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Inside Iowa State
Gold bar
January 17, 2003

Taxidermy heaven

by Linda Charles
The Science I Building harbors the "Teaching Museum," an informal name for room 59. Inside the room is a collection of preserved animals and birds.

The collection serves as a reference for biological science classes, model material for the biological/pre-medical illustration students and a field trip destination for campus visitors.

Some of the collection originally was housed in a museum in Morrill Hall in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Much of the rest came from O.P. "Mike" Allert of Giard, in the 1940s. Allert was a collector of many things, including stuffed birds.

A pelican in the museum was stuffed by William T. Hornaday (1854-1937), a pioneering conservationist who is credited with helping to save the bison in the United States. Hornaday spent a year at Iowa State in the 1870s, and went on to help found the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and serve as chief taxidermist for the Smithsonian Institution.

The Iowa State collection of 700 to 800 specimens includes common, rare and extinct animals and birds. Among the rarities is a duckbilled platypus.

Groups interested in viewing the collection should contact John Burnett, 4-3681. Individuals may drop in.

Photos by Bob Elbert.
Peacock ram
sandpiper snapping turtle
seabird badger

... Becoming the Best
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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