Museum Blog

Articles for author: 30

  • The Dung Beetles of Snowmastodon

    Posted 07/15/2014 by Frank Krell | Comments
    Digging Snowmastodon has not only uncovered an immense number of bones, teeth, and wood, but also less conspicuous fossils, such as fragments of insects, amongst them...dung beetles. What else could we expect? Mammoth, mastodon, ground sloth, camel, and many other large and small mammals populated t…
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  • A detective story going back 176 years

    Posted 07/04/2014 by Frank Krell | Comments
    John Witt Randall (1813–1892), great-grandson of Samuel Adams, the American revolutionary patriot, was an art collector (Rembrandt, Dürer, etc.) and poet who in his early years published a few zoological papers in which he described numerous new species of beetles and crustaceans from the United Sta…
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  • Making the Cryptic Visible

    Posted 07/01/2014 by Frank Krell | Comments
    When we were out collecting dung beetles from bison dung at the Plains Conservation Center a week ago, by far the most numerous beetles were the red "Europeans". The red-winged Aphodius dung beetle, believed to be an invasive from Europe and having been brought over by the first settlers on their di…
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  • Losing the numbers game

    Posted 06/20/2014 by Frank Krell | Comments
    The Journal Impact Factor, calculated and published annually by Thomson Reuters, is the most influential metric in academic publishing. It is widely used to judge the performance of scientific journals and is still widely misapplied to assess individual scientists. Journal editors and publishers tho…
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  • 25,000 Insects Databased

    Posted 01/09/2014 by Frank Krell | Comments
    Today we passed the mark of 25,000 databased insect specimens, thanks to our wonderful, efficient and indefatigable volunteers and our grant-funded assistants, David Bettman and Chris Grinter. Supported by two grants of the National Science Foundation, we are transferring label data of scientific sp…
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  • Jeff Stephenson's cave millipede

    Posted 01/03/2014 by Frank Krell | Comments
    For many years, DMNS Research Associate David Steinmann has explored Colorado caves and collected invertebrates that nobody has ever seen before. In October 2012, in Bonnie's Hall Cave in Eagle County in Colorado, he came across a small, 14 mm long millipede of the genus Austrotyla. This genus conta…
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  • The History of a Natural History Museum

    Posted 01/01/2014 by Frank Krell | Comments
    On 31 December 2013, after a long and interesting history in its own right, the DMNS History volume has been published. Thirty-two authors have contributed to the 427 pages of the volume that contains a summative history of the whole institution from the very beginning in 1897, and detailed, compr…
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  • The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature: Reinventing a 118-year old organization to serve the biological community

    Posted 12/29/2013 by Frank Krell | Comments

    Preamble: Zoology’s Supreme Court for Names

    The system of binominal nomenclature for animals (living and extinct) is among the most succinct of communication systems that has been devised. With just two names (e.g., Aphodius coloradensis), a unique qualifier for each and every organism that shares…
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  • Beetles in A New Objectivity

    Posted 10/14/2013 by Frank Krell | Comments
    Today was the official opening of a new exhibition in the Special Collections room of University of Colorado's Norlin Library: A New Objectivity: Ernst Jünger and Albert Renger-Patzsch. Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) was a famous German writer, philosopher, and beetle collector. A shot in the head in Worl…
  • Great pictures of insects and other things

    Posted 10/11/2013 by Frank Krell | Comments
    During fieldwork, for our research, for exhibits or our databasing efforts, we produce loads of photos of the animals we study and the places where we study the animals. Our photographer and SCAN assistant Chris Grinter has established a Flickr page with a growing number photos of the prettiest, ugl…
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