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

Deinotherium: Making Headway

Our Deinotherium giganteum (Kaup, 1829) specimen (one of our collection of Ward’s Casts, like Shelley the Glyptodon) is under restoration after its long disappearance into storage, starting at the closing of  the Wesleyan Natural History museum in Orange Judd Hall of Natural Sciences  in 1957. The original from which our cast was made was found in the  ‘Deinotherium … Read more

Conquer: A Familar Foreign Silk Moth

We recently discovered a fascinating framed mount of specimens showing the life cycle of the Ailanthus Silk Moth. As far as we know, it was purchased from a natural history supplies company in New York in the early 20th century. The Ailanthus Silkmoth (Samia cynthia Drury) is an introduced species in North America. It was … Read more

Alcohol and Pickles, Anyone?

  Fossilisation is nature’s way of preserving traces of once living organisms, humans too have devised ways to intervene with decomposition and to preserve life in a more predictable and accessible manner. We are a species of control freaks. The business of science in the 1800s was to collect and classify all known life on the … Read more