What is Special About a Natural History Museum?
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Natural history museums differ from most other scientific institutions in the very large size of the collections, which make museums excellent places to do certain scientific research that requires examination of a vast sampling of nature over time and space.
Such research includes:
- synthetic: how did the present species evolve? and
- analytic: what traits changed over time?
- synthetic: what is a species?, and
- analytic: how do they differ?) and
- synthetic: what are the patterns of migration?, and
- analytic: where do individuals occur?
Other kinds of research that require large collections to do the research are also important, e.g. conservation, genetic analyses, pesticide studies, etc.