IMAGES: A Bird in Hand

Science  07 Jan 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5706, pp. 21
DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5706.21a

For a nifty take on how museum collections can benefit from cyberspace, check out this digital specimen case from the Zoological Museum Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The site supplies three-dimensional (3-D) images of 151 avian type specimens from around the world—the original examples taxonomists used to describe the species. You can rotate or tilt animals ranging from crows and owls to the black-capped lory (Lorius lory viridicrissalis) from Indonesia. The pages also describe where and when the birds were collected, provide their measurements, and compare them to other specimens. The museum plans to post similar 3-D images of its cache of shells and skulls.

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