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
BA Environmental Studies
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 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
DEC 10, 2020
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
"Murder hornets," more commonly known as giant hornets, might be new to North America, but in their native ran ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
APR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Celebrating National Pet Day
APR 09, 2021
Celebrating National Pet Day
Sunday, April 11, is National Pet Day! From pandemic companions to viral videos, pets are a huge part of our lives. Even ...
JUN 05, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Did Heat from Asteroids Provide the Building Blocks for Life on Earth?
JUN 05, 2021
Did Heat from Asteroids Provide the Building Blocks for Life on Earth?
Researchers from Kobe University in Japan have found that heat generated by the impact of small astronomical bodies coul ...
JUL 09, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
JUL 09, 2021
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
Researchers have developed a "wearable" patch to detect the gaseous substances plants emit when diseased or stressed,
OCT 08, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Gamma-Ray Burst from Distant Galaxy May Have Been Space Junk
OCT 08, 2021
Gamma-Ray Burst from Distant Galaxy May Have Been Space Junk
In 2020, scientists observed something incredible: they had measured a gamma-ray burst from a distant galaxy called GNz1 ...
Loading Comments...