For this assignment, we were to find an object or specimen in an online museum database and list some of the management elements associated with it. In addition, we were to find an object in our home and associate some similar elements to it.

I thought it might be fun/interesting to look up a specimen of my research species, which is Arctic Lamprey, Lethenteron camtschaticum. I decided to search Arctos, the UAMN online database and select one mostly at random but with a recent-ish collection date. The specimen that I ended up choosing had the following accession number associated with it: UAM:Fish:3767. This specimen was collected on 06/02/2014 at the mouth of the Tatalina River (the confluence of the Tatalina and Chatanika Rivers) in Alaska, Lat/Long: 65.07644 / -149.28224. The whole organism was entered into the collection and preserved in an alcohol solution. It was collected by Andrew Gryska of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and identified by Dr. Andrés López on 06/09/2014 due to its features. Its condition was listed as “light damage”. This is probably due to the fact that in the remarks it states that the specimen was found in a Northern Pike stomach with its tail fins protruding from the mouth (!!!). It was collected with a gill net, the collection source is listed as wild caught, and (this is hilarious) its habitat is listed as “in mouth of Esox lucius” which is the scientific name of the Northern Pike. So, it seems like the Northern Pike was caught in a gill net and the lamprey’s tail fins were seen coming out of its mouth as it was trying to eat it. I suppose the lamprey was then removed from the pike, preserved in alcohol, and entered into the collection. This whole situation is interesting to me because something similar happened to me when I was working in Washington where we were seining and collected (and released) a large chinook salmon that had likely been released from a local fishery, but it had a tiny wild coho salmon (I think it was) sticking out of its mouth. I tried so hard to find the photo, but I failed.

As for my home-found object, I decided to archive a stuffed octopus that we have for some reason. Except because my example from Arctos was a preserved, but once living specimen I decided to archive this stuffed octopus as if it was a real octopus that washed up on the beach. I also decided to identify the octopus as a Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) since 1) it kind of looks like one and 2) I obtained this stuffed octopus from (you guessed it) the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, B.C. and GPO are known to be present in B.C. I have also decided to use a similar format to Arctos as if I was archiving the specimen in the UAMN collections. The elements I have assigned the specimen can be found in the table below.

Accession ID: UAM:Inv:67199
Identifications: Enteroctopus dofleini
Collected by: Tony Thompson
Identified by: Tony Thompson
Identification Date: 2021-02-27
Nature of ID: Features
Confidence: High
Event Type: Collection
Event Verification: Unverified
Event Date: 2018-10-13
Higher Geography: North America, Canada, British Columbia, Victoria, Strait of Juan de Fuca
Specific Locality: Steve Fonyo Beach
Coordinates: 48.40915473761656, -123.37334455227632
Remarks: Specimen was collected in the intertidal zone after having apparently washed ashore
Part Name Condition Disposition Qty
Whole organism (alcohol) Excellent Being processed 1


4 Thoughts to “Collections Management – Online Databases”

  1. Martin Gutoski

    Wow, if I had children I would have bought them a stuffed GPO to get them interested in aquatic animals rather then Teddy Bears.

  2. Barbara Long

    Good Afternoon,

    Your post is interesting. Upon reading yours, I’m trying to figure out what I could use at home. Sometimes, we just need to use a bit of creativity. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Michael Hubert

    Thank you for sharing your post this week , it was very creative. and is true this might interest kids if they saw this.

  4. Angela Linn

    Nice job Tony. This inspires me to have my son catalog his HUGE stuffed animal collection as a science fair project. He could try to figure out what the scientific name is of each creature and georeference each collecting point where he obtained them (museum, zoo, and aquarium stores being our most favorite places of collection!). Then we could map his travels & collecting activities. Equally important is to think about all the places he then packed them up and traveled with him… in the cultural world we would catalog those places as the “place of use” – places and dates… wow that would be a trip down memory lane! Anthropologists refer to these movements as the “social life of the object.”

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