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In 1911, the Smithsonian Institution debuted the world’s first large mounted Camptosaurus skeleton at its newly-opened Natural History building. The display featured two specimens erected side-by-side, one identified as Camptosaurus nanus and the other as Camptosaurus browni. Camptosaurus, whose name means “flexible lizard,” was a plant-eating, beaked dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period. Both Smithsonian specimens were uncovered at a quarry near Como Bluff, Wyoming.
In honor of the first Olympics to take place in Brazil, we are highlighting a book contributed by The Field Museum featuring birds of South America, Le Vaillant’s Histoire naturelle d’une partie d’oiseaux nouveaux et rares de l’Amerique et des Indes (1801). Among several titles chosen for digitization from the Field Museum Library’s impressive Edward E. Ayer Ornithological Library, housed in the collections of the Mary W. Runnells Rare Book Room, the entry for the volume in Catalogue of the Edward E. Ayer Ornithological Library characterizes it as “a work intended to supplement his Hist. Nat. des Oiseaux d’Afrique (q.v.) by describing and figuring birds not properly included in that work.”
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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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