william t. hornaday

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Snow Leopard by William T Hornaday

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William T. Hornaday: Thirty Years War for Wildlife

Congratulations to  pythonregius for being the first to identify Friday’s Freaks of the Week as the atlas (first cervical) vertebrae and distal phalanx bones!  The really creepy/weird thing about them, though, is that they belong to Homo sapiens; HUMAN.  Dave found them on separate occasions in different boxes; the cervical vertebrae was mixed in with a peccary, of all things.  He supposes they were tossed into some of our boxes after the comparative anatomy lab disassembled an old human skeleton.  We also have a human skull that Dave found tossed in a dumpster behind our building.  All of these scenarios make for great hypothetical situations and I am still not convinced a murder wasn’t committed and the bones dispersed in our collection because YOU NEVER KNOW. 

I am determined to finish the majority of our first floor exhibit this week.  I can’t wait to post more photos of it, so here’s a teaser!  I’ve mentioned before that we have some of William Temple Hornaday’s specimens in our collection, and this bison (Bos bison) skull is one of those things he collected here in Montana during his hunting expedition in the 1880s.  We’re having terrible smoke inversion in the valley this weekend so I spent my time hopping from bookstore to coffee shop to bakery, and during one of my pitstops I found this original 1931 publication of his book Thirty Years War for Wildlife.  Its somewhat abused condition is due in part because of its former life as a library book, but I was still thrilled to come across this rather obscure edition nonetheless.  

I hope everyone has a great Monday, and Missoulians keep your heads out of this smoke, ugh!