Extinct Species Lurking in Museum Collections
- Scientists uncover previously unknown species that no longer exist
- Museum and botanical garden collections reveal extinct species
- Researchers use DNA sequencing to identify new species
New Species Lost to Time
Scientists have discovered a treasure trove of extinct species lurking in museum and botanical garden collections. By analyzing DNA samples from specimens, scientists can identify new species that were unknown to science before their extinction. As such, these collections serve as a vital archive of biodiversity and a last chance to study species that no longer exist in the wild.
Unprecedented Access to Extinct Species
Researchers are using DNA sequencing to identify and classify new species from centuries-old specimens housed in museums around the world. This unprecedented access to extinct species is enabling scientists to piece together the evolutionary history of life on Earth and gain insights into the human impact on the planet’s biodiversity.
The Importance of Museum Collections
Museum and botanical garden collections are no longer just “dead zoos” and “plant graveyards”. They are the key to unlocking the secrets of our planet’s past, present, and future. By preserving the remains of extinct species, these collections offer a glimpse into what once was, and what we stand to lose if we fail to protect our environment.
Scientists are uncovering previously unknown species that are extinct by using DNA sequencing to analyze specimens in museum and botanical garden collections. These collections are a vital resource for understanding the evolutionary history of life on Earth and the human impact on biodiversity. By preserving extinct species, these collections offer a reminder of what we stand to lose if we do not take steps to protect our environment.Original Article: https://www.wired.com/story/many-newly-discovered-species-are-already-gone/