China National Animal Collection Resources Center home
to animal specimens preserved with advanced technology
Web Editor:International Daily
The National Animal Collection Resources Center north of China National Animal Museum is home to nearly 9 million animal specimens preserved with advanced technology to freeze up the lively moment of animals for exhibition and scientific research.As the animal specimen exhibition hall of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Zoology, the National Animal Collection Resources Center is the oldest specimen collection institution in China, with collections from different regions of the country, possessing nearly 70 percent of the animal specimen resources and nearly 90 percent of the known animal species in China.The facility is famous for its collection of insect specimens from the Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tombs in central China's Hunan Province dating back to more than 2,000 years ago and the animal specimens from the Beijing-based Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)."The National Animal Collection Resources Center preserves 8.92 million specimens, collected from different regions in China and from over 20 surrounding countries. [The specimens] in this row are all marmot, Himalayan marmot," said Chen Jun, executive director of the center.The processing of animal specimens for scientific research requires the application of complicated technologies after collection."When we get the fresh specimen, we will take out all the viscera, muscles and bones inside, and fill them with cotton, which is called the pseudo-stripping specimen. There are more than 60,000 kinds of mammal specimens on this floor," said Chen.At the Center, there are exhibition halls for fish and amphibian and reptile specimens, invertebrate specimens, mammal specimens, bird specimens and insect specimens, together with the digital exhibition hall. It accounts for about a third of the total collection of biological specimens in the CAS."In the eyes of modern scientists, it is also alive. Because through a lot of new techniques, no matter whether they involve molecular biology or other forms and features, we can get a lot of basic information about what it was like when it was living," said Chen.Scientists have made great efforts to keep the original life forms and display them for online and offline exhibitions."The most important criteria to judge whether a specimen has been successfully made lies in the details of its making. For example, you can see how the eyes and its nostrils have been handled. You can see the gesture, it's jumping. We have to reflect its natural history, its life history and its true aspects in life," said Zhang Jinshuo, associate curator of China's National Zoological Museum.The professionals apply new materials and cutting-edge technologies to shape the blood vessels and muscles in their best condition."We make it as a specimen, more out of consideration to preserve it for a long time, in order to let the public further understand the relationship between the animal and human beings. Each specimen actually has its own story, and these stories convey more of our beliefs about how man and nature get along," said Zhang.