sabertooth's Twitter account. As of March 16th, 2013, the Fernbank Museum's general Twitter account had 3,299 tweets and 7,083 followers compared to Giggy A. Dinosaur's 1,989 tweets and 453 followers on Twitter.

This huge difference in the number of followers may be due to the Fernbank Museum's social media page under "Connect with us" (http://www.fernbankmuseum.org/connect-with-us/get-social/) that had a more prominent link to their general Twitter account than the link to the mascot's Twitter account. @Fernbankmuseum As of March 16th, 2013, the Iowa Museum of Natural History's general Twitter account had 613 tweets and 327 followers compared to Rusty the Giant Sloth's
793 tweets and 329 followers.

This nearly equal number of followers is surprising since the museum's website homepage (http://www.uiowa.edu/mnh/) only provided a link to the museum's general Twitter account. @IowaNHM The Saint Louis Science Center has a Facebook page for the museum in general on top of having the Mr. T. Rex mascot Twitter account though the Twitter account is named STL Science Center @SLSC.

The Bolduc House has a Facebook page for the museum in general on top of having the Zuts the Squirrel mascot Twitter account.

The National Postal Museum has a Facebook page for the museum in general on top of having the Owney the Dog Twitter account.

The Tate Geological Museum at Casper College has a Facebook page for the museum in general but also has a Facebook apge for ANOTHER mascot, Dee the Mammoth, on top of having the Lee Rex Twitter account. Museums with a Facebook page for the museum in general As of March 16th, 2013, the American Museum of Natural History's general Twitter account had 3,679 tweets and 134,265 followers compared to NatHistory Whale's 442 tweets and 15,645 followers.

Though this mascot had the most number of followers, the museum's general Twitter has many more followers. This is likely due to the museum website homepage (http://www.amnh.org/) that only provided a link to the museum's general Twitter account. Interestingly, after my review of museum mascots, I found that the museum had created a new mascot and a new Twitter account for that mascot as of March 1, 2013 (@NatHistMosquito). @AMNH As of March 16th, 2013,the Museum of Nature's general Twitter account had 3,011 tweets and 7,658 followers compared to Vic the Dino's 1,334 tweets
and 194 followers.

This much lower amount of followers for the mascot is likely because the museum's website homepage (http://nature.ca/en/home) only provided a link to the museum's general Twitter account. @MuseumofNature As of March 16th, 2013, the Field Museum's general Twitter account had 2,460 tweets and 18,756 followers
compared to Sut the T-rex's 3,417 tweets and 4,831 followers.

The museum's website homepage does not have a direct link to social media. Near the bottomof the homepage, under "About Us", there is a sub heading for "Social Media". By clicking on this sub heading, I was brought to a page (http://fieldmuseum.org/about/social-media) with links to their museum's general Twitter account. This was one of only two museums reviewed that did not have the social media links on their homepage. @FieldMuseum As of March 16th, 2013, the Saint Louis Science Center's Facebook page had 37,092 likes compared to Mr. T. Rex's 3,464 followers on Twitter. It is interesting to note that the Twitter account is STL Science Center @SLSC but in the description is states that Mr. T. Rex is the administrator of the account.

The Saint Louis Science Center's website homepage (http://www.slsc.org/) has links to the museum's Facebook page and their mascot's Twitter account. As of March 16th, 2013, the Bolduc House's Facebook page had 533 likes compared to Zuts the Squirrel's 50 followers on Twitter.

The Bolduc House's museum website homepage (http://bolduchouse.org/) has a link to their museum's Facebook page but not the mascot's Twitter account. Bolduc House Museum As of March 16th, 2013, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum Facebook page had 7,291 likes compared to Owney the Dog's 1,635 followers on Twitter.

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum website homepage (http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/) provides a link to the museum's Facebook page but not the mascot's Twitter account. Smithsonian National Postal Museum As of March 16th, 2013, the Tate Geological Museum Facebook page had 299 likes compared to Lee Rex's 54 Followers on Twitter. Interestingly, the museum also has another mascot with a Facebook page, Dee the mammoth, who had 259 likes.

The Tate Geological Museum's website homepage (http://www.caspercollege.edu/tate/index.html) has two links to their museum's Facebook page and Dee the mammoth's Facebook page but not the mascot's Twitter account. Tate Geological Museum As of March 16th, 2013, the Heritage Museum and Cultural Centre general Twitter account had 522 tweets and 162 followers compared to Sabra the Sabertooth's 521 tweets and 194 followers.

