Beetle-Brained

June 7, 2016 at 10:52 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )


Do you want to hear something cool? Because I’m going to tell you something cool. Or cool to me at least and since you’re reading my blog, that’s what counts.

You probably know I’m a bit of a regular around The Field Museum. The overnights I worked this year have come to a close for this season and on our last one I was able to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum’s insect collection. There were lots of butterflies and roaches and all kinds of other bugs but the one that really grabbed my attention was this teeny tiny little beetle. Why is it important? Because it was collected by Charles Darwin himself.

Capture.PNG

Hope this doesn’t bug you.

 

If you don’t know Charles Darwin is, please do a Google search. Or smack yourself in the face with an encyclopedia.

Anyway, this beetle wasn’t given to the museum by Darwin since he died before it was built and all, but it was acquired by a German insect collector, who later sold it to the Field. No one is quite sure how the German guy got it but that’s kind of the story behind a lot of the museum’s artifacts so it’s not too out of the ordinary. It was originally collected in 1834 during an expedition to Chile and you can read the entire story about it here. It’s rare that the museum has this at all and it’s not really shown to the public – most of the insect collections are used by other scientists for research purposes and I feel lucky I got to see it. It’s sure an awesome amount of history inside of a little bug!

 

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