My first encounter with an amphibian was the all but loveable Kermit the frog from Sesame Street. While reptiles and amphibians are not warm and cuddly like Kermit, these ectothermic vertebrates (cold-blooded) are incredibly interesting. Some of them breathe through their damp skin.
BHL recently participated in the 8th Meeting of European Bird Curators, held in Prague, October 3-5, 2013. Alison Harding, of the Natural History Museum in London, delivered a presentation entitled “BHL: The Vast Library of Life.” The presentation provided an overview of the Biodiversity Heritage Library and showcased the tools and resources which BHL offers as a free, open access project. Many attendees were already familiar with BHL and were very complimentary about the ongoing progress of the BHL consortium.
Do you know your state flower or bird? What about your state fossil? It is okay if you know the first two and not the third. Many don’t know their state fossil. There’s no better time to discover it than today — National Fossil Day.
As part of our regular BHL and Our Users series, we’re pleased to introduce Barna Páll-Gergely, a PhD student in the Department of Biology at Shinshu University in Japan. Barna has had a lifelong interest in shells and land snails and has graciously agreed to answer some questions about how BHL has impacted his research.
We’re very excited to share that yesterday, October 9, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) launched their new web portal as part of the 20th meeting of the GBIF Governing Board. The new portal provides greatly enhanced access to the world’s largest database of documented evidence for the distribution of species across the planet. The scientific meeting was held in Berlin and webcast for the press and public. Tim Hirsch, Senior Program Officer for Engagement, and Tim Robertson, Information Systems Architect, introduced and demonstrated some of the new features now available.
This week we are celebrating cephlapods. Not sure what they are? Cephalopods are a group of exclusively marine mollusks that include squid, octopus and nautilus. They are closely related to snails, slugs and clams. Let’s be honest, you might be most familiar with them on your plate. These intelligent but vulnerable invertebrates are fascinating. They are represented in fossil records as long ago as 500 million years. If I had to pick, I’d say squids are my favorite 8-legged species, and not just because this is Squidturday. Squids defend themselves by being agile and fast as well as releasing sepia, often referred to as ink.
BHL’s existence depends on the financial support of its patrons. Help us keep this free resource alive!
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. Headquartered at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives in Washington, D.C., BHL operates as a worldwide consortium of natural history, botanical, research, and national libraries working together to digitize the natural history literature held in their collections and make it freely available for open access as part of a global “biodiversity community.”
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