The number of followers is relarively low compared to the museum's Twitter. This may be because the museum's website homepage (http://www.theheritagemcc.org/) only had a link for the museum's general Facebook page and no links to Twitter. According to the website, they are in the middle of changing websites so this could be a simple oversight. @TheHeritage MCC Saint Louis Science Center There were three uses of "new" in tweets related to their museum:

Giggy A. Dinosaur on Feb 9, 2013 tweet #1: "Me and a new friend @FernbankMuseum's 'Butterfly Bash.' [link to picture on the dinosaur and butterfly mascot]"
Sue the T-rex on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #7: "#FF My new pal @Bhmllr wrote a great blog post about @FiledMuseum and a sauropod arms race. [link to the blog]"
Lee Rex on Jan 31, 2013 tweet #1: "JP and I (DEE) are starring in a new podcast for the college. Principal photography is going on now! [link to Facebook with a picture of JP 9an employee)]" Lee Rex on Jan 31, 2013 tweet #1: "JP and I (DEE) are starring in a new podcast for the college. Principal photography is going on now! [link to Facebook with a picture of JP (an employee)]"
Lee Rex on Jan 29, 2013 tweet #2: "Don't forget! Tonight is our members only PEEP SHOW!! Always wondered whats in those little drawers? Join us... [link to Facebook post with complete post by Dee the Mammoth]"
Lee Rex on Jan 15, 2013 tweet #7: "Coffee, Tea and ME!!!! Tomorrow morning from 7:30am to 11:30am. Stop by for FREE coffee, tea and 10% off of... [link to Dee the Mammoth's Facebook post which finishes this statement with 'dinosaur models in the gift shop. 20% for members! (Membership does have its benefits!!)' ]"
Lee Rex on Jan 2, 2013 tweet #10: "I hear that the staff are planning to let people peek in my drawers. I'm not sure I like the sound of that!"
Rusty Giant Sloth on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #3: "Looks like another one of my museum friends got a little crazy. Any guesses on who this might be? [link to picture of animal taken using a swirl effect to make identifying the animal more difficult]"
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 11, 2013 tweet #3: "In this week's NightSky Update, we discuss the changes in Mercury and the open star cluster called Collinder 121."
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #5: "Tomorrow's Cheap Date Night is officially sold out! Be sure to reserve your tickets in advance for our March 22 Cheap Date Night. #STL"
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #6: "We have less than 50 tickets available for Cheap Date Night tomorrow night. Call 314.289.44.24 to get your tickets before they are gone. #STL"
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #7: "Jazz Under the Stars -- A night of live music, great food and fun people! Join us on 3/7! @JazzStLouis @stlpublicradio"
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 6, 2013 tweet #10: "@FelixSTL Sounds like a great idea! Come on over. [this is a response to @FelixSTL tweet 'Today seems like a good day to eat lunch at the #Mudhouse in #STL. Then maybe stop by the @SLSC']" Directly with name of museum in tweet Indirectly, lacking name of museum There was only one use of "get" in tweets related to their museums:

Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #6: "We have less than 50 tickets available for Cheap Date Night tomorrow night. Call 314.289.44.24 to get your tickets before they are gone. #STL" There were two uses of "have" in tweets related to their museum:

Vic the Dino on Nov 23, 2012 tweet #9: "Ol' Vic says you will have a dino-mite time ROAR! RT @themikewheeler: You'll have a "whale" of a time @MuseumofNature !"
Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #6: "We have less than 50 tickets available for Cheap Date Night tomorrow night. Call 314.289.44.24 to get your tickets before they are gone. #STL"



Adjectives Verbs
1. new 1. make
2. good/better/best 2. get
3. free 3. give
4. fresh 4. have
5. delicious 5. see
6. full 6. buy
7. sure 7. come
8. clean 8. go
9. wonderful 9. know
10. special 10. keep There were two uses of "free" in tweets related to their museum:

Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 2, 2013 tweet #7: "RT @fernbankmuseum: Join us on Facebook NOW for a chance to win FREE #IMAX tickets: [link to Facebook]"
Lee Rex on Jan 15, 2013 tweet #7: "Coffee, Tea and ME!!!! Tomorrow morning from 7:30am to 11:30am. Stop by for FREE coffee, tea and 10% off of... [link to Dee the Mammoth's Facebook post which finishes this statement with 'dinosaur models in the gift shop. 20% for members! (Membership does have its benefits!!)' ]" There was only one use of "sure" in tweets related to their museum:

