I never knew....

Submitted by Gina on 3/2/06 at 9:10 PM. ( ) 24.20.207.217

I never knew how many different types of species and subspecies of animals there were until I got into Taxidermy. I guess common sense dictates that certain areas would define a species to certain characteristics, but I never thought that animals like wildebeest and Caribou had different sub types. I dont get caribou very often, in fact, I have only ever mounted one, but I never knew that there was more than one type. Goes to show that you learn something new every day! LOL

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Taxonomy 101

This response submitted by J J on 3/3/06 at 8:43 AM. ( ) 205.188.116.203

Gina don't give up learning more about the various subspecies of wildlife. Imagine that only 200 hundred years ago scientists in our country thought that the polar bear lived out on the Great Plains. The big horn sheep was known then as the American argali. Had it not been for Lewis & Clark bringing back the untold wealth of natural history spicemens that they collected along the way to the northwest passage, we never would have realized the reality of subspecies. The actual naming of a species was given in honor of the naturalist/hunter who discovered it. For example, the name "caribou" is one of the few names manufactured by American pioneers to describe an animal found here. It is a moden French-Canadian corruption of "carre-boeuf" or square ox, a word not without a certain descrptive power as I'm sure you now know since you already handled one. Now the caribou on the Alaskan penninsula are commonly known as barren ground caribou, yet they are classified as "rangifer-granti" because it was discovered by Madison Grant over a hundred years ago, give or take. So too for the mountain caribou a/k/a the Osborn caribou or rangifer Osborni, named after Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn. See what I mean? As time and science both moved on, many animals and birds were either re-classified or re-defined, either by geography or just a more deeper knowledge of its habitat.
As a taxidermist, you may care to know that less than 30 years ago, there was a taxidermy supply company which actually listed the scientific latin names alongside the common names of its mannikins. In fact, even the measurements were structured in metric units to add a more precise dimension to what the taxidermist needed. That company was Jonas Brothers, then in Denver, Co. I remember one day while expediting a shipment of trophies from Tanzania as a newly ordained USDA certified taxidermist, it was required as now to fill in the latin names of the entire shipment of raw materials for the USFWS. That Jonas catalog saved me more than a full day of research in finding those names. When an agent saw how easy it was to do, she ordered a case of those catologs to hand out to all agents in JFK airport. I hope this broadens your own knowledge and makes you thirst for more information, which allows the public to maintain the professional image of all taxidermists.


JJ...

This response submitted by Gina on 3/3/06 at 7:51 PM. ( ) 24.20.207.217

Boy, wouldnt it have been nice to have the internet 30 years ago? Its nice that now days if i want to know more about an animal, all I have to do is search it out on the net and it takes me about 5 minutes! I really like caribou, I think I will want one for my shop soon. Which one is the most desired as trophies?


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