Last September, the devastating news of a fire in Brazil’s National Museum in Rio de Janeiro hit the world. The fire destroyed most of the collection, including about 5 million insect specimens. Many of the samples were holotypes, a subset of type specimens which are particularly valuable to the scientific world. If you want an indication of just how valuable, some researchers even charged back into the building while it was on fire to rescue these specimens, saving about 80 % of the mollusc holotypes.
If you’ve read some of our previous posts on invasive species, you’ll have learned that they can be a real danger to local ecosystems and economies, and even have impacts on our health. But as Vanessa Bieker writes, there is a silver lining, and that comes in the form of what invasive species are teaching us about evolution.
Image Credit: Sue Sweeney, CC BY-SA 3.0, Image Cropped.