Virtual Digitisation: Specify7 Database

If there is a hashtag that defines museum practices of the 21st century, it’d better be #digitization.   With the leaps and bounds computing power has taken in the past decade, researchers have been getting on the ramp of creating large online biodiversity databases for collection objects. An example is the Integrated Digital Biocollections (iDigBio) … Read more

Specimen of the Month October 2019: Mosasaur

MARINE LIZARD: MOSASAUR Or the Meuse Lizard Ward Cast: Original in Natural History Museum Paris Mosasaurus hoffmanni Mantell 1829 Maastricht, Netherlands.  Late Cretaceous ~66 million years ago     This Mosasaur cast  is a replica of the first described specimen of a Mosasaur, with the original on exhibit in the Natural History Museum in Paris. … Read more

Fragile Beginnings: Bird Egg Collection

Egg-collecting was a mania in Victorian England, and collectors such as Lord Rothschild collected 11,750 egg-sets in his curiosity collection. Naturally, collectors in America followed suit, and egg shells became a staple in museum cabinets. The former Wesleyan Museum in Judd Hall housed a large bird egg collection, most of which were deaccessioned and sent … Read more

Exhibit: Glyptodon and Deinotherium Day

  The 26th of February marked the first year anniversary of Shelley the Glyptodon‘s residency outside the science library. A year later, she has become a name on everyone’s tongue, and provides a new location on campus for a popular rendezvous site. On the same day, one year later, we welcomed a new resident in the lobby of Exley … Read more

Blue Planet: Diversity Beneath the Waves

Take a breath. Now take another: you could say that the oxygen in one of those two breaths was produced by green plants on land, the oxygen in the other by floating phytoplankton in the oceans. Life in the oceans has sustained human civilization and development for millennia, from providing food and nourishment, material for handicraft … Read more

Special Exhibit in Science Library: Tree of Life

  Our tireless obsession to name and categorize things into categories with impermeable and immutable boundaries is perhaps one of our species’ peculiarities: assigning categories to the numerous and diverse forms of life on Earth can be seen as somehow giving us assurance, in creating an illusion that we may be dominant and in control … Read more

Walking Glyptodon: Shelley’s Limbs

At long last, we no longer have to think that Shelley the Glyptodon‘s feet are four cylindrical poles. They aren’t! Owing to online shopping, we have managed to obtain modern casts of all her leg bones from the professional fossil replica artists at Gaston Design Inc., who also provided her new head. Over the course … Read more

More Than Skin Deep

  The natural world is not always generous in revealing its wondrous secrets. From the crystals buried in the depths of the Earth to the star fields behind distant dust clouds, the wonders of nature are often obscured from direct access by people striving to obtain knowledge. It is even more frustrating when such secrets are … Read more