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When you are viewing an article that has been defined in BHL, you can now quickly and easily generate a PDF of that article using our new “Download Article” option in the “Download Contents” dropdown menu.
The Hispaniolan solenodon is a unique, and at first glance somewhat peculiar, animal. Even its scientific name conveys the unusualness of the species — Solenodon paradoxus.
One of two extant solenodon species (the other being the Cuban solenodon), the Hispaniolan solenodon is found only in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It, like its Cuban counterpart, is endangered.
As members of the mammalian Order Eulipotyphla, which includes insectivores such as shrews, hedgehogs, and moles, solenodons diverged from all other living mammals over 70 million years ago. They are only found in the Caribbean, making them an important priority for the conservation of evolutionary diversity. This long history means that they have survived countless extinction events and only today are threatened.
Dr. Alexis Mychajliw (Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County) has been studying the Hispaniolan solenodon as part of her research on Caribbean mammals for more than five years. Much of her work has focused on flipping the narrative of the Hispaniolan solenodon from endangered weirdo to resilient survivor.
Spring is in the air…and we’ve been busy at BHL. From our 2019 Annual Meeting to the Her Natural History campaign celebrating women in natural history and updates to our metadata export services, check out all of the latest program news in the 2019 Spring Newsletter.
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The 2019 BHL Annual Meeting was held 29 April – 3 May in Ithaca, New York. Hosted by the Albert R. Mann Library of Cornell University, the Meeting brought together 34 participants from 23 institutions, representing 9 countries.
As BHL Program Director Martin Kalfatovic noted: “The BHL Annual meeting is an opportunity for the partners, from all over the world, to come together to chart the course of the BHL for the coming year. The conversations, both formal and informal, are key to keeping the Library relevant to both its global user community and the partners that sustain the BHL.”
The meeting agenda included reports on the state of the consortium, facilitated discussions around key program areas, a strategic planning session, a panel session with BHL partner representatives, a public event with a panel of Cornell scientists, and many amazing tours and excursions.
Insects trapped in amber. For anyone who has seen Jurassic Park, this description immediately conjures up familiar imagery. In the movie, such a fortuitously-preserved mosquito provided the means to bring dinosaurs back to life. While that may be the realm of science fiction, in the realm of science, such amber time capsules are still a valuable window into the past, allowing scientists today to examine ancient specimens and, sometimes, discover new species.
This year, the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) and our global partners celebrated Women’s History Month with an international social media campaign: Her Natural History: A Celebration of Women in Natural History.
We were delighted with the outcomes and impact of the campaign. #HerNaturalHistory had reached over 7.5 million people, with over 52 million impressions on content and over 3,100 accounts participating on social media. The campaign allowed BHL to expand its reach and engagement with existing and new audiences in notable ways, resulting in a 35% average increase in overall social reach and a 41% increase in overall social engagements compared to 2018 averages. #HerNaturalHistory also encouraged increased engagement with the works of women in BHL, fostering a 122% increase in views on books in the Women in Natural History Book Collection compared to 2018 monthly averages.
We invite you to explore the results on the campaign in-depth within the Her Natural History campaign report.
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The Biodiversity Heritage Library is an open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL’s global consortium of natural history, botanical, and research libraries cooperate to digitize and make their collections accessible as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.”
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