UMMZ's Myers in Michigan Daily about mammal preservation and ADW, article and video
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Past the two stone pumas guarding the entrance and through the large circular atrium behind the University's Museum of Natural History lays one of the largest collections of mammal specimens in the country, begins an article in the Michigan Daily, Thursday, March 29, 2012.
While the University’s Museum of Zoology’s Mammal Division has remained relatively unchanged for the past century, the Internet now allows the collection to reach more people than ever. The museum’s mammal collection has preserved a variety of specimens using four different methods. The most common is to remove an animal’s innards and bones and stuff it with cotton, but researchers also use flesh-eating dermestid beetles to remove skin and flesh to display an animal’s bones. Specimens can also be preserved in alcohol and extracted DNA is stored in liquid nitrogen.
Professor Philip Myers, one of the museum’s curators, said people from all over the country come to study the specimens in the museum’s collection, though it is not open to the public. Myers has recently found a way to increase access and eliminate potential harm to the specimens. A website called Animal Diversity Web — an online species information database — has allowed Myers to share the university’s collection with scientists worldwide.
Read more and watch a video. The Michigan Daily article was picked up by the Associated Press.
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