new jersey state museum
Disclaimer: I write the following post as a private citizen. Even though I am a research associate at the museum, my work is done on a volunteer basis in cooperation with museum staff. I am not employed by the museum, and my views do not necessarily represent those of any New Jersey State Museum employee. After months of uncertainty, the short-term fate of the New Jersey State Museum has finally been revealed. Despite plans proposed by Republican governor Chris Christie that the museum (along with the State Library and Thomas Edison College) be folded into Rutgers University, it was recently…
A few weeks ago I started prep work on a Tyrannosaurus rex toe bone recovered from Montana's Hell Creek Formation and kept at the New Jersey State Museum. This is how the gypsum-encrusted bone looked when I started...... and this is how it looked at the end of last week. There's still a lot of work to do, but it is encouraging when you start seeing more bone than gypsum.
UPDATE: Due to ongoing deliberations over the future of the New Jersey State Museum I have decided that it is in the best interest of the museum to remove this post, but I will continue to write about this story as more knowledge becomes publicly available. And, just so there is no misunderstanding, what I stated in the previous version of this post I wrote as a private citizen and not a representative of the museum itself - I am the equivalent of a volunteer and not employed by the museum. Nevertheless, I feel it appropriate the outline what is publicly known about this controversy in the…
A stuffed polar bear (Ursus maritimus), on display at the New Jersey State Museum.
A stuffed North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), in the collection at the New Jersey State Museum.
A partially dissected head of an ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), showing some of the internal anatomy, in the collection at the New Jersey State Museum. (And here is a similar preserved sea lion head in the same collection.)
I'll be the first to admit it; the specimen was not much to look at. Seventy years after being dug out of the ground much of it had crumbled into four-foot-long Y, and the curved teeth that once stood upright in that jaw had slumped out of their sockets into the sulfur-smelling debris. All the same, it was an impressive sight. During the past four years I have spent much of my free time reading about evolution and paleontology. Popular summaries, symposium volumes, technical papers; the numerous books that clutter my office and the disorganized mess of PDFs on my hard drive have taught me…
A stuffed cougar (Puma concolor), photographed in natural history collection at the New Jersey State Museum.
The skull of Mosasaurus maximus, photographed at the New Jersey State Museum.
The mount of a musk ox (Ovibos moschatus), photographed at the New Jersey State Museum.
A jar full of dogfish, photographed at the New Jersey State Museum.
The skeleton of an elk-moose (Cervalces scotti), photographed at the New Jersey State Museum.