SUMMARY: This video takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour through the largest and most complete ornithology collection in the world.
Natural history collections are important. These collections, usually maintained by a museum, make up a library that scientists consult to answer all sorts of questions, from deciphering evolutionary relationships of the Hawaiian honeycreepers to identifying when the deadly avian pox virus first showed up in the Galapagos Islands. Researchers, writers and artists also use these collections in their work. But that said, museum collections are never seen by the general public.
Today’s video gives you a brief tour through the ornithology collections held by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. This ornithology collection is the largest in the world, with more than one million round skins (“stuffed birds”), flat skins, fluid-preserved specimens, skeletons, eggs and cryogenically preserved tissue specimens. The AMNH collection includes representatives of every living and recently extinct species in the world. In this video, Paul Sweet, ornithology collections manager, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the collection and its role in scientific research and conservation.
Note: this piece is mirrored from here.
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Top Photo: Birds of paradise, courtesy of AMNH, 9 November 2010. By Matthew Wills (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License).
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