Archive for November 2014
At the Bruce Museum, we take good care of our specimens. One of my favorites is of course our Black-footed Penguin (who by the way needs a name – please vote on here). Here it is, taking a one-week vacation from the natural history collections cabinets in the deep-freeze. Why this destination? One of the many ways museums keep specimens safe from pests is precautionary freezing. This kills insect pests that can infest objects like bird feathers and mammal fur and lead to damaged or destroyed specimens. When new specimens come into our museum or we shuffle things on and off display, we give them a deep freeze as a safeguard against unwanted hitchhiking pests.
Disclaimer: In case any museum folks were horrified to see me putting a penguin directly into the freezer, we seal all our specimens in bags before freezing them to prevent frost damage.
The Bruce Museum needs your help! We have a wonderful penguin in our collection, and it needs a name.
Please go to the museum’s Facebook page to vote for your favorite name – or suggest your own! We’ll report the winner and then cover some of the planned travels of this particular penguin in service of science and education.
So far, the leading candidates are Mrs. Bagley (after the 1942 donor of the specimen), Marples (after penguin paleontologist Brian J. Marples), Griswold (after original Bruce Museum Curator Paul Griswold Howes), and Moffat (after Robert Moffat Bruce, who ceded his estate to house the Bruce Museum in 1908).
This summer March of the Fossil Penguins went on hiatus while I moved north. I’m now a Curator at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, and we have some great penguin content (fossil, live, and virtual) planned for the next few months. Stay tuned as we get back to work promotion penguin science!
If you need a fossil penguin fix right away, the New England Aquarium hosted a series of four fossil penguin posts while we were offline, and you can see them all at the aquarium penguin guest blog.