Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Preserving and Maintaining Pieces of the Planet's Natural History

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution, Nature, Wildlife, Nature of Science, History of Science, Behavior

Ed Hessler

Here is a very short article on a museum collection that is one we don't always think about when we visit natural history museums: birds eggs and nests. This collection is so important that it has its own senior curator.

The essay by Richa Malhotra of the journal Nature, us about a collection at the Natural History Museum at Tring, UK. The nest collection is "just over 4000 and requires 67 museum cabinets to house and protect them. The egg collection is upwards of "300000 sets of eggs."

There is a photograph of Douglas Russell who catalogues and maintains the specimens. Shown is a "1928 mud nest from Argentina that was made by the rufous horanero (Furnarius rufus)" and Russell is holding "four dunlin (Calidris alpina) eggshells collected in 1952 in Ireland." Russell has spent a great deal of time with a particular collection: the 129 extinct and endangered species, 40 of which are extinct. 

Perhaps you were as surprised as me by the size of the bird and in contrast to the pictured nest.

The essay also includes information on how Russell decided to become an ornithologist.

No comments:

Post a Comment