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Angelo State Natural History Collections Featured in Journal of Mammalogy

January 17, 2019

The ASU Biology Department’s Angelo State Natural History Collections (ASNHC) is prominently featured in a research article published in the December 2018 issue of the Journal of Mammalogy, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mammalogists.

Over 150 new preserved specimens were recently donated to the ASNHC.Over 150 new preserved specimens were recently donated to the ASNHC.Co-authored by Dr. Robert Dowler of the ASU biology faculty, the article is titled “Mammal collections of the Western Hemisphere: a survey and directory of collections.” Through nearly two years of research, Dowler and his co-authors documented the specimen holdings of all the active natural history mammal collections in the Western Hemisphere – concluding that there were 395 active collections as of 2017.

Journal of Mammalogy December 2018 Cover GraphicAnother important aspect of the mammal collections documented in the article is the number of preserved mammalian tissue samples available in each one. With over 14,000 frozen mammal tissue samples, the ASNHC ranks ninth in the Western Hemisphere and is the second-largest in Texas behind only the collection housed in the Museum of Texas Tech University.

Additionally, the ASNHC Mammalogy Collection is one of only 84 of the 395 active collections with more than 10,000 mammal specimens.

Angelo State Natural History Collections LogoOverall, the ASNHC contains more than 100,000 specimens of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants from the Concho Valley, other regions of Texas, many other states, Mexico, Africa, Asia, Australia and even the Galápagos Islands. The latest specimen counts include:

  • Herbarium (plants) – 60,400
  • Frozen Tissues – 24,462 (total sample count of all types of specimens)
  • Mammalogy – 18,926
  • Herpetology – 15,132
  • Ornithology – 2,642

The collections aid student and faculty research projects, are used as teaching tools, and have been viewed by thousands of K-12 students through special guided tours. A display featuring more than 100 plant and animal specimens was featured in October at the Stephens Central Library in downtown San Angelo – and several ASU animal specimens are currently featured in an exhibit at the Museum of Texas Tech University.

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