Invertebrates comprise an overwhelmingly large portion of the earth’s biodiversity. By some estimates they constitute more than 95 percent of the world’s animals, accounting for many millions of species. Insects alone, for example, include more than a million described species. The collection of recent invertebrates, with more than 500,000 specimens, presents a nice sampling of invertebrate diversity. Focus of the collection is on Oklahoma invertebrates, but it also contains specimens from more than 100 countries and territories. We are unique among invertebrate collections by pursuing cataloging of all of our specimens. To date, more than 280,000 individual specimens have been cataloged and are available online or via the portals of Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). Revitalization of the collection has been supported by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The Department of Recent Invertebrates was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Collections in Support of Biological Research Grant to install a compactor system in to the collection to rehouse and expand their holdings. We’re excited to have our new system contribute to the museum and its research! Learn more about the grant from the National Science Foundation.