New Stuff Tuesday – January 9, 2018

The Lost Species: Great Expeditions in the Collections of Natural History Museums book cover

The Lost Species:
Great Expeditions in the Collections of Natural History Museums
by Christopher Kemp
QH45.5 .K46 2017
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor

Entomophobes and arachnophobes beware! In the 25 chapters of Kemp’s book you’ll get up close and personal with many interesting species, such as the Congo Duskhawker Dragonfly and the Atomic Tarantula Spider. There are also intriguing mammals and amphibians and a plant, oh my!

Sit back in your chair and read the exploits of scientists who’ve (re?)discovered new species without setting a foot outside of a museum. Digging through specimen trays, drawers, and jars hidden in the recesses of natural history museums all over the globe, they’ve found some amazing creatures collected decades ago. Some of these species were previously unidentified and unnamed and others were misidentified. Some, alas, were discovered too late and are already extinct due to climate change and loss of their native habitats.

You might think this is a rare and unique occurrence, when in fact it is not. Only about one-fifth of all species on the planet have been named. Consider that estimates indicate about 75% of newly identified mammal species were already in a natural history museum somewhere around the world. Another 50% of flowering plants have been collected and are waiting to be described and named. We’ve collected them, but don’t know what we’ve got (yet).

This book will be a fun read for the hobbyist, naturalist, and you.

About Martha

Martha is a Reference & Instruction Librarian and the liaison to the Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Languages and Literatures, Mathematics, and Physics Departments
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