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Museum of Natural History & Science Opens Virtual Door to Over 110,000 Plant, Animal, and Fossil Specimens

October 9th, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE – The public has a unique opportunity to learn more about the natural history of New Mexico.

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS) has opened the door to more than 110,000 fossil and biological specimens. The Museum’s collection records are now publicly available through Arctos, a web-based database, thanks to an anonymous gift.

Arctos provides research-grade data to scientists and facilitates public access to the data and images. Users of the database can find out more about plant, animal, and fossil specimens of New Mexico without leaving home. Click the link here

A backyard naturalist could use Arctos to search the database to find detailed information about wildlife in the area. Visitors could also use the database to learn more about their favorite specimens seen at the Museum.

NMMNHS curators say they plan to continue adding to the database – with photographs, 3D links to specimen models, and curator research. Collections staff at the Museum plan to build on the database by adding their continuous research and discoveries to it. Now researchers across the globe can search New Mexico’s own natural history collections to help enhance their scientific curiosities. 

“The transition to Arctos will make the museum’s collection data available to the world, creating opportunities for anyone, anywhere to learn from and add to the scientific infrastructure of New Mexico," said Jason Malaney, Bioscience Curator for NMMNHS. "We are excited to share the collection information and related research with New Mexicans and hope that this resource will open new doors for collaboration, develop novel educational opportunities, and better engage with the public."

Arctos is managed by a consortium of organizations and museums with data from natural and cultural history collections.

About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Trustees of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation, through the generous support of donors.Established in 1986, the mission of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is to preserve and interpret the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits, and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning. The NMMNHS offers exhibitions, programs and workshops in Geoscience, including Paleontology and Mineralogy, Bioscience and Space Science. It is the Southwest’s largest repository for fossils and includes a Planetarium and a large format 3D DynaTheater.

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New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. Photo: NM Department of Cultural Affairs

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