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Live From the Labs

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The ENHM Laboratories have often been a hive of activity over the past few months. We have had quite a few individual travellers & some bigger groups, including a group utilising NDIS funding. All of which called in to experience what it’s like to work on dinosaur or megafauna fossils. Some people participated for a few hours and some for over 10 days. Helen Smith recently completed her 10 day training program and gained the skills to be our newest Honorary Volunteer in fossil preparation. The honorary volunteers provide a valuable contribution by helping us to prepare the fossils that then go into our collection, be studied and then displayed to the public.

Another of our Honorary Volunteers - Steve Young, who is a Commercial Photographer, returned for another visit to help sort & photograph microfossils from our megafauna sediment’s. Steve’s skills in micro-photography are hugely beneficial as the fossils he has been sorting range from 5 mm in size down to 500 microns. These fossils - big or small – all help us understand and interpret what the environment was like all those thousands & millions of years ago in our part of south west Queensland.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Holotype?

A holotype is a valuable original specimen that describes a new species.  It is a term used to describe a specimen that is the first known of its kind anywhere in the world.  A holotype can be any type of fossil, and it serves as the name-bearer of the species.  Even if a better specimen is found, the holotype is not superseded.  These are rare and exciting discoveries, which help fill important gaps in the fossil record. 

Every animal and plant that is scientifically described is represented by a holotype.  If a scientist wishes to study the unique traits of a species, it is usually the holotype specimen they study.  The holotypes are the crown jewels of any museum collection.  These priceless specimens need to be stored and conserved at standards that meet the Code of International Zoological Nomenclature.


 
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