MAY 22, 2017 8:52 AM PDT

Why we should save dead animals


The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has initiated The Salvage Animal Program with the main purpose of collecting roadkill. But not for hunting or other random reasons - instead the museum is encouraging the public to bring in any dead animal that they might find in their backyard or on the roads in order to study the animal corpses for research. They currently house about 6,000 dead animals in a huge walk-in freezer - and they're trying to determine how these animals have been influenced by a human-fabricated world.

The process that museum staff goes through with every dead newcomer is similar to that of an autopsy, although not for the purpose of determining the cause of death. Instead they hope to preserve the body, organs, and even muscle, to figure out how the animals lived while alive. They are collecting all the information that they gather on an online database that is free and available to the public.

The team's mission is to map historical changes in organisms responding to humans living in an area. They examine how healthy populations are and how they are responding to human activities. This is more than just tracking evolutionary changes in animals; it also aims to demonstrate how humans and animals are evermore interconnected.
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
DEC 09, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 09, 2019
Can Scientists Revive the Northern White Rhino Population?
The Northern white rhino is already on the brink of extinction with just two living females in the world today. Sudan, the last surviving male of the speci...
DEC 15, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 15, 2019
Eagle vs. Octopus
The animal food chain is somewhat straightforward, with larger animals often hunting smaller animals in an attempt to ensure their own survival. Unfortunat...
DEC 27, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 27, 2019
Measuring Radiation: What's in the Names?
What do the Curie couple, Henrie Becquerel, Louis Harold Gray, and Ralf Sievert, have in common? These radiation pioneers defined the way we measured ioniz...
DEC 29, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 29, 2019
Anthills Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg
At first glance, an anthill looks like a small pile of sand on the Earth with a tiny hole in the top that ants crawl into to evade danger, but they’r...
FEB 06, 2020
Health & Medicine
FEB 06, 2020
Scientists Found a Safe BPA Alternative
BPA—bisphenol A—is an industrial chemical used in a wide range of everyday consumer products. From food and beverage can linings and storage co...
FEB 20, 2020
Cardiology
FEB 20, 2020
Most Commonly Birth Defects Affect The Heart
Birth defects are not uncommon. For every 33 babies born in the United States each year, one is born with a defect. That adds up to about 120,000 babies ea...
Loading Comments...