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1 March 2010 Paleozoology's Dependence on Natural History Collections
R. Lee Lyman
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Paleozoology (zooarchaeology and paleontology) depends on natural history collections, or comparative collections, of skeletons of known taxonomy. These skeletons permit taxonomic identification of paleozoological specimens, facilitate identification of taphonomically (perimortem and postmortem) modified and abnormal or pathological specimens, and provide metric data for monitoring clinal variation across space and through time. Multiple collections are mandatory to guard against catastrophic loss or destruction of a collection, to provide samples that are sufficiently large to be representative of a species, and to reduce the cost of a single curation facility. As the expense of maintenance and building of a natural history collection increases, it will become increasingly important to have strong warrants for their continued curation.

R. Lee Lyman "Paleozoology's Dependence on Natural History Collections," Journal of Ethnobiology 30(1), 126-136, (1 March 2010).
Published: 1 March 2010
comparative collections
natural history collections
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