Treasured Islanders

Mice skeletons in glass vials

Mice skeletons

The case:
UCL zoologist RJ Berry has collected around 8000 mice of different species from 94 islands across the world. Each skeleton has been prepared and kept in individual glass vials. Comparison of these specimens has contributed significantly to the comprehension of island biogeography and ecology – crucial components of evolutionary biology.

By looking at the differences between populations and species on different islands, zoologists can learn a lot about how they colonised and became adapted to the specific environments, how they are related to each other, and the mechanisms of evolution.

The collection:
The RJ Berry Mouse Collection is housed at UCL’s Grant Museum of Zoology. A collection of this size with so much information about each individual’s origin is unique and is studied by researchers visiting from all over the world.

More images of the objects in this case, and how it was put together, can be seen here

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Treasured islanders
Mice skeletons in glass vials

Mice skeletons

Small, but perfectly formed
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Grant Museum of Zoology logo UCL Geology Collections International Year of Biodiversity