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On the interest of taxonomic collections

Most of the scientific work of our team is based on specimens deposited in taxonomic collections:

  • collections of specimens

(Photograph: C. Guintard).
  • collections of prepared bones and skeletons

caudal skeleton of a mackerel
Caudal skeleton of a mackerel
(Scomber scombrus, Scombridae).
Neurocrâne d'un luneur
Neurocranium of a moonfish
(Mene maculata, Menidae).
(Photographs: B. Chanet).

  • collections of tissue samples

collections of samples of flesh
  • collections of sequences collections of sequences

Collections also play a fundamental part for historical and patrimonial reasons, through conservation of historical specimens:

historical specimen
A stuffed pilot fish, Naucrates ductor (Carangidae) MNHN 1904-290.

Collections also play a crucial part for scientific purposes as well. They represent large amounts of information, as well as vouchers for further works:

  • Radiographing specimens

radiographing specimens
Pegusa cadenati (Soleidae) MNHN 1952-0275.
  • Preparing specimens in order to visualise skeleton elements

A cleared and stained Psettodes sp. (Psettodidae) MNHN-1967-92).
Soft tissues have been enzymatically hydrolyzed and hard tissues specifically stained.
  • Classical dissection

Dissection of an alcohol preserved soleid (Zebrias japonicus MNHN-1976-0390)
(Photograph: B. Chanet).
  • RMI examination

RMI examination
RMI on an alcohol preserved common mackerel, still in its jar (Scomber scombrus, Scombridae).
  • Collecting DNA

DNA can be collected on specimens that have been preserved in some liquids, like ethanol. Formalin and normal alcohol denature DNA.

All these activities are regularly performed by members of the team.

Taxonomic collections are the results of former studies and also the base of future works on the biology of organisms.