Turtles’ family tree

This video says about itself:

Shelf Life Episode 2 – Turtles and Taxonomy

15 December 2014

Individual specimens may hold great beauty in the eye of the uninitiated observer, but for scientists, the real wonder lies in the connections that inspire research questions. Herpetology Curator Darrel Frost talks taxonomy—the science of classification.

For even more taxonomy and a brief (yet discerning) history of Western classification, head over to the episode website for some beautiful volumes from the Museum’s Rare Book Collection: here.

Shelf Life is a collection for curious minds—opening doors, pulling out drawers, and taking the lids off some of the incredible, rarely-seen items in the American Museum of Natural History. Over the next year, Shelf Life will explore topics like specimen preparation, learn why variety is vital, and meet some of the people who work in the Museum collections. Videos roll out monthly, and Episode 3 will premiere on January 15, 2015.

From GrrlScientist blog:

Shelf Life: Turtles and taxonomy

For most people, individual plants or animals can be very beautiful, but for scientists, the real wonder lies in understanding the interrelationships between species and how they fit into the tapestry of life.

Sunday 21 December 2014 13.56 GMT

It might surprise you to learn that every week, scientists are discovering new plant and animal species — even species that are big enough to be seen with the naked eye. With each now discovery comes the same question: how is this new species related to all the others that we already know about?

This is where taxonomists come in. Taxonomists are scientists who specialise in describing, naming and classifying new species. They study plants and animals to identify which other species are their closest relatives and further, to understand how they fit into the larger, more complex, tapestry of life.

In this lovely video, curator of herpetology (reptiles and amphibians) at the American Museum of Natural History, Darrel Frost, talks about how we structure our understanding of the world and how that structure helps us understand how the world works. He also shares some of his thoughts about how that knowledge is not the end point — it is actually the beginning of something that is unexpectedly beautiful.

2 thoughts on “Turtles’ family tree

  1. Pingback: Sauropod dinosaurs’ neck postures, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Saving birds’ lives in New York City | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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