preserved specimens

Sandra Johnson sjohnson at
Mon Jun 9 14:54:34 EST 2003

i recently used a kit with my nonmajors class which provided a variety
of animal specimens and a key, which students used to identify the
animals. i thought it was a good exercise and immediately wanted a
similar plant exercise. but i don't think that the level of handling and
careful inspection that i saw given to each specimen could happen with
dried herbarium specimens. is there any reason that plant samples
couldn't be preserved in a chemical preservative? i can imagine leaching
of pigments, but seems like it would provide handleable specimens
otherwise. we have examples of large algae preserved in formalin, then
held in 'safer' products, that seem well preserved.

anybody have any ideas? or recommendation of what the best preservative
might be?


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