April 6, 2012
It’s almost unbelievable that some people earn their living doing such amazing stuff! I so far have helped out with sorting specimens and also the mounting of Scarab beetles . NMH is helping for the Smithsonian museum to prepare specimens for an interesting research: someone has collected Scarab beetles over the last few years at different altitudes and they will map how populations and species’ move as a result of climate change. However, until someone can identify the exact species there are literally thousands and thousands of beetles to be mounted. I have never done anything like this before; it’s like a catwalk for beetles- strike the pose! Each leg and antenna has to be placed so that it could be seen when the beetle is mounted (it’s not as easy as it might sound, especially, when some specimens are a few years old and tend to be very fragile) and then depending on the size of the specimen you have to choose from direct pinning, card mounting or point mounting… uh…. But it’s really fun, and it reminds me of collecting puzzles :}. It’s probably not exactly what I would like to do in my science career (I tend more towards molecular stuff (that’s why I’m very excited to start working in botanical department)) but I definitely wouldn’t mind to do something like this as a hobby!