Mr. T. Rex. on Feb 8, 2013 tweet #5: "Tomorrow's Cheap Date Night is officially sold out! Be sure to reserve your tickets in advance for our March 22 Cheap Date Night. #STL" A study of vocabulary used in advertising listed the most common adjectives and verbs in order of frequency (Linguarama International 2000). I reviewed the tweets that mention their museum in a marketing capacity to see how often they used these adjectives and verbs. According to Gajendra Chauhan, author of Language, Media, & Society, there is "a sharp deviation of meaning in language from one cultural group to another" (2010, 3). Because I wanted to pay particular attention to the language used in the tweets, I decided to narrow my focus to animal mascots on Twitter from museums in the United States and Canada. I excluded Twitter accounts that have been inactive for over a year and two art gallery Twitter accounts for the sake of having a reasonable number of mascots. This resulted in ten Twitter accounts of museums' animal mascots. The following introductions were "written by the mascots" and can be found in their respective profiles on Twitter. Personailities Review of the museums' other use of Twitter Youths and Young Adults On February 11, 2013, I recorded each of the mascots' ten most recent tweets. I excluded their official retweets because they are written by someone else and simply displayed on the mascots' Twitter feed. Later, I learned that tweets can be unofficial retweets that are technically tweeted by the mascot but state "RT" (retweet) followed by the original tweet by another author. Had I known this when I began my review, I would have excluded these as well. I also did not review the tweets by other authors where the mascot was "tagged" in the tweet. Additionally, a small number of the tweets had to be expanded to understand their context, which was placed in parentheses after the tweet. Many of the tweets had links to pictures or other sites in their tweets and for the purpose of this review, I have replaced the link URL with a short description of the link's contents. After reviewing the tweets, I began noticing commonalities and decided to divide each mascots' ten tweets into one of the following categories: A review of these categories showed that, even though some of the mascots had tweets spread across various categories, some of the mascots had a large percent of their ten tweets in one category. For instance,

Mr. T. Rex. had 70% of his ten tweets in the "Mentions their museum" category, directly and indirectly. This demonstrates that this Twitter account is mostly used as a marketing tool.

Sabra the Sabertooth had 70% of her ten tweets in the "Mentions other museums/institutions" category. This is primarily because she is part of a travelling exhibit and often publicized where she would be located next.

NatHistory Whale had 50% of her ten tweets in the "Related to their animal character" category. This likely helps her strengthen her personality (soon to be discussed) but also demonstrates that she is often educating her followers about whales.

Zuts the Squirrel had 50% of his or her ten tweets in the "Random" category. This squirrel is all over the place but this ADHD personality is entertaining and the account may have been created for entertaining his or her followers.

Owney the Dog had 30% of his ten tweets in the "Between on this date and their animal character" category. Because he travelled on trains with the mail mostly in the U.S., it is clear that the account is primarily to inform the followers where he was in this date in a certain year. This may be in order to engage an audience across the U.S. and the other countries he visited according to the video in his biography slide. Choosing the Animal Mascots to Explore Overall, most of the museums' websites did not link to their mascot's Twitter account. This was very surprising and unfortunate. Though this may be due to the expanse of time sometimes required to update a website, it is prohibiting many people from having the opportunity to "follow" the museum's mascot on Twitter. Likely due to this, most of the museums' general Twitter accounts or general Facebook page had more followers and likes and, therefore, perhaps more engagement occurs on their general museum Twitter account or Facebook page than on their mascot Twitter account.

I was also very surpised at how many of the museum's had a general Twitter account in addition to their mascot's Twitter account. Why not combine them? Were they created with two different target audiences in mind? Additional analysis should be done in future research to see if the tweets are different or the same. Furthermore, two of the museums had two mascots. The Tate Geological Museum has Lee Rex on Twitter and Dee the mammoth on Facebook and the American Museum of Natural History has the NatHistory Whale on Twitter and a new NatHistMosquito also on Twitter. Recommendations and Future Research Because these tweets are read by viewers, it seems important that the mascot convey their excitement using capitol letters and exclamation marks. Onomatopoeia Owney the Dog "Arf!"
Vic the Dino "Roar!"
Giggy A. Dinosaur "Rawr" As these tweets are supposedly written by animals, it was not surprising to find a few examples of onomatopeia: Giggy A. Dinosaur "Ahem" Though in one case, the mascot was clearing their throat: Obviously, "ahem" is not written everytime one clears their throat while typing. This was written for the effect of drawing attention to the mascot: Giggy A. Dinosaur on Jan 11, 2013 tweet #4: "@AAM_EdCom @suethetrex Ahem.... @FernbankMuseum has a tweeting dino as well! Hint: It's ME!" There was also use of modern "texting" language such as Texting language I reviewed the language used in the tweets that were categorized as tweets related to their animal character for personalities of the mascots. According to Wendy White, author of Adding Images, Audio and Video, "[p]ersonality-focused tweets further the impression of your organization as an entity whose nature is described by each of your brand values, such as fun, authoritative, caring, local, welcoming, relevant and so on" (2010, 139). Though information on their respective museums' website provide more information (as seen in the biography slides) about the mascot as well as their introductions on their Twitter profiles, I am reviewing what personailty traits are visible through their tweets.

