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This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

May 01, 1959 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-05-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

useum of Zoology Employs Staff

of 13 Curators,

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
rth and last article of a series dis-
sing research in the University's Y
ural science museums.)
By SHARON EDWARDS

}

The University Museum of Zo-
ology, the largest of the four Uni-
versity research museums, em-
ploys a staff of 13 curators.
Each of the curators divides his
teaching in the zoology depart-
ment and his own research pro
time between curatorial duties,
- The Museum is organized in six
divisions, four representing ver-I
tebrate animals and one. each for
insects and mollusks.
The Division of Mammals has
two curators, Prof. William H.
Burt and Emmet T. Hooper.
M~akes Studies
Prof. Burt is currently making
a very comprehensive study of all
North American mammals and is
preparing a system of classifica-
tion for them based on the ana-
tomy of the reproductive system.
Prof.Hooper, whose work is
with rodents, particularly squir-
rels, has concentrated his studies
on the fauna of Mexico, from
which many groups have spread
into the United States.
He does much field work there,
studying the geographicdistribu-
tion of these animals and their
local variations. Such studies are
necessary to an understanding of
their evolutionary history and re-
lationships.
Professors Robert W. Storer and
Harrison B. Torrdoff are Curators
of the Division of Birds.
Takes Trip
Prof. Storer, who is presently on
a field trip in Canada, studies the
behaviour patterns of water birds.
Interpretation of breeding habits,
for example, throws light on the
relationship of various species.
Prof. Storer has a grant to work
more on this project in South
America.
Prof. Tordoff also studies be-
havior and geographic distribu-
tion, working primarily with north-
ern finches. "These finches," Prof.
Tordoff explained, "are birds of
very great social organization, with
a social heirarchy as complex as
that of the army."
In addition to his study of their
social organization, Prof. Tordoff
studies their adaptation to life in

female reproducers in the verte-
brate animal kingdom.
Early Study
Prof. Miller, whose study of
these fish is the first one to be
made, believes that they may be
an intermediate step in the evolu-
tionary development of a much
better-known and widely studied
fish species of all females.
His work includes studies of the
nature of inheritance and behavior
patterns of these fish. He is con-
ducting many cross-breeding ex-
periments.'
The Division of Fishes has the
largest collection of North Ameri-
can freshwater fish in the world,
with regard to the number of
specimens. Over three miles of
shelves house pickled specimens,
and a compact aquarium contains
many more live fish.
Because of this distinctive col-
lection, the division performs many
services for a variety of agencies
and organizations, such as the
state conservation department.
Largest Collection
The Division of Insects, with a
collection of over five million speci-
mens, is larger than any of the
collections' but that of fishes, and
yet is the only one whose number
of specimens is far outshadowed
by the number of species extant.
This large collection requires
four curators, Profs. Theodore H.
Hubbell and Irving J. Cantrall,
Richard D. Alexander and Thomas
E. Moore.
Prof. Hubbell is concluding a
study of a grasshopper with a wide
distribution across the United
States. He has determined the
existence of three species where
only one had been thought to
exist.

Prof. Cantrall has been for
more than 10 years the curator
of the Edwin S. George Reserve,
the main outdoor research facility
near the University. This position'
has recently been taken over by,
Prof. Francis C. Evans, who will
henceforth be part of the Museum
staff., Both Profs. Cantrall and
Evans are ecologists.Cd
Prof.Cantrall's research involves
the systematic study of a small,'
short-winged, flightless grasshop-
per of wide distribution. Through
minute dissections, particularly of
the male genital structures, he has
discovered the existence of an
enormous complex of populations
of this species, which has under-
gone a rapid evolution on the
periphery of its range.
Work Together
Alexander, a specialist on katy-
dids and crickets, and Moore, a
specialist on cicadas, work to-
gether on a study of production of
sound.
In their work with 17 year cica-
das, they have discovered that two
distinct populations exist, super-
ficially alike, but with entirely dif-
ferent songs. These populations
live together in assembled hordes,
but do not interbreed,
"Insect song acts as an isolating
mechanism for the species, a meth-
od of congregating individuals of
the same species," explained
Moore. They have received a grant
for work this summer on 13 year
cicadas.
Prof. Henry van der Schalie,
curator of the Division of Mollusks,
is engaged in a study of those
snails that may 'act as host to the
larva of a parasite that causes a
serious human disease, schistoso-
miasis.

Prof. van der Schalie also oper-
ates the country's only training
program for malacologists (study
of mollusks).
According to Prof. Hubbell, the
Museum of Zoology is one of the
three leading university museums
in the United States, in terms both
of the size and value of its collec-
tions and especially of the qualifi-
cations and professional standing
of its men.

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ENTOMOLOGIST-Richard D. Alexander, Curator of Insects in
the Museum of Zoology, studies the records of insect songs from
the miles of tape collected on field trips. Alexander works with
Thomas E. Moore, also Curator of Insects, in this research project.

cold climates. He is presently
working on some fossils from the
Raymond R. Hibbard Collection.
Checks Ornithology
The Division of Birds is respon-
sible for keeping up, to date on
the ornithology of the state. In
two months, a newly-compiled dis-
tribution check list of Michigan
birds will be in print.
Professors Norman E: Hartweg
and Charles F. Walker are cura-
tors of" the Reptiles and Amphib-
ians Division.
Prof. Hartweg, one of the coun-
try's leading specialists on turtles,
is preparing a monographic revi-
sion of the classification of turtles
of Mexico and the southwestern.
United States. His study of geo-
graphic distribution shows inter-
relationships and the past history
of the group.
In collaboration with Prof. Burt,
he is studying the repopulation of
the area of a recent volcanic erup-;
tion in Mexico.
Prof. Walker studies certain;

groups of Mexican amphibians,
both their distribution and local
variations. Since such variation is
often related to a genetic adjust-
ment to the environment, the na-
ture of the populations he studies
has a bearing on present knowl-
edge of organic evolution.
Professors Reeve M. Bailey and
Robert R. Miller, Curators of the
Division of Fishes,' are both spe-
cialists on fresh-water fish.
Prof. Bailey, one of the coun-
try's leading authorities on min-
nows and the colorful darters, is
preparing a systematic revisionary
work on some of these genera.
Prof. Miller, who works with a
grant from the National Science
Foundation, studies a group of
viviparous fish of Mexico.
He has discovered two species
each of which has two types of
females. One of these female types
can give birth to both male and
female offspring, but the other
type only produces females. There
are only three known such all-

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