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October 02, 1997 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-02

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The Michigan Daily Weekend Mag

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Behind

Closed

Doors

(Center) Stuffed; a hedgehog used in student labs.
(Top) Kosher Dill, Extra Crunchy; one of thousands of
"pickles" lining the shelves, this water opossum and a
relative float in a jar of formaldehyde. Preserved in
their whole form, these animals are invaluable for study
and are often lent out to researchers across the world.
(Bottom) Skeleton of a two-toed sloth.

Within the Exhibit Museum of Natural
History are several research wings
closed to the public. The third floor
hosts the mammal and bird divisions,
whose primary function is to conduct
pure research and to instruct students.
Their main focus is to discover system-
atic relationships between animals by
looking at their DNA and through the
science of morphology, where the ani-
mals' skeletal structures are compared.
Piece by piece, evolutionary trees come
to light. Findings are constantly pub-
lished in scientific journals and give us
a view into the past.

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Photostory

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(Clockwise from Top) Feathered Friends; since 1830 and through numerous trips to Africa
ornithology department have built a vast collection of birds.
U Dr. Robert B. Payne, professor of zoology and curator of birds, holds an African finch.
of "parasite birds" that lay their eggs in the nest of a host bird (of a different species). The
the young as if they were its own.
* Chipmunks, tree squirrels, prairie dogs and woodchucks ... oh my! Researcher Don Sw
skull looking for similar features across the species.

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