Though it is not the focus of this review, I noticed a few mascots that had personality . The most obvious are Owney the Dog who barks in his tweets by typing "Arf!". Not only does Vic the Dino "Roar" but also starts the majority of his tweets with "Ol' Vic says".

Interestingly, only one of the mascots had an obvious sex through their tweets due to their name, Mr. T. Rex..
Sue the T-rex and Sabra the Sabertooth are also assumed to be female from their names.

The Natural History Whale had the most personality because she tweeted about U.S. politics and was very caring by using words such as congratulations, sorry, and love you all,

Zuts the Squirrel has a strong personality or character. He or she tags many other squirrels on Twitter in his or her tweets and mentions "squirrel heritage". Overall, it would be extremely beneficial to increasing their audience if the museums' websites provided links to the mascots Twitter account as well as the general account. Furthermore, unless the two accounts have different intended audiences and tweet differently, the two accounts should be combined into one for simplicity and providing a stronger personality and museum image.

In conclusion, this review of museum mascots on Twitter is simply the tip of the iceberg. Due to the time limititations of this project, I have made recommendations for further research. So much more research can and should be done in all of the areas I have touched on and much more. For instance, how the mascots approach the topic of their death since none of the animal mascots reviewed were alive, comparing the museums' use of multiple social media, interviewing the mascots and the staff that administrates their accounts, and analysing the frequency of their tweets. Much more research can be done in the area of museums' use of social media and the use of animal mascots and I plan to conitune my exploration of their use of marketing language. References Cited Chauhan, Gajendra Singh. 2010. Language, Media and Society: Essence of Advertising Communication. India: Rawat Publications.

Linguarama International. 2000. The language of advertising. URL http://www.linguarama.com/ps/marketing-themed-english/the-language-of-advertising.htm.

Mentiply, David. 2013. Twitter accounts run by animals. URL http://museumlines.com/tag/museum-mascots/.

Stewart, Elizabeth. 2010. "Twitter and Your Organisation." In Twitter for Museums: Strategies and Tactics for Success, edited by MuseumsEtc. Edinburgh: MuseumsEtc.

White, Wendy. 2010. "Adding Images, Audio and Video." In Twitter for Museums: Strategies and Tactics for Success, edited by MuseumsEtc. Edinburgh: MuseumsEtc. Marketing Language The use of "texting" language in tweets was probably to identify with a youth and young adult target audience. The mascots with more obvious personalities, such as Vic the Dino, also seem to want to entertain this young target market. It is apparent that by having a mascot in general, let alone an animal mascot, museums are trying to create a child friendly image of their institution. Two mascots were specifically quite children oriented because they are stuffed animal toys: Zuts the Squirrel and Giggy A. Dinosaur. Though my initial interest in exploring the mascots' tweets revolved around the language used in the tweets, I also briefly noted their obvious personalities and their assumed target audiences. I was surprised when I realized that very few adjectives and verbs off the list of top ten were used in the tweets that mentioned their museum and very infrequently. This implies that museums may not be creating these mascot Twitter accounts with marketing in mind. Instead, they may have a primary goal of engaing with their audiences and simply informing them of upcoming events rather than marketing these events. The intent of the account depends on what staff member is tweeting and what department that staff member works in, such as education, engagement, or marketing. Different deprtments will have different plans on how to use the Twitter account. This may be due to a target audience of teenagers or because emotions are sometimes difficult to clearly convey through written words. However, the NatHistory Whale often has tweets that demonstrate emotion so perhaps she used the three sad faces to emphasize her sadness. In each of the mascots' short introductions on their Twitter profile they each provided a link to their museum's website. The following are their short biographies compiled from information from their respective museum;s wbsite. Biographies "Language has a powerful influence over people and their behaviour. This is especially true in the fields of marketing and advertising. The choice of language to convey specific messages with the intention of influencing people is vitally important" (Linguarama International 2000). "Language is the identity of an individual" (Chauhan 2010, 1). Since the animal mascots are not alive and not capable of typing, one or more staff members at the museums are in charge of the personality of the mascot. The staff are anthropomorphizing the animal mascots as capable of tweeting. However, the opposite of anthropomorphism is also occuring here. The staff responsible for their Twitter accounts are attempting to tweet with the personality of an animal.
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