Podcasts: Hall of Biodiversity

jars

What are these specimens preserved in?

Jessica Rosales Rains, Former Ichthyology Collections Manager
Time length: 20 seconds

Transcript: All of the jarred specimens on display are in ethanol, which is a type of alcohol. The vast majority of natural history collections use ethanol for long term storage of their fluid, or “wet” collections. Alcohol as a storage fluid for fish has been in use since at least the beginning of the 18th century.

burrfish

How does a burrfish inflate its body?

Jessica Rosales Rains, Former Ichthyology Collections Manager
Time length: 31 seconds

Transcript: When a burrfish is threatened, its stretchy skin and rib less skeleton help the fish to ward off potential predators. These fish puff up by filling an extension of their stomach with water using a system called the buccal pump. Imagine inflating your mouth with air then gulping it down into your stomach. It’s like that, but with water. The burrfish can inflate up to 3 times its normal body size, making the fish too large to be eaten by the average predator.