Friday, April 24, 2015

In the News: Life and Times of a Museum Specimen

Fig.1. Cast of Uintatherium anceps (Leidy, 1872) - syn. Dinoceras mirabile (Marsh 1872) skull, neck vertebrae at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle of Paris. This animal was part of the infamous Bone Wars in the late 19th century (Credit: Jebulon, 2010)

Specimens, collections, and the museums that house them have historical and cultural connections which stretch beyond their scientific value. Learn more about art from specimens, making a career out of ice cores, Albert Einstein’s brain, and more:

  • A “bitter warfare” between scientists is only one part in the dramatic story of the Uintatherium specimen in Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Natural History: “Battle For The ‘Bone Wars’ Beasts,” National Geographic (15 April 2015)

  • So you want to be a paleoclimatologist? You might have trouble finding work when your ice core sample site starts to melt: “Glaciology: Climatology On Thin Ice,” Nature (15 April 2015)

  • Natural history museums, researchers, and collectors around the world are working together to understand the domestication of human’s best friend: “Solving The Mystery Of Dog Domestication,” Science (16 April 2015)

  • Naturalists have long walked the line between art and science. This artist follows in that tradition and painted herbarium specimens from at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: “Herbarium Specimens,” JSTOR Global Plants (20 April 2015)

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