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Re: DINOSAUR digest 893



>David J. Froehlich comments, with regard to Eohippus:
>
>>The really unfortunate part is that the type is currently missing (apparently
>>Bob Bakker had it last???) and Yale doesn't know where it went.
>
>Fascinating.
>
>If I don't see a contrary report here, I'm going to assign this rumor a
>nonzero truth value, and cite it the next time somebody starts going on
>about the importance of entrusting all significant specimens to museums
>where they can be warm and safe . . .
>
>sadly, it's not always so. And no, I don't have a suggestion, other than to
>occasionally give curators a good shaking, and of course to install AA
>weaponry atop all museums to keep the bombers away. Museums SHOULD be
>thoroughly safe places, but the cussedness of the universe, and human
>error, remain factors.

Actually it wasn't so much a comment on the Yale collections managemewnt (I
like Mary Ann a lot and she has been very helpful), rather it is a
left-handed (is that now non PC???) statement about Bakker, the care of
specimens, and the value of making sure former graduate students turn in all
their keys so they cannot get into the collections unsupervised (is this
cryptic enough for everybody?)

Note that a museum is the best place for a specimen rather than an
individual since musuems do not normally die, move, become unavailable, etc.
To my knowledge there have been numerous important specimens that were in
private hands that are now lost completely.  I can site only a relatively
few examples of the same (and proportionally much fewer) for museums.
David J. Froehlich                              Phone: 512-471-6088   
Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory                Fax: 512-471-5973
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712