EurekAlert: A new use for museum fish specimens

EurekAlert: A new use for museum fish specimens. “The discoloured fish that rest in glass jars in museums across the world are normally used by specialists as references to study the traits that identify certain species. But a new study proposes an additional use for such ‘samples.’ Published in the Journal of Applied Ichthyology, the paper suggests using such specimens to estimate the length-weight relationships of fish that are hard to find alive in their natural environment.”

Phys .org: Global database of all bird species shows how body shape predicts lifestyle

Phys .org: Global database of all bird species shows how body shape predicts lifestyle. “A global team of researchers, led by Imperial College London and University College London, visited museums around the world to find specimens of nearly 10,000 species, covering more than 99 percent of all known bird species. Their results, and the database, are published today in Nature Ecology and Evolution. The link between body form of each animal species and aspects of their lifestyle, including diet, has previously been proposed, but this is the first time it has been confirmed at such a large scale and with such precise detail.”

Boing Boing: AI generates old-fashioned zoological illustrations of beetles

Boing Boing: AI generates old-fashioned zoological illustrations of beetles. “These beetles do not exist: Confusing Coleopterists is an AI trained on illustrations from zoological textbooks. The extreme formality of this art genre, and its placement within the public domain, makes it uniquely apt to the medium of generative adversarial networks: ‘Results were interesting and mesmerising.'”

Phys.org: New VR game to help researchers understand predator and prey movements

Phys .org: New VR game to help researchers understand predator and prey movements. “Researchers have developed a free virtual reality game which allows players to experience the thrill of the hunt as a hungry predator feasting on swarming flies. The VR game, called FlyCatcher, has been created by scientists from the University of Lincoln, UK, to help enhance understanding of the erratic, evasive movement of fleeing prey.”

CBC: Research, photos of Manitoba tundra open to public

CBC: Research, photos of Manitoba tundra open to public. “An archive of photos and research of plants and animals in Manitoba’s tundra are now available online, providing public access to decades of Churchill, Man., history. Professors from York University in Toronto are in the town 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg this week to share the Churchill Community of Knowledge — a digital archive that more than 50 York University students have been putting together since 2011.”

Newswise: Museums Put Ancient DNA to Work for Wildlife

Newswise: Museums Put Ancient DNA to Work for Wildlife. “Scientists who are trying to save species at the brink of extinction are finding help in an unexpected place. Heather Farrington, curator of zoology for the Cincinnati Museum Center, is using DNA from specimens collected more than 100 years ago to help understand the evolution and stresses faced by today’s animals.”

Natural History Museum Blog: Digitising Butterfly types of the 21st century |Digital Collections Programme

Natural History Museum Blog: Digitising Butterfly types of the 21st century |Digital Collections Programme. “Some of the Museum’s invaluable butterfly reference material, previously only accessible to a handful of scientists, has been released onto the Museum’s Data Portal. Over 90% of these specimens were designated as types in the 21st Century, but this is the first time that images of many of these species have been freely accessible to the global community.”