To me there has always been a sense
of satisfaction in donating, so there was never any question in my mind
when the ANSP asked if I would be willing to donate the specimen I had
contacted them about a few days earlier. In making arraignments to drop
off the specimen I mentioned that I had never had the opportunity to
properly visit the Academy and Dr. Daeschler offered to host my wife and
me along with a few friends on a tour of the Academy.
Our only snag on the trip was finding the
Academyís loading dock. I had no clue there could be so many Cherry
Streets in any one city. After the 3rd wrong Cherry Street we
decided it would be faster to have the GPS guide us to the Academy first
then look for Cherry Street.
The pictures are in chronological order so Iíll
just stop here and let the photos do the rest.
The first order of business for the day was turning the specimen over to
Dr. Daeschler (left)
There was an amazing assortment of specimens from Red Hill that just
seemed to litter the offices.
A team co-led by Dr.Ted Daeschler at the Academy of Natural Sciences in
discovered the tetrapod Tiktaalik roseae in Devonian-age
rock on Ellesmere Island in
Canada, more than 700 miles above the Arctic Circle.
Dr. Daeschler holding a raptor claw.
Everything is climate controlled and with space at a premium every
seemed to store one thing or another.
Do you know where your state dinosaur is?
New Jersey's state dinosaur Hadrosaurus foulkii is housed at the
While found in NJ it was Dr. Joseph Leidy, then curator of the ANSP who
the specimen back to Philadelphia for study.
Croc skull, verts and scutes
The hand written labels still server their purpose on some specimens.
Others have been update but the original labels are never discarded.
The Jefferson Collection.
left - Mastodon teeth / right - Bison skull
Everyone found this one interesting and a considerable amount of time
was spent here.
Imagine a time when the massive teeth of a mastodon or a 6 inch meg were
for speculation. There was no solid evidence for their existence, yet
people like Jefferson continued to
procure these items for study. Jefferson seemed most interest in the
"Mammoth" and suspected that it
still roamed the vast wilderness of North America. It wasn't until 1801,
Jefferson's first year in office
that a nearly complete mastodon skeleton was recovered.
While the collection and his writings clearly show his interests to be
in the area of mammals there were a couple
of megs in the collection.
I found this kind of morbid, but the wife's loved this section.
Many of these specimens are well over 100 years old.
Our guided tour ended appropriately enough at the entrance to Dinosaur
We spent the next few hours at the museum before heading off to get
When in Philly, what else? A Philadelphia cheese steak.